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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


This entire article is arbitrary and negative in nature. I vote for removal.

I don't think this article is entirely flawed, but it needs serious cleanup. For one, the name "pseudohistory" suggests that all the works mentioned are to be regarded as fiction, when in truth their factuality is merely disputed and its evidence challenged. In particular, I can appreciate the skeptical criticisms of religious texts, but this is usually inherent to religious literature. No specific religious text or canonical component should be singled out for inclusion here. For instance, while the Book of Mormon is regarded with skepticism by many mainstream Christians and non-Latter-day Saints, the Apocrypha is accepted even by many Christians, but less so by non-Christians. Judaism and many non-Christians dispute the New Testament, while Islam disputes the complete accuracy of the Bible altogether. If religious texts are to be included in this categorization, then I suggest a renaming to "disputed purported history". Though at the same time, that seems too generous for things like holocaust denial and such, as I cannot and will not deny for a moment that the Holocaust did not happen, because it did. - Gilgamesh 15:50, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How can you call for "clean up", when the article barely exists at all. What it needs is development, not clean up. However, you are mostly correct in regards to religious texts. They should be mentioned (in passing, without singling anything out), of course, but they are in a different category. Pseudohistory is a type of pseudoscience and religion is not a type of pseudoscience. When religious people/clerics make a historical claim, they usually justify it with "It happened because I believe it did" or "It just happened", they don't pretend to be scientific. Pseudohistorians, on the other hand, pretend to be using science and pretend to stand on the same ground as real scientists.
It would be silly to argue with a Christian, who believes that god created Earth. The religious guy is (to say bluntly) delusional, he would not accept any evidence, because it contradicts his belief (Thomas Aquinas put it best with his "I believe, because it's absurd"). So generally scientists do not object to religious myths, because they are just that - imaginary tales that some people chose to believe. There is nothing to argue about, because religious people don't pretend their stories are worth publishing in historical journals and don't pretend to have any evidence or anything like it. Paranoid 18:23, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think someone who confuses Thomas Aquinas with Tertullian (died 1050 years earlier) should hesitate before pontificating on what "a Christian believes".--Richardson mcphillips (talk) 12:16, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, I actually am a religious person, but I'm also a scientific person, and I also always try to be a fair person and promote equality between all the religions as well as skeptics. If religion were regarded as a sort of history, I suppose I wouldn't mind it being mentioned here, but it has to cover everything in equal light — it can't elevate certain sources above others (such as where the Book of Mormon and the Apocrypha were mentioned here, but the Torah, the Qur’an, Hindu mythology, etc. were not). And even then, the article shouldn't endorse opinions about the work that broadly praise or condemn them, because that's a choice people make for themselves, and they have every right to make their own choice and stick to it no matter what. Wikipedia can afford no such passions, as it will ultimately undermine neutral credibility. Frankly, saying that the Apocrypha is pseudohistory while saying the Bible is not, is not only an opinion, but also a more narrowly sectarian Christian opinion that disagrees with other Christian canons that do subscribe to the Apocrypha (such as the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologies). Either we say that both are pseudohistory (if indeed they are to be considered histories), or that neither of them are, as they are religious texts that don't pretend to rely on modern skeptical science anyway, as you have said. - Gilgamesh 03:36, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I could find no definition of pseudohistory anywhere except from Wikipedia, its liscensed content "mirrors" and un-authoritative sources. Pseudo means "False or counterfeit; fake." Historical articles which are under dispute are not pseudohistories, however things such as Atlantis could be called pseudohistories. I am adding the POV tag.--AI 21:47, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

List of examples[edit]

Why is this list different from what is listed in Category:pseudohistory? Because of disputes, only established pseudohistories should be listed. If readers want a full list, they can go to the category which changes according to ongoing disputes.--AI 22:17, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • "Established pseudohistories"? Isn't that an oxymoron? Donovan Ravenhull 22:41, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Some subject have been determined to be pseudohistory.
Look at Priory of Sion.--AI 23:07, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, poor attempt at humor on my part. Donovan Ravenhull 02:11, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You're making fun of my missing "as". :) --AI 02:42, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
None of the supposed examples of pseudo-history that are listed in the article have any sources to substantiate the claim. They all appear to be Original Research, even the first example, which should have been an easy one to have sourced. I dispute strongly that David Barton should be on the list, and, as his inclusion as a pseudo-historian is not sourced, I'm removing it. Pooua (talk) 02:21, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


I would propose to remove the article altogether.

The concept of pseudosience resembles the concept of heresy and mostly serves "political" not scientific purposes. There are already good names for the described concept (such as "theory" or "hypothesis") and we do not need another politically engaged one. Give scientists a chance! Either you (or anyone else) prove your theory and then you have perfectly good science or you (or anyone else) disprove your theory and you have theory which cannot be applied to the world we know. It often happens that even "bad" theory works pretty well in the range of their approximation (say, Newton theory and planets) and some "bad" theory ("pseudoscience") can inspire new discoveries (say, Schampillion and Troy). And from time to time (very rarely) we have guys like Einstein who fell completely out of the "mainstream" science and produced a better one.

First, this is the pseudohistory article, not the pseudoscience article. Secondly, this article is all about theory that cannot be applied to the world we know, but whose authors sell a million books telling everyone we evolved from lemurs on Atlantis who were placed there by aliens from Sirus.--Prosfilaes 01:05, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
If you accept that history is science, then, there is no difference between the general concept of pseudohistory and pseudoscience. And, please, do not worry that some chaps are selling million books based on nonsense - there is a lot of nonsense sold by millions - and always will be. But the point is that if you can prove that we did not "evolve from lemurs on Atlantis who were placed there by aliens from Sirus" - then these books are nonsense or in mild words are wrong theories. If you cannot do that - this hypothesis is as good as anything else. Especially if it can generate predictions and the predictions can be checked and are right, etc. There exists a normal scientific process for doing science (considering history as a branch of science) and you do not need the term "pseudo" to make people unhappy or to put labels.
I don't accept that history is science. I worry about all the people being mislead, and I think it illadvised to laugh at their miseducation. Yes, I need the term pseudohistory, to seperate the stuff out that's not history, that's not even trying, from the stuff that's just wrong. Nonsense would be more ambiguious, and if anything more contraversal.--Prosfilaes 14:15, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, it is your choice. However, many people think that history is science (including me). As for your worries, please, give people a chance. In general, people (and scientists) are not as dumb as they might appear to be and they can make their own judgements in their own time and either arrive at the conclusion that some stuff is nonsense (or wrong, or have a limited range of applications), or embrace some theory after carefull consideration. Therefore, nonsense will be named "nonsense" in due time.

Thus, the term "pseudohistory" is redundant (if you can prove that something is nonsense - name it nonsense, if not - call it a hypothesis) and, sadly, often used wrongfully with the simple idea to insult someone. That is why I vote for removing.

Making history a science is stretching the meaning of the word science quite a bit, and it's not a common expansion. The word pseudohistory is not redundant; a collection of random words is nonsense, but not pseudohistory. You need to be more precise with your words.--Prosfilaes 17:37, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
How do you justify denying that history is a science? My university classified it as a social science as does every other university I've seen. Medical pseudoscience is known as quackery. Why should historical pseudoscience not have its own term? Google lists nearly 30,000 results for pseudohistory. Durova 20:15, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
There's a saying that anything that has science in the name ain't. More realistically, librarians don't classify history books in the science section, classes labelled "science" or "general science" don't include history, historians don't identify themselves as scientists, and they don't subscribe to what is called the scientific method. After reading science, it's clear to me that it's not a simple edge, but the article discusses it (thought it never draws a line where I would); social sciences comes out and says "For example, communication, cultural studies and history may be classified as humanities depending on how they are taught, and in which country they are taught."--Prosfilaes 19:30, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Totally POV[edit]

If you look at a german history book and an american history book and a japanese history book you will find three different histories. None are wrong they are points of view and since thats all history is anyway it's basically redundant. Furthermore one can argue that all history is psudohistory in that it doesnt have anything to do with what actually happened, its what the people who were alive after the fact decided to say about it. This article is crap. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

100% agree this should be removed.Manifest Truth (talk) 12:15, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Proposal to Boldly Edit[edit]

What this stub really lacks is a discussion of methodology. Few members of the general public understand how legitimate historical research is done. This article should link to related articles that explain those standards. This article should also outline the ways that fringe theories violate those standards.

I suggest removing the section on religious pseudohistory. It invites contentious faith-based quarrels that are impossible to resolve. To single out religion might imply a bias against religion to some readers. Pseudohistory in any context follows similar patterns of illogic. Durova 20:45, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

But a large amount of pseudohistory is done in the name of religion. If not a section, that deserves a note of some sort.--Prosfilaes 19:36, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Is there anything quantitatively different about the methods of religious pseudohistory? I'm thinking of ways to cover this while maintaining NPOV. Once something acquires the status of religion it steps outside normal standards of historiography, but only from the perspective of adherents to that particular faith. Nearly all forms of pseudohistory are matters of faith by some definition. Yet it would be tasteless to express that idea in a way that fails to acknowledge the differences between a Christian believer in the Apocrypha and a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier. Durova 17:20, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Found the following on Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View: "Many adherents of a religion will object to a critical historical treatment of their own faith, claiming that this somehow discriminates against their religious beliefs. They would prefer that the articles describe their faith as they see it, which is often from a non-historical perspective (e.g. the way things are is the way things have always been; any differences are from heretical sects that don't represent the real religion.) Their point of view must be mentioned, yet note that there is no contradiction. NPOV policy means that we say something like this: Many adherents of this faith believe X, which they believe that members of this group have always believed; however, due to the acceptance of some findings (say which) by modern historians and archaeologists (say which), other adherents (say which) of this faith now believe Z."
For the record: proposing it is not bold. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

University pseudo-history[edit]

I'm surprised that this article zoomed right past the obvious examples of 'pseudo-history' taught in universities.

1/ The Matriarchy: thousands of years ago Europe was a matriarchy paradise before the rise of male-based monotheism. The Matriarchy was a class-less society ruled by the Matriarchal caste with a polytheistic worship of the One True Goddess.

I got taught this wish fulfillment in my gender studies course as if there was evidence from either archeology or sociology.

2/ The Wellhausen Theory of Higher Criticism of the Old Testament.

Since the Aryan inventors of literacy hadn't introduced writing or legal systems to the mongrel races of the Middle East until the 3rd century BCE the Jewish writings could not have been written before that point. Analysis of grammar and word use in the Old Testament indicate the existence of several documents, notably the E and J texts, that were cut and pasted together by an editor.

With the translations of the Rosetta Stone, Assyrian and Babylonian texts the concepts that legal codes and poems could not have existed before Alexander the Great has been proven false. The similarities between passages in the Old Testament, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Code of Hammurabi-as well as other literary and legal codes of the Middle East indicate an origin of the Old Testament from approximately 1,000 BCE. Absolutely zero indication of the individual existence of either the E text or the J text has ever been found. The technique of 'Higher Literary Criticism' has been tested on a number of other source materials. It has offered as useful an understanding of Biblical texts as the Bible code (which was tested against Moby Dick.)

There are a number of other historical theories which have been proven false but these are the two that I am aware that are still being taught at the university level as being accurate after being utterly proven wrong.

To do that, we'd have to mention it in an NPOV way; it's clear that there's a strong opinion on behalf of both of those ideas. It'd help to cite people who have called those ideas out as pseudohistory, preferably using that term. On the second one, I'd appreciate a source that wasn't a Christian apologist.
Just as importantly, if you were interesting in writing on the second topic, our articles on Higher Criticism are pretty bad and lack any sort of criticism of the ideas included.--Prosfilaes 08:49, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm aware that I have strong feelings on these two subjects. As well I'm not well read enough in these areas of controversy to be able to quote sources known to be reputable. That's a good recipe to produce bad and crankish writing.
I'll do some research, on the web and at libraries based here in Toronto to see whether they back up my claims. It is possible that the arguement concerning the Graf-Wellhausen theory will only be discussed by religious authorities. It is after all religious history.
David Cheater 23:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The Graf-Wellhausen theory, while no longer accepted in its entirety, is still the basis for the dominant theories on the Bible, although of course there have been significant changes since then. It nevertheless remains the case that most Biblical scholars still accept the existence of the various source traditions outlined by Wellhausen. The description of it given above is a completely unfair caricature, meant to discredit the theory by associating it with the Nazis, and implying all kinds of things the theory did not claim - for instance, the documentary hypothesis most certainly did not claim that the Bible wasn't written before the time of Alexander the Great, the Egyptian hieroglyphs had Assyrian cuneiform had already been translated long before Wellhausen devised his thesis, and the Code of Hammurabi would also appear to have been discovered well before Wellhausen wrote. If you want to attack the documentary hypothesis, have at it, but it has to be done in a way which is fair and scholarly, and not just a hackish, misleading attack that obscures more than it reveals. john k 00:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I have read Wellhausen's Prolegamena in english translation and sections of Die Kompostion des Hexateuchs und die historichen Buecher des Alten Testaments in the original. My portrayal of what they actually do say is not misleading. Certain presumptions about race, class and cultural worth were not questioned in the scholarly writing of 19th century Europe. Most of Wellhausen's presumptions have been proven wrong since then. He did have the presumption that there were no middle eastern texts before the 6th century BCE, the Hammurabi Code dates from the 15th century BCE. He did assume an 'evolution of religious sensibility in tandem with cultural evolution' from animism, through shamanism, through polytheism, through henotheism to monotheism. Anthropology and sociology have shown this to be false. There are both hunter/nomad cultures that believe in a 'Chief God' and many modern urbanites who practice animism.
One of the problems with discussing the social history of when and how the text(s) were written is the division of all of the examiners into two Orthodox camps. The first camp asserts that if you believe in miracles than the text was written by Moses-even the bits after he died. The other camp maintains that if you reject superstition that you must accept the unique procedure of dividing the first five books of the Old Testament into a densely interwoven collection of documents written by hypothesized political groupings pushing agendas 500-700 years after the time given.
It is more useful to compare the Hebrew texts to other middle-eastern texts. It is more useful to take what we have learned from archeology and anthropology and apply it. And since the technique of creating documents from within a text based on name use has been shown to be less than accurate on texts we can verify it not be used as conclusive proof of the existence of documents. Of course it is possible that someday someone will discover a papyrus or a cuneiform tablet containing a JPED document but until then the technique of using the simpler explanation should prevail.
I understand that the history of the Bible is most likely written by religious authors. I, however, first read criticism from Josh McDowell, who I believe is of the first camp; I'd appreciate reading criticism from an author who I believe could be convinced of the accuracy of the theory given the right evidence.--Prosfilaes 00:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Your most recent description of Wellhausen is considerably less out there than the initial one. At any rate, the basic problem is that you are essentially saying that because Wellhausen was wrong about many things that most of his contemporaries were wrong about, and which no modern scholars believe anymore, he must also be wrong about everything else, even the aspect of his work which has, with considerable adaptations, been adopted as a principal basis of modern scholarship on the Pentateuch. This is absurd, and would require us to pretty much renounce all scientific and historical theories, since most of them date back to the 19th century, and to people who probably believed similar nonsense to the nonsense that Wellhausen believed. Wellhausen's supposed claim (I will take your word for it that he does make this claim) that there were no Near Eastern texts before the 6th century BC was dubious when he made it in 1886, and was, within the next few years afterwards, completely debunked. Nevertheless, his theory on the origins of the Old Testament has, with considerable modifications, survived. I would also note that, while there are numerous near Eastern texts from before the 6th century BC, it is true that modern scholars do not think that the Levant actually used writing very much before the late divided kingdoms period, making many modern scholars consider the J and E parts of the Old Testament, believed by Wellhausen, iirc, or at least by the classic purveyors of the documentary hypothesis, to have been written around the 10th or 9th century BC, to actually be later. At any rate, the basic fact remains that, whatever the scholarly validity of Wellhausen, most modern scholars do see the first four books of the Bible as containing early material (J and E) which was edited together and supplemented by a later writer highly concerned with ritual practice (P), and that the fifth book is a separate source entirely, which also played a hand in editing together the historical books of the Old Testament (D). It would be deeply irresponsible to discuss the documentary hypothesis in the context of pseudohistory. john k 01:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Granted, I rechecked the main article and pseudohistory is given two separate definitions.
Pseudohistory exists outside that mainstream. It can take many forms but usually follows familiar patterns. Rarely does it go the route of peer reviewed publication. A person who engages in pseudohistory typically makes a direct appeal to the public. Citations will be absent, inadequate, or unreliable. Pseudohistory does not do justice to mainstream interpretations
Pseudohistory involves the inappropriate treatment of source material. It typically reflects the effort to justify a foregone conclusion. Pseudohistory often inflates the importance of a few unreliable sources while ignoring mountains of contradictory evidence. Pseudohistory may pull irrelevant facts out of context. Pseudohistory may distort the meaning of legitimate source material. Pseudohistory sometimes manufactures fraudulent evidence.
I was working with the second definition. The history of science and the history of social studies are filled with unquestioned axioms that are defended long after massive amounts of evidence disproves them. (Dr. Steven. J. Gould has many excellent essays on examples of such.) It does not matter that the majority of geologists at one point believed that the earth could not be older than six thousand years. Massive amounts of evidence from across a wide variety of disciplines have proven that theory wrong. The assertion given in the Documentary Hypothesis that the priests of Shiloh and the Aaronid priests wrote the Pentateuch in the post-Exilic history has been completely discredited. (For one thing-if the Pentateuch was only written after the Exile why do the Samaritans have a version? They separated from mainstream Judaism at the beginning of the Exile.)
Unless there is some evidence of the J or E documents existing before Jean Astruc they should be labelled as 'theorhetical constructs'. There are real documents that actually exist which can provide insight to the writing of early Jewish documents.

Should 9/11 conspiracy theories be added to the "events" section?[edit]

Or is that too recent? Kirbytime 21:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Too recent to be pseudo-history... "pseudo-Current Events" perhaps? 17:15, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
it's more an individual conspiracy theory than pseudohistory IMO Chrismorey (talk) 03:09, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

This whole article is rubbish isn't it?[edit]

Two main complaints - first, pseudohistory, if it's a word at all, is just that: a word, fit for inclusion in a dictionary, and not an abstract methodology or ideology suitable for an encyclopaedia. No writer or academic would describe themselves as a pseudohiustorian, so it isn't like its a movement or anything. It's just a pejorative label to write off someone else's work (rightly or wrongly). Secondly, it is completely pejorative, and this should be made very clear. I vote that this be deleted from the encyclopaedia. ElectricRay 22:17, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Disagree. Though I agree that the was the term pseudohistory is used is generally pejorative, I don't think the existance of it is. I could see an argument being made to move this to wiktionary but not to delete it entirely. Even then, the current article has enough content that its no longer just a definition. I'd rather see it cleaned up and extended a bit more than moved. KalevTait 00:18, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

OK; your wish has been my command. done. ElectricRay 00:26, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Is there a reference for perjorative as part of the definition of pseudohistory? Perojative is not part of the definition of pseudoscience or the pseudohistory definition given in that entry, i.e. "term for information about the past, which purports to be historic or supported by archeology, but which is judged to fall outside the domain of mainstream history." It is also not included in the pseudohistory definition at Skepticwiki.

Are there examples or references for the second statement? I am not aware that "controversial conclusions from new, speculative or disputed historical evidence, particularly in the fields of national, political, military and religious affairs, are often rejected as pseudohistory by commentators holding contrasting views." A google news search of pseudohistory turned up only two articles, that hardly seems to support "often".

Google definitions references this article but gives an earlier version as follows: "Pseudohistory is the historical equivalent of pseudoscience. Pseudohistory typically blends together real history with myths and legends, without any attempt at criticism or fact checking. Pseudohistory sometimes serves a political, nationalist or religious agenda." Unless there are objections, I will delete perojative and soften the second statement. Plantguy 18:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this article is rubbish. A high pile of garbage erected as a pseudoattempt to divert inquiries into sensitive subjects. Any examples of pseudohistory that turned into "real" history would be fun to see. ( Didn't Zinn write a book about all the BS he was taught in school that turned out to be lies. Maybe it wasn't Zinn - cite this please. ) Denial of various sorts might be called pseudohistory - or whoever can get to the microphone first is anyother example. Rubbish - wiki is pseudoinformation ( new article maybe needed ).

Yes, the article is rubbish. It is being used right now to denigrate David Barton, for no more reason than the person who wrote the article does not agree with David Barton's historical research. And, the same sort of pseudo-literate reasoning has led to this article being used as justification for deleting a reference on another article to Wallbuilders, which David Barton founded. Pooua (talk) 02:08, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Jesus myth[edit]

Is the inclusion of Jesus-Myth as pseudo history suggesting that the theory that Jesus did not exist is pseudo history, or that the theory he did exist is pseudo history? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

The theory that he did not exist. john k 23:54, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's the theory that he did not exist. Michael Grant, the source I linked to, summarizes the consensus of historians -

This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth.... But above all, if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. Certainly, there are all those discrepancies between one Gospel and another. But we do not deny that an event ever took place just because some pagan historians such as, for example, Livy and Polybius, happen to have described it in differing terms.... To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serous scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary (Jesus: An Historian's Revew of the Gospels [Scribner, 1977, 1995]).

Another New Testament critic, Graham Stanton echoes this summary:

Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which as to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher. (The Gospels and Jesus [Oxford University Press, 2002]).

--LightGrenade04 (talk) 22:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Is this because of consensus or proof?

Add a section on whether history has to stay within scientific bounds to not be called pseudohistory. Do historians have to pass the giggle test?

The trouble is that discussion of the Historical Jesus (including issues such as the nativity census and the existence of Nazareth in Jesus' day), is rife with minority, and even extreme-minority opinions. I think a distinction needs to be made between legitimate hypotheses that are rejected by the majority (and even the overwhelming majority), and illegitimate claims. Before the Jesus Myth hypothesis, or anything similar, is included I would want to see evidence that it not only is not accepted, but is widely considered to be in some way methodologically deficient and/or tendentious. HrafnTalkStalk 03:41, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've already referred to a couple first-rate historians on the matter; both of whom report that the Jesus Myth (JM) to be literally an all but dead hypothesis. The only medium where it has garnered any sort of support is at the popular level, where it is supported by largely by amateurs with little to no formal education in history (at least nothing beyond the undergraduate level - see, for example, George Albert Wells, Acharya S, Frank Zindler, Timothy Freke, and Peter Gandy). Earl Doherty is the only exception I know of, but apart from him, no other historian considers the JM to have any value (which makes it seem wrong to simply call it a "minority position"). The reason for its nearly wholesale abandonment in the scholarly community is that it is simply indefensible, and its methodology is unsound for several reasons. Proponents of the JM routinely misinterpret the writings of St. Paul and the relative silence of his epistles regarding biographical information on Jesus to mean that Paul himself did not believe in a historical Jesus! These sorts of arguments from silence represent the foundation of many proponents of JM's case. They also argue for radically late dates for the Canonical Gospels, read far too much into their literary development (arguing that development implies complete fabrication), and over-state the significance of discrepancies between gospels (somehow thinking that such difficulties entail non-historicity). Their analyses of the available non-Christian literature corroborating Jesus' historicity are largely dismissive, and borderline flippant. This is particularly apparent in the case of Josephus and the now infamous Testimonium Flavianum - while it is true that nearly all scholars recognize the presence of interpolations within that text, it is still regarded as authentic by the majority once the interpolations are removed. The JM also has failed to provide any explanation for why the considerable opposition to early Christianity did not make use of this truth in their polemics against Christianity, nor why there was never any internal controversy between Christians who did not believe in a historical Jesus, and those who did (I think this is significant considering the level of internal conflict on so many other issues within the Church). Furthermore, no JM proponent has ever produced any reasonable alternative account of the origins of Christianity, and how the fledgling religion somehow catapulted to popularity when its central claims were bereft of any historical truth. My last point is something of an ad hominem, but it is still true - JM proponents are not writing history with their publications, but polemics. For what it's worth, their scholarship is a highly agendized tool intended for the purposes of undermining Christianity. This can be gleaned from the acceptance of long-outdated scholarship, such as the theories of the anthropologist Sir James Frazer who theorized that primitive peoples connected agricultural cycles to "corn spirits" which they then developed into a primitive theology of these corn spirits dying annually and then being reborn in the form of a divine king. Supposedly, then, from this concept emerged primitive religious belief systems such as those associated with figures like Attis, Adonis, Osirus, Horus, Mithras and others. Christianity, then, is just another form of this dying-rising god archetype. Needless to say, this view has been widely discredited for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the whole concept of the dying-rising savior god is a farce, and none of the figures given as examples actually fit the category. Furthermore, to make the connection between figures like Adonis et. al. requires such an idiosyncratic interpretation of both the pagan myths and the Christian story to be disingenuous. Such interpretations also widen the category of what ought to be considered a "mythical figure" to such a latitude that it would include patently non-mythical figures such as Napoléon Bonaparte or Hannibal to fit the bill (indeed, the JM has been satirized to no end on the internet for precisely this reason; see here for example). So, those are my reasons for advocating the JM be considered pseudohistory.--LightGrenade04 (talk) 17:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I have a number of problems with the claims you make here:

  1. The main "first-rate historian" you quote equivocates from "no serous scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus'" to "or at any rate very few". This implies that at least some "serous scholars" may postulate it. The other is likewise careful to frame his words in terms of "nearly all historians".
  2. My impression is that 'arguments from silence' are not condemned per se by scholars -- Feldman mentions favourably arguments from silence from Norden on the authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum (Josephus, the Bible and History, p431), as one example immediately to hand.
  3. Your analogy to Bonaparte is completely fallacious, as we have independent contemporaneous accounts of him, many of which would still be extant in the original.
  4. Condemning JM as 'polemics' while citing the article strikes me as WP:POT.

I would conclude by asking whether a hypothesis, which has a reasonably respectable early history, but is now largely been discarded as unsubstantiatable (but by its nature cannot be disproven outright), can be labelled as "pseudohistorical"? At the very least, lacking a less equivocal condemnation, the label appears to be WP:SYNTH. HrafnTalkStalk 05:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Regarding your points:
  1. I think this is really grasping at straws. Obviously what is meant is that in the contemporary academic community of historians, the JM simply isn't a serious hypothesis (indeed, few historians have even taken the time to interact with it at all). That is the point, and to make an issue out of there being a few historians here and there who've defended it is just parochial (and honestly, I do not believe there are any modern examples of a historian holding to JM aside from Doherty - although I'm open to correction here). So, it's not something that's just a "minority opinion". I don't think it has garnered enough support to even fit that category.
  2. I will concede your point here with the caveat that as I understand, an argument from silence is (while it may be acceptable under some circumstances) is less than desirable, and really only justified when one ought to expect evidence that one does not, in fact, find. I think the old adage, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is the general rule until it has been established that one ought to find evidence where one has not found it, and the field has been sufficiently surveyed for it. So, in this instance - and when dealing with ancient history especially - arguments from silence are not justified since there's no reason to expect any regurgitations of biographical information about Jesus in the Pauline epistles. Paul simply didn't have an occasion or need to mention such things in elaborate detail as he was dealing with specific controversies/problems that had arisen in the particular communities he was writing to; furthermore, Paul does reference biographical information intermittently, so the so-called "silence of Paul" is largely overblown.
  3. I think you've misunderstood the point about Bonaparte - I was not trying to argue that "denying the historicity of Jesus is like denying the historicity of Napoleon" or anything along those lines. What I was saying is this: JM proponents, in their analysis of various mythological paradigms, widen the definition of who fits the category of "mythological" to such a degree, that by their methods one could place figures like Bonaparte or Hannibal in that same mythological category. That's all I was trying to say.
  4. Well, all I'm just trying to do is give an overview of how people have responded to the JM hypothesis. Indeed, the article I linked to contains a bit of satire, but the author of that site is actually a professional historian, and has criticized JM in more sober tones elsewhere on the site.--LightGrenade04 (talk) 00:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
  1. I find it interesting that a web-search for your Grant quote leads directly to Christopher Price's list on -- as the sole online source of this quote. This is also the sole online source for your Stanton quote.
  2. More interesting yet is that a search of "Christopher Price" & "jesus myth" leads rather quickly to a claim by Doherty that in the passage Grant was explicitly quoting earlier opinions rather than making his own independent judgement -- quotation marks that Price appears to have omitted. Do you have Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels to hand so that you can confirm or refute this allegation? Unrefuted, it further waters down this already equivocal condemnation.
  3. Further investigation reveals that Price is a lawyer & only an amateur historian[1] and that far from being an experienced historian James Hannam has only "recently submitted his PhD".[2], and that both are fairly militant Christians.
  4. This leads to the possibility that the opinions cited may have been cherry-picked from the more conservative, evangelical ranks of Biblical Studies, and may not reflect the overall consensus, which might well be of some middle ground between said conservatives and the 'Jesus Myth' radicals.
  5. Your defence of your Bonaparte analogy is erroneous, as 'Jesus Myth'-style 'arguments from silence' would quite simply fail to dismiss somebody as frequently, independently and contemporaneously mentioned as Bonaparte.

HrafnTalkStalk 15:21, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Added Christ myth theory. The hypothesis is endorsed, not by reputable historians of the period, but by a handful of radically skeptical, secularist or New Age authors, journalists, and professors of other subjects, who lack advanced degrees in ancient history. This example, along with some of the others up there, still needs source citations, however. (talk) 09:27, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Historical fiction[edit]

What this article really needs is something that distinguishes pseudohistory from historical fiction (i.e. The DaVinci Code is a questionable example).--Wikiphilia 05:24, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Not a bad idea. Fiction itself isn't pseudohistory, but it can be based upon it, which the Da Vinci Code certainly is. DreamGuy 06:46, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
We should also mention the terrible, and terribly popular, pseudohistory movies of Oliver Stone. (talk) 08:12, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Prehistoric advanced civilizations[edit]

Would this belong in the pseudohistory section? I read a book a long time ago which claimed that Mohenjo-Daro in India was the site of a prehistoric atomic bombing (this is also supposedly described in The Mahabharata). Presumably, there was an advanced civilization in the past which wiped itself out with nuclear weapons and mankind started over again. I'm not really sure where this would go. Squad51 (talk) 18:40, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Faulty logic[edit]

I have removed the following paragraph from the article:

Calling something "pseudohistory" assumes that there is a correct historiographical method, and ultimately a single objectively true account of a given set of facts. This analysis is not consistent with certain metaphysical theories, particularly relativist views of historical affairs, which would reject the notion of any truth outside language. (See, for example, Richard Rorty's Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity).

This is just wrong. It is claiming that "some things are not true" must imply "only one thing is true", which simply does not follow. (talk) 21:36, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Straw man. The para is reasonable as is.Verklempt (talk) 22:33, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't remove it altogether, just mention that the distinction is criticized by postmodernist historiographies who eschew all notions of objectivity. I agree that postmodernism is nonsense (indeed all history is "somebody's story" or an interpretation of an event, but what they don't seem to realize is some interpretations are vastly more probable than others aside from relativism's self-referential incoherence) but since this is supposed to be an encyclopedia, it should just be mentioned.--LightGrenade04 (talk) 23:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Protocols of the Elders of Zion & Pseudohistory[edit]

Forgeries (e.g. the Hitler Diaries) are not, of themselves, 'pseudohistory'. However any historical claims made on the basis of clear forgeries would be. Last I heard, Neo-nazi (& similar) groups were still making claims on the basis of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. All it would require would be a prominent source for such claims. HrafnTalkStalk 02:21, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Barton example: Not well-cited, biased[edit]

All three sources are political polemics, not valid historical sources. I'd like to see one justification for putting sneer quotes around the word Christian. A.J.A. (talk) 04:37, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Arlen Specter is a member of Barton's own political party, and writing in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy -- hardly "political polemics". The quotation marks are to reflect that the foundation of the United States cannot legitimately be considered "Christian" -- as the document that founded said nation (the United States Constitution) was framed in carefully non-religious language.
Your reasons why it can't be a political polemic are non sequiturs. Your defense of the sneer quotes is equally a non-sequitur: the sentence in the article (and the one right here, for that matter) reflects your personal POV quite well without needing the rhetorical overkill of sneer quotes. It seems you are incapable of even writing the word Christian without symbolic insulation to keep the God cooties off. And your POV ought not to be reflected in the article at all, of course, even if your argument were a good one, which it isn't; the United States was founded 11 years before the Constitution was written, and its founding, like every political act, was not the work of a document but of human beings, many of whom were Christians. A.J.A. (talk) 07:00, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
And now the sources are used properly, as sources for their own views, not The Truth. A.J.A. (talk) 07:09, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. Your claim that "All three sources are political polemics" is an unsubstantiated bald assertion -- with zero probitive value.
  2. Your claim that "Your reasons why it can't be a political polemic are non sequiturs" is fallacious.
  3. Your claim that "Your defense of the sneer quotes is equally a non-sequitur" is likewise fallacious.
  4. Your ill-mannered, ill-considered rant "the sentence in the article (and the one right here, for that matter) reflects your personal POV quite well without needing the rhetorical overkill of sneer quotes. It seems you are incapable of even writing the word Christian without symbolic insulation to keep the God cooties off. And your POV ought not to be reflected in the article at all, of course, even if your argument were a good one, which it isn't; the United States was founded 11 years before the Constitution was written, and its founding, like every political act, was not the work of a document but of human beings, many of whom were Christians" is a gross violation of WP:AGF and will be ignored as such.

HrafnTalkStalk 07:17, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

It seems my points hit home. Now please, try writing a new response when you're calm enough for reasoned discourse. A.J.A. (talk) 07:44, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
"It seems" that your vacuous points missed the mark completely. I have provided multiple scholarly (as well as mainstream) sources for the rejection of Barton's '"Christian foundation' claims among historians. Can you point to any (let alone any substantial) support for his claims in the historical community? 10:36, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think you know what a non sequitur is.
You have four sources. They are:
  1. Arlen Spector. Not scholarly.
  2. An op-ed mislabeled as a news report relying entirely on "Chris Rodda, author of the book Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History". Not scholarly.
  3. People for the American Way. Not scholarly.
  4. Doesn't actually say anything about Barton. Ah, it does: a single throwaway line which doesn't interact with any of Barton substantive claims. I'm not familiar with the Boston Theological Institute as a whole, but this particular publication is not scholarly.
Your edit summary cites WP:WEASEL, while ignoring the spirit of that guideline: it doesn't mean articles should state opinion as fact, but rather "The key to improving weasel words in articles is either a) to name a source for the opinion (attribution) or b) to change opinionated language to concrete facts (substantiate it)." (BTW, your opinion is not a concrete fact, no matter how strongly you hold it.) A.J.A. (talk) 16:25, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I concur with A.J.A. that Barton ought to be removed from the list of examples. The sources provided are mostly political POV and far from authoritative in an historical capacity. Hypothetically, if I were to turn in an historiography paper, titled, "Why David Barton Ought to Be Considered a Pseudohistorian," and argued my case using those references, I would get a terrible grade and rightfully so. (talk) 09:02, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


If these are commonly-cited examples of pseudohistory, shouldn't they probably have citations calling them pseudohistory? (talk) 19:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Oriental empire!!![edit]

It doesn't say anything about the so called Byzantine empire. The word Byzantine postdates the empire and shouldn't be called Byzantine but Eastern-Roman or simply Roman or Oriental instead of Byzantine. Thats a very clear example of pseudohistory.-- (talk) 21:07, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Ummm, no — numerous historical empires, etc are most-commonly known by non-contemporaneous names. This has nothing to do with 'pseudohistory', unless and until you can find a solid RS to the contrary. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 22:01, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Historical revisionism (negationism)[edit]

Historical revisionism (negationism) and this article should be more tightly coupled. Neither article refers to the other, even though conceptually they are related. "Pseudohistory" is a pejorative term meant to discredit and so those who write such histories don't call it pseudohistory, rather they co-op the legitimate history term Historical revisionism and thus we have an article Historical revisionism (negationism) as a way of distinguishing between the legitimate and illegitimate forms of historical revisionism. But since most (all?) pseudohistory is revisionist in nature (challenging existing narratives with bogus facts), is there any real difference between pseudohistory and Historical revisionism (negationism)? Currently Historical revisionism (negationism) is focused on 20th C mass murder but it could be expanded to include many forms of revisionism including the so-called pseudohistories.

I've cc:'d this post at Talk:Historical_revisionism_(negationism)#Pseudohistory. Green Cardamom (talk) 14:33, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

"Commonly cited examples" of Pseudohistory[edit]

I have deleted the recently added mention of the Shakespeare Authorship Question as a "commonly cited example" example, which was added by a drop-by editor who is trying to delete or reclassify all mentions of this minority viewpoint from various wikipedia articles [[3]], [[4]], [[5]] and [[6]]. The editor has twice deleted the SAQ from the article on Historical revisionism, wanting the issue reclassified and placed here as a "commonly cited example of Pseudoistory". However no references were cited to support this claim. On the other hand, here is a link to a related discussion where a consensus developed that the SAQ was an example of Fringe Theory/Historical revisionism [[7]]. And here is a link to a mainstream reference that uses the term "revisionist" in describing the SAQ [[8]] (paragraph 5), and one that uses the same term in reference to authorship questions in general [[9]] (second to last paragraph). Comments from regular editors of this page are certainly appreciated. And are there any suggestions concerning what to do about this editor and his attempt to delete minority viewpoints from these pages??? Smatprt (talk) 11:02, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Here's the discussion that's a bit less dated. This issue has been settled. If you want to bring it up at the noticeboard again, feel free. But don't make controversial edits against the editorial consensus. And every one of those edits you cite are in conformity to Wikipedia policy. The edits they replaced were not. Tom Reedy (talk) 13:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
To say this issue is "settled" is inaccurate. Because you and another like minded editor agree on something, hardly means that it is settled. There has been no general discussion, no consensus building, etc. This section was a mess and needs significant help if it is to stay at all. "Commonly cited examples" should be just that - and the examples must be cited to actual discussions of the topic at hand, not a collection of passing comments from nay-sayers.Smatprt (talk) 17:20, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The SAQ is cited from four sources, all of which are RS and all of which discuss the "topic at hand", being citations of the SAQ as pseudohistory. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I see little controversial in Smatprt's edit. He largely removed uncited claims that certain theories are claimed to be pseudohistorical. You've replaced all of those uncited claims (removing a few citations that he added). There may be other changes he made that are more controversial (I didn't read carefully), but uncited examples ought to be sourced or removed. Phiwum (talk) 16:54, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Only if contentious. Which ones are contentious? Dougweller (talk) 18:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
The article, as evidenced by the talk page and archives, is wholly contentious. Anything listed as "commonly cited" needs to be cited to researchers who are discussing the actual topic of pseudohistory - not to passing comments made by advocates or private "debunkers". Smatprt (talk) 20:12, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Your interpretation is incorrect. Topics that are commonly cited as being pseudohistory in discussions about them in reliable sources qualifies them for inclusion. As you know, the Shakespeare Authorship Question is commonly described as being pseudohistory and a fringe theory in reliable sources. And just FYI, historical revisionism is not a fringe theory. Tom Reedy (talk) 20:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I have restored the RS supported examples, and would ask Smarprt to stop his blatant advocacy. Continued editing of this sort could lead to a community topic ban. Verbal chat 20:38, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

This is a single user editing against consensus. It's not a problem, because as long as the single editor is just edit-warring, there will be no change to the article.

But while we are here, why do we not try to improve the article? The Shakespeare authorship question is indeed fringe scholarship, but is it a good example of pseudohistory? I am afraid you are building Frankenstein here, trying to contort the classification of "pseudohistory" from soundbites taken out of context.

"In short, this is a history written in opposition to the current prevailing view".
note, "a history", not "history". also "in opposition to the current prevailing view" is enough to support "fringe", but not "pseudo". There is a difference.
"The possibility that Shakespeare may not really be Shakespeare, comic in the context of literary history and pseudo-history"
the "literary" modifies both "history" and "pseudo-history", so the best you can do is say that the Shakespeare thing has been named "comic in the context of literary pseudo-history"
"There is, however, a psychological or anthropological question to be answered about our consumption of pseudo-history and pseudoscience" -- this is a comment on pseudo-scholarship (pseudo-history, pseudo-science) in general

In short, I fully agree that the "Shakespeare is not Shakespeare" publications are fringe scholarship, but they are not a good example of pseudo-history specifically. --dab (𒁳) 09:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm happy with that. Dougweller (talk) 09:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
One problem is that User:Smatprt sees this as a dichotomy: the SAQ is not pseudohistory because it is historical revisionism. It patently is not historical revisionism in the scholastic sense of the word (which is all that counts since it is a description of a scholarly process) unless you mean Historical revisionism (negationism).
To respond to the points above:
  • "In short, this is a history written in opposition to the current prevailing view". I submit that every example of pseudohistory is "a" history. No pseudohistory purports to rewrite all history (unless you're talking about L. Ron Hubbard).
  • "The possibility that Shakespeare may not really be Shakespeare, comic in the context of literary history and pseudo-history" Your interpretation demands a different construction: "The possibility that Shakespeare may not really be Shakespeare, comic in the context of literary pseudo-history" instead of "literary history and pseudo-history." It is clearly comic in the context of both types, and your interpretation is strained, to say the least.
  • "There is, however, a psychological or anthropological question to be answered about our consumption of pseudo-history and pseudoscience." Look at the source. It is from a section entitled “The anti-Stratfordians” in a book about pseudohistory, which should be evident from its title: Voodoo Histories, so it is not a comment on pseudohistory, but a comment on anti-Stratfordism.
I take it you don't disagree with Kathman's quotation. He is the author of the section on anti-Stratfordism in Shakespeare: an Oxford Guide published by the Oxford University Press, about as authoritative a source as you'll find on the subject.
I also question dab's statements that "'Shakespeare is not Shakespeare' publications are fringe scholarship, but they are not a good example of pseudo-history specifically" and that the example "is enough to support 'fringe', but not 'pseudo'. There is a difference." The definition in the article is "pseudohistory is a methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be historic, but which does not adhere to an appropriate historic methodology, and lacks supporting evidence or plausibility". Can you point out where anti-Stratfordism does not fit that definition? My understanding is that all pseudohistory is fringe scholarship, but not all fringe scholarship is pseudohistory. Correct me if I'm in error.[[User:Tom Reedy (talk) 19:19, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem, Tom, is that you are lumping all authorship researchers together and then attempting to attach a pejorative label to the group as a whole. This same approach could be (mistakenly) applied to mainstream Shakespeare scholars, some of whom do not adhere to a strict historic methodology - specifically the numerous scholars who use lines or characters from the plays to infer biographical data about Shakespeare of Stratford. It would not be fair to those who do follow the correct methodology to include them in such a group. Likewise, authorship researchers such as Diana Price [10], or academics such as Dr. Daniel Wright [11] or Professor William Leahy [12] - who do follow historic methodology when conducting their research - should not be lumped with researchers who do not follow such methodology.
  • Also - this section is for "commonly cited examples". The strained references you have supplied, as explained by Dab, do not support the designation of a "commonly cited" example. If it was a common example, it should be easy to find multiple undisputed references with such a designation.
  • Regarding your opening comment, please do not put words in my mouth. I have never said that the SAQ is not pseudohistory "because" it is historical revisionism. I made the case, citing multiple references, that the SAQ is an example of revisionism, which is defined as "the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event. The revisionist assumes the interpretation of a historical event or period, as accepted by the majority of scholars, needs significant change." At the time, the regular Fringe Theory Noticeboard editors agreed with this designation.
  • The historical "event", of course, is the writing of the plays. No one denies the plays were written, and no one denies that Shakespeare of Stratford existed. In fact, many authorship researchers believe that Shakespeare of Stratford played a part (but more as play broker than playwright). So it's not denial, it's certainly not negationism. It's revisionism. But again, we are talking about apples and oranges. Based on the discussion here on Wikipedia, it is probably best to describe the SAQ not as pseudohistory or revisionism, but merely as a borderline fringe theory (since here on Wiki, ANYTHING that disagrees with the mainstream view is labeled as "Fringe".) But academic research on the SAQ is ongoing, several major universities teach and research the subject. I doubt that can be said of moon landing hoaxes and the like. Smatprt (talk) 21:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Your first objection is like arguing that the 9/11 conspiracy theory should not be categorised as a fringe theory because some of the theorists use historical methods in their research. The Shakespeare Authorship Question is a fringe theory and a pseudohistory because it claims to be historic, that conclusion is based on methodologies not accepted by the field of literary scholarship, and it lacks supporting evidence of the kind accepted by historians, literary or otherwise. I don't know what type of methodology William Leahy uses, but I have read Dan Wright's work and he does not adhere to accepted historiographical methodology. Whatever method they claim to use is immaterial; this article is not concerned with them but the classification of a particular theory.

Your second objection is a non-sequiter. I did cite multiple references, all of which are WP:RS, and they were easy to find. I have more if you're interested, but I feel like I've already done more than what is required by Wikipedia standards. I've certainly provided as many or more than other examples on the list have.

As to your denial that you ever said the SAQ is not pseudohistory because it is historical revisionism, I direct any interested readers to the revision history of the fringe theory article. And why don't we compare the "multiple references" you cited as support for the SAQ being historical revision with those I cite for it being pseudohistory? I think it will be very easy to determine which set is "strained." The type of revisionism Jim Shapiro refers to is Historical revisionism (negationism), "a particular form of historical revisionism concerned with the denial of facts accepted by mainstream historians," not Historical revisionism "the critical re-examination of presumed historical facts and existing historiography."

Your misunderstanding of the nature of historical revisionism is almost total. You should take a course in historiography. And there are quite a few university courses devoted to pseudo-scholastic topics, holocaust denial being the most well-known. There are entire universities devoted to homeopathy and literal interpretations of the Bible. The SAQ is not merely "a borderline fringe theory"; it's deep in there and has been described more than once as the "mother of conspiracy theories". And I don't know of any major universities that "teach and research the subject". Tom Reedy (talk) 03:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

yeah, Tom, I think you are belabouring the point now. I have agreed that the SAQ can arguably stay listed in the article. It isn't a classic example of "history" because it concerns literary history in particular. Of course literary history is history too, but compare it to all the other items listed and see how it stands out. Whatever. Some people may have (almost, obliquely) called it "pseudohistory", so it can stay, but we shouldn't call it so in Wikipedia's voice. Nobody suggests that every item on the planet that can possibly be described as "pseudohistory" should be listed here, it's just an open list of a few typical items. Therefore I see no reason to obsess over the SAQ in particular, this isn't the place. --dab (𒁳) 16:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I understand. Unfortunately, belabouring the point is the default form of discourse when dealing with anti-Stratfordians. I know very few admins who are happy that they stepped into this issue; most of them probably rue the day, as do I at times. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Can smatprt please stop removing sourced content without consensus to do so. Feel free to start an RfC and when it closes get someone else to decide whether to remove the material or not. Verbal chat 17:00, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The SAQ clearly belongs here. Removing it is POV-pushing against scholarly consensus as well as Wikipedia consensus. DreamGuy (talk) 19:01, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The section begins "The following are some commonly cited examples of pseudohistory:". The word "commonly" adds nothing useful and would be better removed. More importantly, the word "cited" implies, rightly, that the attributions of the label "pseudohistory" to the given examples are meant to be sourced. Therefore the SAQ does indeed belong there, but the several examples for which no source is given should all be deleted. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 20:00, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Or sources found, as it wouldn't stop being commonly cited as an example of pseudohistory just because someone hasn't done the work yet. Only ones for which no reliable sources exist should be removed. DreamGuy (talk) 21:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Samueltheghost, are you going to do anything to find the citations you are asking for? 15 if I've counted correctly? Normally anyone tagging an article this way would be reverted - it does look like a WP:POINT edit. Dougweller (talk) 13:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
You can interpret it that way if you want. The nature of the POINT is that I would be very surprised if sources existed for many of them. Just because you think some historical theory is wrong doesn't mean that a WP:RS has characterised it as pseudohistory. Those who made the entries in the first place were behaving irresponsibly if they didn't know of sources, so it is clearly also their responsibility to share that information with the rest of us. I can't be tasked with searching for something whose existence I doubt. The tags will be individually dated, so that after a suitable time interval it will be appropriate to delete those entrie which are still unsourced. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:00, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
You will have to let the consensus decide what a "suitable time period" is. If you remove them yourself you will be confirming the WP:POINT and WP:POV violations that you are being accused of. DreamGuy (talk) 00:49, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
And WP:VERIFY doesn't relieve responsibility from the person doing the tagging to make an effort to find sources. And I challenge the suggestion that it is irresponsible to label the obvious as pseudohistory - we are supposed to use WP:COMMONSENSE also, and in addition only fact tag the contentious. The suggestion that calling Holocaust denial pseudohistory contentious (and doubting that there is a source saying so) is to me repugnant. And some obvious ones may simmply have been ignored by those writing about pseudohistory, eg Illig, the Two Babylons, etc. Dougweller (talk) 05:27, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Lede definition[edit]

I've tweaked it a bit, but a big problem is that there is another type of pseudohistory that approaches legends and mythology, such as the King Arthur tales or Atlantis, as well as politically-inspired histories such as Holinshed's Chronicles, Thomas More's Tudor history of Richard III, or that written by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Tom Reedy (talk) 03:28, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a WP:RS which describes any of these cases as "pseudohistory"? SamuelTheGhost (talk) 10:53, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
There you go again. How hard is it to type "King Arthur" and pseudohistory into Google Books? Or Holinshed and pseudohistory? Why don't you do simple checks before you ask? Dougweller (talk) 11:41, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I should have thanks Tom Reedy for pointing this out. And here's another one, Annio da Viterbo, who made up a pseudo-history about Viterbo to prove it was the cradle of civilization, crediting it to Berossus. That might be an interesting inclusion. Dougweller (talk) 11:50, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks to Dougweller for his helpful advice. It appears on a cursory examination that Holinshed's Chronicles are not generally described as pseudohistory but that Shakespearean history is. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 12:57, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Do a Google Books search on "Holinshed" and "pseudohistory". You'll find a number of references, too many for me to list at the moment. Tom Reedy (talk) 21:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

That led me to Raphael Holinshed's article, which was mainly not about him about about the Chronicles. And that was almost all copyvio, so I've removed most if it, reworded a bit. The Chronicles needs a separate article. Dougweller (talk) 10:08, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Sagas are sagas, i.e. fiction and not pseudohistory in the usual sense. However, when fiction is presented as true history by an author claiming it to be true history also outside the book, then the fiction functions as pseudohistory and disinformation. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:39, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Pseudohistory Acceptance of teh Mainstram[edit]

I have a question about the Pseudohistory of the article.

There have been historians out that have had theories that were not accepted by the mainstream here a long time, that were considered "pseudohistory", but are now accepted fact. Everybody has an opinion, but you can't blacklist an opinion in a world full of crazy ideas and stuff like that. What about Zaloga and his assertion that German cavalry did not charge German panzers?

That would have been considered pseudohistory. I think the definition is wrong because "theories outside the mainstream" aren't always false" because sometimes, with careful examination, they've been found to be fact. I think this article has a wrong definition because pseduohistory is revising history.

So Nicholas-Goodrick Clarke is false history even though he has documented facts to back it up? Nazis like Himmler were into the dark arts and that cannot be whitewashed like this page wants to do. Do you History and Military Channel would air false information? I think not.

Is the whole concept of their occult links false? They had documented links as proven in these TV shows. It is kind pseudohistory in the sense of creating a false history of a master race, which the article does not even state at all. Where is it in the article? Danniken, what if one day, he is right? Then what? People were thought of as crackpots way back when, but that does not mean we should blacklist them like what this page does. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Patchman123 (talkcontribs) 22:36, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Category:Pseudohistory and Category:Pseudohistorians[edit]

Please consider joining the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2011_May_5#Category:Pseudohistory about the deletion of Category:Pseudohistory and Category:Pseudohistorians, and the need for categories to be well-defined. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:55, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Humberto Fontova[edit]

Humberto Fontova has been put in the category of "pseudohistory," even though the info he cites comes from Cuban government sources who have witness Che's bloody executions and there is footage depicted some of the executions on TV in 1959 A.D. So how can Humberto be placed in the category of pseudohistory, just because he disagrees with mainstream academia, who are biased politically? I just think that it is not fair to denigrate someone else's control opinion that has evidence.

What about Larry Flynn's book about Presidential scandals called "One nation under Sex?" This would be pseudohistory because it has alternate theories about the presidents of the USA.

Is this woman in this video, "pseudohistory?" There is documented evidence showing Che doing what he did and Humberto Fontova is not the only one with such an opinion. I question why he is put there in pseudohistory. These are people that witnessed it. There is footage on Cuban television of a police chief being executed in 1959. Everybody has a bad side, I know. Let's consider all view points, okay? Sadly I see a violation of NPOV in this article. Kosovo has been owned by Serbia since the 7th Century and it's not pseudohistory at all that Serbia owns Kosovo because it's thoroughly documented. Do you think all those Orthodox Churches in Kosovo are just made up out of thin air?

I question the article because people in the past had theories about history, and were proven correct because they had EVIDENCE to back it up. Pseudohistory is purely an opinion of what history is and I believe the current definition to be incorrect because views that require a substational rewrite of history. COME ON! Historians DEBATE history and if one has different info that is backed up with info, then it's not pseudohistory, even though Wikipedia says it is because it is a theory that if proven correct requires a rewrite of history.

I guess wikipedia hates to write history and different interpretations of history and getting history correct and cudgeling debate on history by silencing those that disagree with it. Oh well, then. Pseudohistory should be anything false that pretends to be history, not anything with a different theory that requires a rewrite of history. Oh come on! Patchman123 (talk) 03:13, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Christ/Jesus Myth Theory[edit]

I see that there was some talk on adding the C/JMT to this article. What is the current status of this discussion?

Speculative history[edit]

"How is speculative history 'pseudohistory'...?"

How is speculative history "pseudohistory" when historians often speculate about how the past might have been? to suggest that anything that speculates how the past might not have happened because of x or y events, with substantial evidence to back it up, with rational basis in fact, i.e. Alternative history, is not pseudohistory, but Wikipedia seems to not be real clear in this area of definition. Pseudohistory should be anything that falsifies history. Speculative history is not necessarily pseudohistory because controversial works of history are not always pseudohistory especially, if there is evidence to back it up with historical research, like saying that France could have attacked Western Germany in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and caught the Germans off guard and destroyed them is not pseudohistory, but Steven Zaloga in his book about the Polish Campaign in 1939, writes a sentence about this. This is a form of speculating about the past, based on evidence. Speculating about the past, based on rational evidence and rational facts and making a correct surmised guess based on logic and reason and based on a reasoning of facts, is not, nor will it ever be pseudohistory. This article has too many vague statements in it to suggest that the field of alternative history, based on speculation, something historians do all the time, mainstream historians and do not lie to achieve anything fake or bullshit anything to falsify for a personal agenda, THEY JUST USE FACTS TO BACK UP AN ARGUMENT! Speculative history based on logic and reasoning is not pseudohistory if it's based on a set of events placed in a logical and timely order, but this article seems to think that the whole field of alternative history is pseudohistory based on Mr. Carrol's statements in this article. The article is not defined on the subject. It quotes Michael Shermer, when he says falsifying history, which is a more ACCURATE definition than Mr> Carrol's definition, which believees that pseudohistory is alternative speculative history that takes into account the facts and uses reasoning.

Germany could have won the U-boat war had they had more than 300 U-boats that Doenitz asked for. This is a real bit of historical information. This is not pseudohistory, as it is based on offical statements by Doenitz and the whole situation in the Atlantic. Without an invasion, Hitler might have connived a negotiated peace with Stalin, freeing up countless German troops for action on the Western Front. This in turn could have led to the atomic bomb being dropped on Berlin in 1945, rather than on Hiroshima.

Is THIS "pseudohistory?" According to Wikipedia's unspecified and vague defintion of pseudohistory it is, even though it uses rational facts and rational statments based on a logical pattern. Had Hitler had more Me-262 jet fighters, he could have won the war. But this is not pseudohistory because there is evidence based on the effects that the Me-262 had on the Allied bomber crews in World War II and the shock that it created that specifying if he had more Me-262 jet fighters, he could have whipped the Allies, but according to Wiki this is pseudohistory, even though speculating history based on facts and actual historical debate makes history more fun, because cut and dried history is boring sometimes because specifying about how the past happened is not pseudohistory, even though Wikipedia says that it is according to this vague definition of pseudohistory, using real reasoning and real history and debating historical issues about alternative history is something that historians do all the time in mainstream colleges, or on TV shows based on ACTUAL evidence and specifying based on reasonable conclusions and reasonable information and specifying that if the Allies had been better at armored warfare in 1940, they could have beaten the German army because they had more tanks. This is common among historians when debating the 1940 Panzer campaign agasnst France, but this is pseuodhistory accordign to this website, which is not accurate because debating the past and debating about what could have happened BASED ON ACTUAL history is NOT pseudohistory because it uses actual evidence, but this tabloid nonsense written in this article says that new and controversial theories are pseudohistory, even though many of them are correct and use actual evidence and plethora of information to prove them, and do not rely on the poorly-written style of this article. The Carroll Definition is vague and unspecified in the area of speculative history and speculating and debating the history is an important part of preserving history for future generations because it makes the point of using facts in a logical argument based on evidence, based on logic and reason, based on straying from convetional history because it comes up with the idea of based on a logical thought-out pattern of events, based on evidence, based on historical documents, etc based on an understanding of history that if we do not debate the issues of the past and speculative history, we lose it forever because we are not informed on historical past issues to be able to make reasoned arguments in a debate to form a discussion among historians. Debating the past is not pseudohistory, but Wikipedia says so based on a vague and unspecified definition by sayign that speculating about history with controversial theories based on real history is pseudohistory, which it is not becuase it has proven info and logica and reasoned debates among historians. Oh, it suddenly strays form conventional history, even though the Me-262 debate about its efficitveness and what it could have been among aviation historians and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, or the effectiveness of what could have been had the Germans had MORE of them and better models, etc is NOT pseudohistory because of logical argumetns. But Wikipedia suggests that it's pseudohistory because it used speculative history based on facts that is controversial. I suppose Walter Boyne is now pseudohistory, even THOUGH he uses rational speculation based on an availabilty of German technology, based on industrial German production figures, based on Allied reports, etc to form a logical picture. But, Wikipedia says that this is pseudohistory, EVEN THOUGH IT IS MOST CERTAINLY not because it uses a logical and thought-out pattern. Controversial theories are all over the news, but many are not pseudohistory because they use real history and logical reasoned arguments to back them up,

But no Wikipedia thinks that the whole field of speculative history, alternative history, is pseudohistory based on vague statements of an author and contradictory definitions, saying that alternative history based on reasoning is pseudohistory, (not accurate), Falsifying history Michael Shermer, (more ACCURATE definition in my opinion.) between these two definitions which contradict each other. Wikipedia says that alternative speculating history is pseudohistory, even though it maybe based on facts, have logical reasoned, arguments, despite the fact that the article incorrectly states that this is not mainstream debating among academics. History does not need to be a history journal to be pseudohistory, because sometimes ignored statements and lost documents and lost historical data from the Civil war for example, based on a reasoned and thought out argument about if Pickett had not charged at Gettysburg had the Confederates done this and this differently from what actually happened. Speculative history and alternate history based on rational fact, IS NOT always pseudohistory, nor will it be. Historians speculate about history all the time, that is not necessarily pseudohistory because it uses logical debate and argument to form a picture to have an historically accurate picture. IF the Confederates had done x and y instead of a or b at Gettysburg for example. they could have won. I've heard historians say this, MAINSTREAM historians that debate the issues, but Wikipedia wrongly says that it is not always debated by mainstream historians. This destroys history because and fails to preserve it because people do not know what is wrong or right and are not informed on the issues of history to form an opinion based on rationality and rational fact-finding and research is not pseudohistory, nor is speculating about it pseudohistory about wishing for an alternate income based on a soldier's opinion in a diary about what could have been different about the past based on his experiences in a battle is not PSEUDOHISTORY either, even though Wikipedia says that any speculative history is pseudohistory, which it is not. Why not just put the whole field of alternative history based on logical debate and reasoning in the category of pseudohistory, instead of being informed and properly debating the historical issues and using speculative history to better understand history and the past, which is NOT pseudohistory, because IT HELPS preserve it and makes people more informed about the past. Speculative history is not always pseudohistory, even though this article says that it is, even though it is not and historians speculate all the time about what history could have been because it's called DEBATING HISTORY AND BETTER UNDERSTANDING THE PAST FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO PRESERVE it forever. Let's just call the field of historical debate and better understanding of the past as pseudohistory, while we're at, even though this article is totally wrong because controversial theories are sometimes correct because they have evidence to back them up and verify them. I guess historians who want to better understand the past and debate the past in a reasonable and logical manner is pseudohistory. The statement is anti-intellectual because intellectuals debate about speculative and new and controversial details of history because they use facts and arguments and documents and documented historical evidence, archives, history and have a love and understanding of history, which is NOT, NOR WILL IT EVER be pseudohistory. Please be a little more clear on the definition of it and do not call debating the issues of the past to better understand them for history's preserving had so and so, did this step or that step, as pseudohistory, in this article. Which it's not because it better understands history for future generations as is debated and being debated by historians in major universities all over the world. This is NOT pseudohistory, nor will it ever be. Thank you very much. Speculating about an event using logic and disproving rationally conspiracy theories is not pseudohistory. Conspiracy theories based on an historical event based on a logical pattern and one's one better understanding of the past and understanding the past based on an argument on the internet that challenges history to create arguments for the purpose of debate, IS NOT always pseudohistory, because it uses facts and reasoning. Let's just call all theories of history based on historical events pseudohistory, that eliminates understanding of the past, and creates confusion, and creates problems, and uses theories to better understand a theory to put a mystery to rest based on an argument someone presented based on their understanding of an historical events, such as the JFK assassination or the Titanic, is not always pseudohistory, or wrong or flawed because debating and better understanding the past and clearing up confusion about the past to better understand it is not pseudohistory and nor will it ever be, but Wikipedia says that it is, even though IT IS not and never will be because it helps people better understand history for future generations, which the point of preserving history.

Clearing up historical mysteries for better historical understanding of the past is not pseuodhistory, even though this article says that it is, even though it helps clear up confusion and clarify the past to better understand it because it helps the preservation of history based on logical arguments and clearing up historical mysteries in a rational manner, and not the sensationalistic National Enquirer like manner presented in this article. Please do not call the field of speculative arguements based on reasoning to better understand the past as "pseudohistory" because it helps preserve it for future generations and clears up questions uninformed people may have about history because it helps people to better understand it, which helps preserve history. I suppose a theory a high school student has about an historical event, based on their own confusion and lack of understanding of it and using logical reasoning and questioning to better understand history is pseudohistory, even though it is not. Speculating history and speculative history is not always pseudohistory because debating and understanding the issues based on the actual historical evidence for better understading of the past is not pseudohistory, nor should it be. Please be a little more clear on the definition of speculative hjistory and controversial theories of history, debated by mainstream academics to better understand history and by history buffs themselves had x or y event not happened in history. It's not pseudohistory because it has evidence to prove something, which helps clear up skepticism and any confusing questions and theories people may have about history. Speculating about history helps preserve it. It helps preserve it for future generations. It is NOT pseudohistory.

Please be a little more specific about the definition of pseudohistory, because speculating and alternative and controversial historical theories are COMMON among mainstream academics, even they cause controversy because it's a new theory based on a logical understading of historical contexts and the facts, is not pseudohistory, because debating the past in this manner helps to preserve it because it clears up any issues people have about historical misunderstandings or historical speculation questions confused people may have about history. This is NOT pseudohistory, nor will it ever be. This article does NOT even make any sense at all. Speculating history and speculative history is not always pseudohistory.

Please be a little more clear about the definition, because debating history is NORMAL for academics and history teachers and professors of many MAINSTREAM universities. This is taken out context. Please do not be vague and please be a little clear about the definiton of speculative history, because it is not always pseudohistory because debating and speculating history helps people become more informed about history and better understand it, which is a good thing for future generations. If we did not do this, we would live in the Dark Ages and have no knowledge of the past and we would be totally ignorant and no means to preserve our own record of humanity and better understand it for future generations of history buffs and historians, and amateur historians like myself.

Speculation of history is NOT, NOT pseudohistory because debating the issues about what could have happened in history helps people to be more informed about history, to better understand it for confused people who do not understand history or have questions about historical mysteries that need clarifying or better understanding. This is NOT pseudohistory. Please be a little more clear about it. Thank you very much. If my grandad, had done x instead of y in World War II, based on his own pattern of doing this and this based on his own profile, this is not pseudohistory, even though wiki says it is.

Mainstream historians debate issues all the time because it helps them to be more informed about the past based on speculative history. This definition of speculative history is WRONG and misinformed and based on a sensationalistic lack of understanding of how historians speculate and debate history. IT'S A NORMAL part of history people. Please be more specific and not so vague in your statments on speculative history, because speculating about the past and better understanding it helps to preserve it for future generations and helps us to understand our past and uses reasoning to understand it. This is NOT pseudohistory, because using logical debate to understand it for future generations is NOT pseudohistory, as sticking to mainstream history all the time is just plain boring, because people have questions about history and wish to clear up confusions based on logical answers to better understand it for all generations is not pseudohistory because it helps to better understand the past for future generations. THIS IS NOT PSEUDOHISTORY!


Please do not spread confusion about the topic of debating historical issues by labeling all debate of speculative history as pseudohistory, which it IS MOST certainly not because understanding the past and clearing up confusion about it helps to better understand it, thus preserving it for all time, and helps us to better learn and understand history for all time. This idea that speculative history is pseudohistory, is just plain WRONG. Let's just interpret history all the time and not logically debate issues and stifle all debate on history, that is logical and well-informed as pseuodhistory, to better clear up and clarify the field of history as psuedohistory, which it is not.

Please be more clear about the definition of speculative history. Thank you. (talk) 00:32, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The short answer is that the article does not call "Speculative history" Pseudohistory, merely history for which the "key facts supporting the work's thesis is ... speculative". The former is legitimate speculation, the latter is speculation presented as fact. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:32, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for clearing that up. Sometimes college professors speculate about history all the time about certain historical events, and have speculative theses that are controversial, but that does not necessarily make them wrong, as long as they have evidence to back it up, they're fine. History made up from thin air with no past record should be pseudohistory. How are key facts supporting an speculative argument pseudohistory? I don't get. Isn't that anti-intellectual? Sometimes, interesting TV shows present speculation as "fact" but in a different light, such as show about a controversial topic like UFOs. or other stupid nonsense. Sometimes movies are speculation presented as fact, but why aren't they a form of pseudohistory? I don't know. I'm confused. College professors have speculative facts that are proven that are controversial, but labeling it like this tends to stifle debate on a subject. And that is where I find it problematic. Sometimes key speculative facts based on ground research are correct and verified by historographers and historians alike. Does this mean that an author that has all in facts in order and certified by research, but someone else labels it pseudohistory, because they don't like the facts being presented because it sounds too good to be true or unbelievable to them, so they label it pseudohistory, even thoug the thesis has solid evidence to prove a theory about something. Sometimes shows present past events using speculation about events based on records from the past, but that's not pseudohistory, even though they draw in viewers by pretending to be real, for the sake of drama and suspense to make stuff up. Sometimes, people that are pseudohistory are professors with controversial theories. Academia is not a democracy where everyone agrees on everything. Academia would be boring if people agreed on everything all the time. Pseudohistory should be used for idiots that make up wild theories that have no basis in fact at all, that sound too good to be true, but weighed against evidence, instead of labeling it as such. You get me? Speculative history that is presented as real, sometimes isn't pseudohistory, because people make up fictional stories in movies, plays, and books about heroes that lived long ago in a period in the past that is sometimes presented as real. People often reference fictional characters for past history to make a point about history, what if Davy Crockett survived the Alamo? David Crockett living through the Alamo hasn't been labeled as pseudohistory, and neither has Amelia Earhart's disappearance. Writing a fictional story about her being taken by let's say, aliens, and presenting as real would be fake, but say you have evidence to prove it, but it is not reliable because there are no witnesses to interview. That is pseudohistory, but having proper evidence and witnesses and what not is still labeled pseudohistory, even though you probably have moutains of evidence to prove it, if you can access the alien planet's archives on Amelia Earhart. Note that crazy people that make stuff, that is so laughable that it is not true, that even isn't considered to be history, that is laughed off, but not even seeing daylight is pseudohistory, but not necessarily because it's not true and is laughed off. People that make up crazy stuff and bull***** are often exposed right away, but people with controversial theories about history, that have a following, that have some evidence to prove something, are not laughed off easily and have small believers, but have used scientific data without lying about it and using rational investigative methods are still labeled as pseudohistory, because they consdier a controversial theory. These controversial theories will be debated till the end of time, so they're not always pseudohistory, even though someday, they might be proven correct, till then, it's a matter of what if. Life wouldn't been fun without speculative fiction or mystery, that's for sure. So presenting Tom Sawyer as real would be pseudohistory? The pseudohistory label is kinda hard to judge at some points.

Pseudohistory is a controversial term and it shouldn't be used lightly to describe people that make up history. Movies present speculative facts as if they're real, and speculative shows presenting speculation as fact, like about historical events based on a legitimate timeline, presenting in a documentary about what could have happened is not pseudohistory. Pseudohistory shoud be a falsification of history based on wild theories that have a following, not some idiot on Wikipedia that writes something stupid. The article treats the fringe theories as if they are threatening for some reason and ignores the fact that most people don't listen to these people. Why does it feel threatened by people that don't post any threat, but are believed by a select few? (talk) 05:07, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Religious History[edit]

How is religious history "pseudohistory" when in fact religion has played a significant role in human history, such as Islam's influence on the Middle East. No one can talk about the Middle East or Near East, without discussing the role Islam played in the creation of their history over there. Islam helped shape the Middle East. The Catholic Church helped build modern Europe and the Christian faiths formed Europe. The Reformation is religious history, but according to this, it is "pseudohistory" even though the Reformation of the Christian church was one of the biggest events in modern history that laid the groundwork for the creation of freedom of religion, because it gave people of other religions a voice and the translation of the Bible into English to the masses helped religion be more available to people in Europe. Galileo was a Catholic that disagreed with the Church for example. The acknowledgment of a round earth helped in the creation of modern science. Religion helped create morals and laws that modern society has today. Religious history is a part of modern history, and a significant part of modern history, because religious beliefs helped influence policy in Russia for example. The Orthodox religion was the religion of the Tsars in Russia. The Orthodox religion in Russia was the religion of the people of Russia and still is to an extent. Stalin in the Great Patriotic War manipulated the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church played a huge role in Russian Tsarist policy, and the communists manipulated it to their own advantage during World War II. Religious history is NOT pseudohistory because it is a part of modern history that shaped whole nations in Europe and the Middle East. Islam shapes the Middle East to this day, as it the only religion and Muslims see Islam as their history, their culture, their traditions, all wrapped into one blanket. Call religious history "pseudohistory" is an insult to those people who shaped modern history through religion. You cannot talk about Russia, Serbia, or Greece without talking about the Orthodox Church. Religious studies courses in universities are based around religious history and they do not like being referred to as "pseudohistory" becuase it's not and never will be. Religion and religious history played a role in the foundation of modern history. The BC/AD system was always an accepted form of historiography for centuries.

The Christian worldview of history was how history was written for centuries in Europe in America because Christianity is our religion and our dominant religion of staunch belief in Christ that shaped and continues to shape our worldview to this deny. You cannot deny that religious history is a part of our common historical experience. Religious history is human history, too. (talk) 04:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Religiously-motivated pseudohistorical claims are quite common. The article lists a number, and there are many more. People engaged in religious apologetics quite frequently play fast and loose with historical accuracy (as well as scientific and/or logical validity) to further their points. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:41, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Can you cite some examples? Religion created the modern world we live and that the idea that God influencing history and the course of historical events is as old as Christianity itself and not all apologetics play fast and loose with history as you claim. People's opinions often include God playing a role in the course of modern history, but this is purely an opinion, Some claim Hitler was possessed. Again this is an opinion because you wonder with someone that evil to do something so evil like loot Europe and murder millions must be possessed by some form of evil. Apologetics are supported by evidence that Nazis weren't Christians. They murdered Polish Catholic Christians during the war and tried to exterminate them, for example or that faith in God helped shape historical events. Some mainstream religious people believe that God influences peoplea and that it is a battle between God and Satan. Some believe Hitler is the anti-Christ. Again, this is an opinion. Fitting God isn't necessarily pseudohistory, it's just another prespective on it, seen through religion that is someone's opinion. Christians certainly don't want to be associated with Hitler or the Nazis who were among the most evil people of our time. Many believe that God gave divine guidance to people to say that man is blessed by God is as old as recorded history itself. Many historical figures believed that the gods were on their side smiling on them. Writing God into history as is as old as recorded historiography itself. God played a role in modern history as well. These claims aren't necessarily pseudohistorical, they're just an opinion on a subject seen through a religious lens, through how God would see it, how people perceive different things because not everyone sees everything the same as one person does. Some of the earliest historiographers were Christian clergymen in early Europe and they often wrote in religious claims because of course, they were men of God. So writing God into religion and claims that God guided man throughout history are not necessarily pseudohistorical or wrong. History was written by religious people in its earliest days and that the belief that God wrote human history and laid the path for man, is not necessarily a foreign one, or a wrong form of belief. It is not wrong to believe this way because it is not toying with any evidence, it's just someone's opinion based on their observations. History is written by people with observations that document them accurately and that Christian apologectics are using their own observations based on their viewpoint, but they're not forcing others to believe their viewpoint that God wrote human history because this is a differing opinion on the matter based on religion and based on what someone perceives based on their religious beliefs and their knowledge of history. This is not necessarily wrong and most historians don't even bother labeling them in this way because they believe that they have a right to their opinion like everyone else and that they are men of God that perceive things differently and they do not want to interfere with religion because that tends to be a bad thing and that attacking others based on their creed is generally not acceptable or ethical to do that and most historians generally leave them alone because they are practicing their thing, these apologetics.

There is also a documented made by the Office of Strategic Services made in 1945 detailing Nazi persecution of churches in Germany during the Nazi era. Many of the Allied side believed that God was on their side and that they were fighting the forces of Satan, i.e. Hitler and the Nazis. And people to this day believe that Hitler was devil incarnate because he was so evil. Some Jews believe that Hitler was an evil force reincarnated to do something as evil as murder their own people during the Holocaust that people believed that he was truly evil and that Hitler was thought of a satanic figure by some because he brought so much death and destruction and evil upon the world that people thought Armageddon had come and that Hitler represented the forces of the anti-Christ and the Allies the forces of God. Some chaplains in the Allied Armies said this to motivate their troops and to get religious people to sympathize with them against Hitler.

Hitler was not a Christian at all. He made a statement in 1941 where he said that Christianity is a religion of sick brains. Hitler recruited Muslims for the Nazi cause in Bosnia, with his friend the Mufti of Jerusalem, Al Husseini. The Nazis also wrote Islamic propaganda to manipulate them against the Jews. The Nazis were noted for being anti-Christian. Alfred Rosenberg said that Christianity was a Jewish religion. Christ was not made to be an Aryan because by Nazi standards, he would have been unsuited to be an Aryan because Christ was Jewish. Hitler and Nazis believed the Fuhrer is a living god through their propaganda, which makes him into an idol and incompatible with Christianity. The Nazis jailed and murdered priests in Auschwitz. Christians spoke out against them and were killed by the Nazis. Nazis tried to pervert Christianity into an Aryan religion, which mocks Christ because Christ and his deciples were Jewish and to create an Aryan religion was the Nazi goal that was anti-Christian and mocked Christ.

17:02, 5 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 5 September 2011 (UTC) (talk) 16:54, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

15:33, 5 September 2011 (UTC) (talk) 15:23, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Much pseudohistory has been religiously motivated. Hrafn's last brief comment was quite accurate; was that epic godwination intended to counter it in any particular way? (Also: History began much earlier than christianity; there are other religions; there's more to history than world war 2; &c) bobrayner (talk) 17:49, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Remove this page[edit]

Seriously, the example given and the context that the whole article is written in is illogical. All the article states is historical things, ideas, whatever you want to call them, that don't adhere to mainstream history, archaeology etc. are considered a "pseudohistory" which mind, isn't even a real word.

Thetalkingheads (talk) 20:31, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Not a real word? Tell the authors and publishers of The Historian's Lincoln: Pseudohistory, Psychohistory, and History that, or all the other academics who have used the word and written about it. Dougweller (talk) 21:16, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Whats stopping me from writing a book and putting anything I want as the title?

Thetalkingheads (talk) 22:14, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

You become a well known history professor, we might listen to you. Meanwhile if reliable sources, including mainstream academics, write about pseuodhistory, not only is it clearly a real word, we can have an article on it. Dougweller (talk) 06:22, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
It might be a real word but this article does not deal with it properly. It seems to be a word used by Eurocentric historian to dismiss their detractors. And the examples given are not NPOV. What is Mainstream ? The references for Afrocentricity are terribly lopsided. I can understand someone denying the entire Holocaust, but to say Egypt was Black well most African historians (who are mainstream) do not agree. Little green reptiles is one thing but academic disputes is another thing.-- (talk) 23:11, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you need to get WP:VERIFY changed first. Dougweller (talk) 07:09, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Pseudo history written by the opposition[edit]

Some one has a disagreement over the race of Egyptians, so what do they do? The people with the upper hand, the writers of history the publishers of books (despite not making their case - no more so than the other guys) go and classify the people they disagree with as pseudo history. Very very convenient. I disagree with your argument and your research so you are a pseudo historian-- I guess that is one way to settle an academic debate. TO NO surprise Eurocentrism is NOWHERE on this page because I guess that is just called history. -- (talk) 22:53, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

If you can find a reliable source calling some Eurocentric theory pseudohistory, then it can surely be added here. It can't be that hard, can it? Does the story that Jesus visited Britain count as pseudohistory, or is it more a part of religion than history? (I personally have no opinion on the Egyptian race dispute, since I know nothing of it.) Phiwum (talk) 00:28, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
if the story of Jesus visiting Britain is published, it's pseudohistory by the article's own definition. However there seems little need to provide an exhaustive list of pseudohistorical "facts" (i.e. claims). The listing of categories of pseudohistory is adequate. Chrismorey (talk) 23:29, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Pseudohistory is a pejorative?[edit]

There's a discussion at Talk:Giorgio A. Tsoukalos#Pseudohistorian is a pejorative? concerning whether Tsoukalos should be categorized as a Pseudohistorian, which (at least according to this article) is a pejorative term. Please participate in the discussion there. Thanks, Justin W Smith (talk) 16:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Pre-Columbian Exploration in the New World[edit]

Reading down through this talk page, it's pretty clear that "pseudohistory" is being defined according to the editors' personal biases. I personally don't give a flying fortune cookie about arguments over the "historical Jesus" or similar non-history (my own bias there), but I seriously have to question the inclusion of what's being called pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts. This is a valid historical field, the subject of some thousands of legitimate academic purblished works over the past two centuries, not to mention archaeological discoveries (e.g., the Norse settlement at L'Anse-aux-Meadows). Whoever included this as "pseudohistory" really should take a look at a few volumes of Terrae Incognitae, the peer-reviewed journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries. --Michael K SmithTalk 02:16, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Tidy up[edit]

I came upon this article by accident, and have clarified some of the rather murky English, also placed the long section on Goodrich-Clarke (apparently written by a fan of his) in its correct place as an example of pseudohistory rather than a derfinition Chrismorey (talk) 23:25, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

On further reflection, I have some issues with the article, and judging by the Talk page I'm not alone. I've made quite a number of changes, mostly to amplify and to address some of the Talk issues. Specifically: +

  • I've amplified the definition in the lead, and explained why the term is pejorative
  • I've changed a section heading to "characteristics". The author quoted has omitted what are IMO some common and important characteristics of pseudohistory, which I've added. This isn't OR but observable from even cursory study of the subject
  • I've added some material about what pseudohistory might be thought to be but is not, as this is not immediately clear from the discussion of what it is. This includes a contrast of pseudohistory and revisionism
  • I've changed the next heading to Categories & examples. IMO it is clearly impractical to give any sort of complete list of pseudohistorical theories, and it will lead only to contention of the "yes it is ... no it isn't" type, which currently floods the talk page. I've added a caution about misuse of the term to denigrate theories that individuals don't agree with. I've added some categories and pruned and generalised the list of examples a bit; however it needs someone more familiar than I with the individual theories to say whether the examples are reasonable or just demonstrate partisanship.
  • on this note, and having read "Holy Blood", I would say that the question of Jesus' marital status is one on which evidence (as opposed to religious doctrine) is lacking (in spite of his being a well-documented life for the period), therefore the book's view is permissible speculation and not pseudohistory. However tracing purported "descendants" via fake genealogies is clearly pseudohistoric.
  • I removed the detailed discussion of a specific pseudohistorical theory, as follows:

... which notes that Ariosophism (an esoteric discipline in Germany and Austria, fl. 1890-1930) resemble Nazism in important points (e.g. racism, emphasis on supposed Aryan origins, use of the swastika). However, the only cases where Goodrick-Clarke found evidence of a direct Ariosophic influence on National Socialism were the cases of Rudolf von Sebottendorf (and the Thule Society) and Karl Maria Wiligut. He found that the importance of these cases is often greatly exaggerated by the modern mythology of Nazi occultism. Goodrick-Clarke defines this genre as crypto-history, since its "final point of explanatory reference is an agent which has remained hidden from previous historians."[1] He debunks several books as crypto-historic in Appendix E of his book, writing that they "were typically sensational and under-researched. A complete ignorance of the primary sources was common to most authors and inaccuracies and wild claims were repeated by each newcomer to the genre until an abundant literature existed, based on wholly spurious 'facts' concerning the powerful Thule Society, the Nazi links with the East, and Hitler's occult initiation."... [ENDS] I don't believe any specific theory should be discussed at this length in this article.

If any editor has issues with what I've done, PLEASE don't blindly revert it, but make constructive edits, make constructive comment here, or write to me on my talk page. Chrismorey (talk) 03:05, 3 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 218


Was Velikovsky's theory contrary to scientific knowledge at the time he promulgated it, or did the scientific refutation come afterwards? If the latter, it's a disproved theory but not pseudohistory and shouldn't be listed as an example Chrismorey (talk) 03:57, 6 November 2013 (UTC)3


The cited reference does not support the idea that most afrocentrist theories are pseudohistorical. The notion that all Ancient Egyptians were "black" (as the term is currently understood) is certainly ahistorical. But not all Afrocentrists make that claim. Some emphasize the (historically indisputable) role of Nubians in Egypt, including the Nubian pharaohs. And they argue that the role of sub-Saharan Africans in Egypt is systematically overstated, as part of an (imo, pseudohistorical) attempt to paint Ancient Egypt as white. This theory is plausible. More importantly, it is not contradicted by the cited source, which just speaks to the most extreme and untenable 'all Egyptians were black' form of Afrocentrism. Steeletrap (talk) 19:22, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Point taken about the source. But Tunde Adeleke[13] calls it pseudohistory, as does Mary Lefkowtiz[14] who is also mentioned as calling it pseudohistory in other author's works. As does Todd Carroll. Do you want to suggest something better? Dougweller (talk) 14:10, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Pseudohistory is not a pejorative[edit]

This article was written in January 2003 without the term "pejorative."[15] It was rewritten in May 2006[16] with that term - and no source citations.[17] There are no definitions outside Wikipedia - only here on Wikipedia, writings that cite Wikipedia, and Wikipedia "books" - that include the word "pejorative." Lightbreather (talk) 04:16, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Further, none of these article use the word "pejorative":

Two pseudo-scholarship articles besides this one include the word:

--Lightbreather (talk) 04:29, 24 April 2015 (UTC)


I removed Category:Pseudohistorians as a subcategory of Category:Pseudoarchaeology, on the grounds that pseudohistory is not necessarily pseudoarchaeology, tho’ the subjects two overlap heavily. Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 00:32, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Good idea. By the nature of historical subjects, not everything is related to archaeology, nor do all subjects need archaeological findings to support them. Dimadick (talk) 17:17, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

The label 'pseudohistorian' is simply slander[edit]

Who is usually the one to label someone a 'pseudohistorian'? Their enemies! Regardless of whether what a historian wrote is disputed or not they are still a historian, labelling them a 'pseudohistorian' is a pathetic excuse of not constructing an argument of your own. If you disagree with what someone has said, argue against it, don't resort to hysterics and name calling. The only sense in which the term is used is derogatory and the very basis of the term if flawed. Beyond the fact that the article's POV is completely biased this is grounds for it to be removed or perhaps significantly reduced and merged with the article on Historians. Manifest Truth (talk) 12:28, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Not done cheers, Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi 12:36, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Barton, again[edit]

There is a very old thread discussing whether to remove David Barton from this article. The discussion was leaning to remove, but it's still here. There is no doubt that Barton's work has been called pseudohistory, but most are unreliable, politically-based sources. Of those in the article, we should discount the PFAW source. The Baltimore Chronicle article is clearly indicating that this is the opinion of one particular person (Chris Rodda). The Arlen Specter article looks better (published in Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy) but I am not able to access it. One the other hand, when CNN published an opinion piece criticising the work as pseudohistory, they followed it up with another one defending it against the charge. Moreover, Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), which is a comprehensive book on the subject, does not mention "pseudohistory" at all. Hence, there is not enough for us to call Barton's work "pseudohistory" in WP voice. StAnselm (talk) 09:37, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Randall J. Stephens's book The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age published by Harvard University Press calls his work pop pseudohistory. Doug Weller talk 12:53, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it does. But it's hard to see why we should consider that more than an opinion: (a) the word is only used once in a whole chapter on Barton, (b) there is no definition of pseudohistory or argument as to why Barton fits the criteria. There doesn't seem to be a general acceptance that his work is pseudohistory, the way there is, say, about Gavin Menzies' work. The fact that Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? has been published about the issue shows that Barton (fringe and sloppy though he may be) is taken much more seriously than Menzies. StAnselm (talk) 19:10, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Historical revisionism[edit]

How can early historians be considered Historical revisionism? Surely Historical revisionism is "the re-interpretation of the historical record", which people like Geoffrey of Monmouth were not doing.Slatersteven (talk) 18:30, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

The part about Geoffrey of Monmouth is talking about how he claimed that his book was a work of genuine history, when, in reality, the events he describes are entirely imaginary. Most them he just made up himself; others were made up by his predecessors and incorporated into his book. --Katolophyromai (talk) 18:35, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Still not historical revision, rather historical falsification.Slatersteven (talk) 18:37, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I have now split the section into two different ones: one entitled "Historical falsification" and one entitled "Historical revisionism". Hopefully this will work better. --Katolophyromai (talk) 18:56, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Katolophyromai: I just noticed your removal and subsequent restitutions. I'm not at all sure that Geoffrey belongs under one single category. He deliberately revised existing histories, and inserted outright falsehoods into them, to create imaginary lineages that reflected well on royal (imperialist, rather) claims and ambitions. I don't think Herodotus belongs here at all. He's more than a little tendentious in some respects; but he's also methodical. When he's confronted with what seems to him a patently unreliable or fantastical claim, or several contradictory claims, he presents the material along with his own analysis, comment and reservations. He isn't responsible for accuracy (or otherwise) of the sources themselves. Haploidavey (talk) 23:30, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Haploidavey: I have now removed the paragraph about Herodotus and the Deuteronomistic History. I was not sure if I wanted to keep that passage anyway. The source I was using for it reports on a number of academics who apparently argue that Herodotus never actually travelled beyond Greece and that he completely fabricated most of the material in his Histories on his own, simply for the sake of holding his patrons' interest. (He is, after all, also known as the "Father of Lies.") The source, however, does not ultimately seem to agree with those historians and I do not think that their views are an accurate reflection of the academic consensus. Furthermore, the source does not actually apply the word "pseudohistory" to Herodotus either and its assessment regarding the historicity of the Deuteronomistic History is rather similar: that it relies heavily on legends and that much of the material in it is clearly fabricated, but that it is at least written in the spirit of genuine historical research. --Katolophyromai (talk) 23:43, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Katolophyromai: "the spirit of genuine historical research" makes my point more clearly than I did! Haploidavey (talk) 23:53, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Regarding Geoffrey of Monmouth, I understand that his work is clearly multifaceted and complicated, but I am content with him in the current "Historical fabrication" section, because, even though there are other elements to his work, I think that it would be more productive to only mention each example once and to put those examples in the sections were they fit the most comfortably, even if there are aspects of them that would fit better in other sections. --Katolophyromai (talk) 00:09, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

That seems a fair and balanced approach. We need not - or indeed should not - overburden this article with all that could be said about dear Geoffrey and his Bad Habits. After all, we have an article on him. Haploidavey (talk) 00:16, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Please put a mention about Nordicism[edit]

Please put a mention about Nordicist theories claiming that all civilizations such as those of the Mediterranean, Mesoamerica, China etc was founded by "Nordic Aryans". Arthur de Gobineau is one who created these pseudo-histories. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheBr0s (talkcontribs) 21:07, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

@TheBr0s: Thanks for the suggestion. Do you have any reliable sources saying that Nordicism is pseudohistory? (It seems like a very obvious case of it, but everything on Wikipedia requires citations for verifiability. I had not heard of it until now, so I do not know of any such sources.) --Katolophyromai (talk) 21:33, 3 December 2017 (UTC)