Talk:Pseudoscience/Archive 7

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Credible sources, continued

I'm moving an exchange with FeloniousMonk here, because it's quite germaine to the preceding discussion. This is continued from the section above titled Credible Sources.

Above, FM wrote:

...So the only criteria for a topic to be included here is whether a notable source per WP:V in the scientific community is available per WP:RS that says a topic is pseudoscience. Period. And the more the merrier. FeloniousMonk 20:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I replied:

FeloniousMonk is way off the charts in assuming who speaks for "the scientific community". Remember, under NPOV we report who says what, and why. Carroll et. al. do not meet WP:RS for scientific consensus. WP:RS says:
Honesty and the policies of neutrality and No original research demand that we present the prevailing "scientific consensus". Polling a group of experts in the field wouldn't be practical for many editors but fortunately there is an easier way. The scientific consensus can be found in recent, authoritative review articles or textbooks and some forms of monographs.
There is sometimes no single prevailing view because the available evidence does not yet point to a single answer. Because Wikipedia not only aims to be accurate, but also useful, it tries to explain the theories and empirical justification for each school of thought, with reference to published sources. Editors must not, however, create arguments themselves in favor of, or against, any particular theory or position. See Wikipedia:No original research, which is policy. Although significant-minority views are welcome in Wikipedia, the views of tiny minorities need not be reported. (See Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View.)
Make readers aware of any uncertainty or controversy. A well-referenced article will point to specific journal articles or specific theories proposed by specific researchers.
So, let's go ahead and state scientific consensus about evidence (or lack thereof) for a field, but refrain from assuming that the scientific community's would necessarily use the term "pseudoscience" whenever the skeptics do. Instead, we just say who calls a field pseudoscientfic. No overreaching, please, per NPOV and WP:V. thanks, Jim Butler(talk) 23:12, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

To which FM replied:

Sorry, but you've missed a crucial distinction: WP:NPOV is official policy, WP:RS is merely a guideline. Policy always trumps guideline here. Furthermore, WP:NPOV clearly says "These three policies are non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus." The policy says "The task before us is not to describe disputes as though, for example, pseudoscience were on a par with science; rather, the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, to explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly." So who is it who is "way off the charts"? FeloniousMonk 04:22, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

My belated response:

Sorry for the late reply; I missed your response. Still a hot topic though. FM, I think your selective quoting of certain parts of NPOV misses the forest for the trees. NPOV is much more than the portions specifically mentioning pseudoscience. For instance, there's WP:NPOVT#Categorisation, which says specifically to be careful of overpopulating "sensitive" categories. Then there's the first paragraph of the body of the article on NPOV, which says "The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly, but not asserted. All significant published points of view are presented, not just the most popular one."
So maybe you could clarify your view here, FM. Are you saying NPOV trumps itself? :-)
Your persistent argument that policies trump guidelines is legalistic, and in any case falls apart when policy pages themselves argue against your approach. The guidelines are there to help apply the policies. We're supposed to use some common sense here. Designating entire fields as pseudoscience because Carroll or Shermer said so is NOT representing "all significant views fairly and without bias". Here, we need to differentiate adequately between what scientists say about evidence and what some scientists and non-scientists say about psuedoscience. That's NPOV 101, not to mention WP:VER: saying who says what, and why. Cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 20:11, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

IOW, when it comes to scientific evidence, we can present facts that are V RS. When it comes to facts about opinions, we use NPOV wording ("so and so says....") and let the quality of the sources that hold those opinions speak for themselves. This isn't to say we don't make necessary assumptions. Sure we do. ID is about as PS as it gets, and that's a rare area where scientists have said so en masse. We just balance the "equal validity" and "making necessary assumptions" aspects of NPOV with presenting arguments fairly, e.g. as Gleng advocates above for chiro, and as I've advocated with the use of cat:PS for chiro and acu. Again, NPOV is much more than just the parts FM cites that specifically mention pseudoscience. thanks ... Jim Butler(talk) 21:38, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Nicely said Jim. Your comments probably explains the double standards applied to the editing of mainstream scientific articles, and "fringe" scientific articles. --Iantresman 22:15, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. You say ID is about as PS as you can get, and scientists have said so in great numbers. Well, chiropractic has been excluded from universities and scientists have said it is ps en masse also. But I believe that is all beside the point. Remember there are scientific aspects to both. Those can be valid, and I've even heard biologists say that there has been some progress in the field of ID. The point is not to say ID or chiro is PS, but to use the PS aspects of ID to clarify elements of PS in the article. That way we move away from shouting "ID is PS" and closer to specifying exactly why scientists say ID is pseudoscientific. KrishnaVindaloo 03:24, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, you just blew any chance of me ever taking you seriously (not that you care), " Remember there are scientific aspects to both. Those can be valid, and I've even heard biologists say that there has been some progress in the field of ID." ID has scientific aspects? It's never done one piece of science. "I've even heard biologists say that there has been some progress in the field of ID" -- and what biologists would they be? Too funny.
In any case, you really need to get over your obsession with chiro. •Jim62sch• 21:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Seconded. "ID and Chiro are rich with PS ideas (chiro just more so)"?[1]. Come on.... cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 08:06, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim62sch. I don't have any particular belief that you will ever come around to including the term chiropractic in the article in any reasonable way. What I see is an article that needs sorting out long term. There will always be people who come to this article to remove their religion from the article no matter how fairly it is presented. We are problem solving here. We seriously do need to include PS concepts and activities, and we do necessarily need to say where those concepts and activities originate and are used. If the term chiropractic is censored from the article, then all other subjects or fields considered PS can be removed. Otherwise its not fair, and there will be big problems forever. We can minimise the problems by avoiding stating that any subject (including astrology) is considered pseudoscience. IF we focus on specifics, (such as vitalism, or divination) and say which fields include those specifics then we are not saying that those fields are pseudoscience. We are being specific and fair and nobody has an excuse to censor. This also applies to well accepted fields such as physics. IF someone ever identified a subject such as mumbojumbology within physics and listed it in the article with citations, they can still write (within the field of physics). They are not saying physics is a pseudoscience. They will be saying that mumbojumbology is pseudoscientific and can be found in areas of physics. That is the solution for the article. It is a long term solution. So lets just accept the literature and be specific. Now we can get on with making the article more specific, and you can stop throwing politically motivated accusations at me. KrishnaVindaloo 06:09, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
" can stop throwing politically motivated accusations at me"? Politically motivated? Uh, no. •Jim62sch• 12:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Very much agree about focusing on aspects. Yet... surely ... you wouldn't disagree that ID has far more PS aspects than chiro does? ID is practically the freaking poster child for pseudoscience. Chiro ain't the same ballpark, ain't the same league.... cut to Pulp Fiction dialog about foot massages. cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 06:31, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. ID has some very PS elements and those elements are very useful for clarifying this article. Chiropractic has many more, especially as regards the social aspects of PS. The theory has always been pure PS (according to reliable sources), and continues as such. Chiropractic incorporates many old psychic ideas (vitalism, innate intelligence), and many newer New Age therapies and notions (all generally rejected as PS by scientists who know about them). Chiropractic is still applied to an exceedingly wide range of problems. The only possible (shaky support) intervention tends to make it a severely restricted practice (financially). There are large fee gathering teaching organizations who still teach the PS as if its gospel and who publish pseudoscientific journals that advertise its alleged applications and other new age products integrally. PS beliefs and attitudes are abound among teachers, students and practitioners of chiropractic according to the research. There is a constant stream of news stories and legal cases concerning those straight chiropractors (the majority) who dissuade clients from using conventional medicine for such as cancer treatment, in favour of their version of the laying on of hands. There are many more elements of PS in chiropractic that can help the article. So yes, Chiropractic is in a slightly different area of PS, but it covers a much wider area than ID. I am not really interested in saying chiro is PS. It will be helpful if those PS aspects are used as examples of the elements of PS though. As you can see, chiropractic has such a rich and clarifying array of PS concepts and activities. KrishnaVindaloo 03:14, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying your views here, KC. Taking your statements at face value, I conclude you're advocating an extreme minority view, which you of course have every right to hold, but editing according to it is another matter entirely. thanks, Jim Butler(talk) 06:43, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Jim Butler, my views have no significance to this discussion whatsoever. I came here with no particular view on chiropractic and that situation remains. I am not interested in calling any field pseudoscience or a pseudoscience. On the urging of editors such as yourself, I looked up the PS issues surrounding chiropractic and reported them here and on the chiropractic article, whereupon you and others tried to feed me the most extreme arguments to keep those perfectly verifiable facts out of both articles. You have even fought tooth and nail to keep chiropractic out of the PS cat, which includes such subjects as confirmation bias, hemispheric specialization, and Michael Shermer. Its very clear to all what your particular bias is. I will ask though; do you believe that it is extreme minority POV that applying chiropractic to cure mental trauma or dyslexia is pseudoscientific? Is is extreme minority POV that chiropractic involves vitalistic theories? Do you feel that it is majority POV that all M.D.s should recommend chiropractic to prevent homosexuality? To keep our backs "straight"? KrishnaVindaloo 08:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
KV, your views are significant insofar as they influence the POVishness of your edits and indicate your tin ear for collaboration. You still don't seem to get it: you didn't "look up the PS issues surrounding chiropractic" and discover "facts". You looked up some people's opinions and found facts about those opinions. This is NPOV 101. You're tending to treat this subject as if it were a taxonomic category as opposed to a social label. Please remember what NPOV says about presenting arguments, not asserting them. On categorization, please see the NPOV tutorial and categorization guidelines. Please see below regarding the (ir)relevance of anecdotal reports from the ex-gay movement. Thanks, Jim Butler(talk) 08:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
P.S. -- Actually, pseudoscience isn't just a "social label". That's a bit too weak of a term. It is defined partly by what it isn't, i.e., science, and it's usually clear enough whether a topic follows the sci method. But PS is also partly defined by its being misrepresented as science. Here, interpretations of evidence, and the nature of claims made, are tougher judgement calls. Thus, "holistic" alt-med stuff and traditional medicines, to the extent they aren't falsely claimed to be scientific, are not self-evidently defined as pseudoscience.
Bottom line, PS still isn't a scientific category in the sense that taxonomic categories are. Following Gleng and other editors, that's why I support sourcing and facts-about-opinions language in order to designate a topic as PS. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 18:50, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Jim Butler, I have consistently portrayed opinions as opinions using verifiable sources. I have consistently encouraged discussion, even when editors were repeat reverting my verifiable edits for days without even attempting to engage in discussion. Again, I have no interest at all in labeling any particular field a pseudoscience. It doesn't help anyone. This article can be far more specific. After discovering you and other chiropractic proponents will refuse to accept the pseudoscience cat, I have not even tried to edit there. Its a waste of my time. I have researched many subjects considered to be pseudoscientific and discovered that we can be specific and brief about their PS aspects, rather than just labeling the field as PS. I have been working on many subjects, from ID to EMDR, to chiropractic, to astrology, to naturopathy. I have no particular bias towards any of them. However, if you keep pointing me towards the chiropractic literature, I will keep finding excellent examples therein. Recently, this article has been becoming far more specific and clarifying. And I've discovered there are plenty of legitimate editors here to work with in order to reduce censorship and conflict, and to increase clarity and readability. KrishnaVindaloo 09:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Interesting that your view of your involvement here is significantly at odds with the views of many others. And this, "legitimate editors" is becoming rather tiresome. What you really mean is the one or two transient editors who have agreed with you at some point. •Jim62sch• 12:27, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Butler throws the "legalist" barb (popular on wikipedia unfortunately) but then involves himself in the minutia of NPOV in attempting to boltser his POV. The chiro/ID argument is specious also and a bit pointless (what is the yardstick?). Third, as has been pointed out ad naseum here, scientists have got better things to do with their time than knock each new PS on the head at birth. The comment about ID en masse wrong from this standpoint and wrong in fact. Scientists have spent too much time, unfortunately, arguing against illogical beliefs. It is legitimate for wiki editors to draw inferences, to point out that a PS has characteristics belonging to PS and thus, I would say, to represent a scientific viewpoint. I have no idea (apologies) what Tresman was trying to say about double standards. Mccready 13:51, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Kevin.
  • (1) We all love FM for his excellent work on wedge strategy etc., but in this case I think his argument is weak. He's emphasizing the PS-specific trees at the expense of the NPOV forest. All we're talking about is the need of a V RS and NPOV language to present, rather than baldly assert, the argument that something is PS, for crying out loud. I argue for that, and somehow I'm anti-NPOV? Come on. No one can coherently argue that the section of WP:RS I quoted above is so far out, so POVish, that it needs to be trumped by NPOV. On the contrary, it explains how to apply WP:VER and NPOV together.
  • (2) Sure there's no quantitative yardstick for the PS-ness of ID vs. chiro, but one can make some general qualitative comments about the how each of them violates the scientific method. It doesn't take ESP or a 300 IQ to see which of the two is more egregious.
  • (3) When scientists get sufficiently worked up about something, they speak out. Global warming is one example. ID is another. See List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design and then find me anything remotely like that for chiro. Not everyone shares the view that pseudoscience is as clear-cut a phenomenon as you and KV believe (sic). Presenting arguments for a topic being PS requires a V RS (whew -- all that jargon sounds awfully scientific ;-).
  • (4) I think Ianstresman is speaking of the failure to differentiate between (a) significant minority sci views and (b) extreme minority sci a/o PS views. But I'll let him clarify.
regards, Jim Butler(talk) 06:43, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to get into a big argument, but let me just make a couple of points...
  • Wikipedia does not aim to "represent a scientific viewpoint", it represents all viewpoints fairly. If a viewpoint is marginal but still notable, say so, but present its arguments in a reasonable way. Question: how many practitioners of chiro are there? How many people use it? It the viewpoint that chiro is effective a marginal viewpoint? (just an example)
  • Science reaches a consensus far less often than outsiders may assume. Even when a certain view/theory/etc is held by a majority - even a huge majority - there are often significant dissenting voices (by significant I mean, for example, one or more people who are in the top 5-10-20 in that field. random examples from different fields: Linus Pauling, Hannes Alfven, Brian Johsephson, Julian Schwinger). Regardless of how passionately everyone is willing to argue for their viewpoint, most reasonable scientists will admit that the opposite view have at least some evidence in its favor - as evidenced by the fact that those articles pass peer review. This is not a consensus in favor of one side over the other.
  • Science is a process, it is not a show of hands. If a majority of scientists believe something, that does not mean that any conflicting position is outside science, or that it is pseudoscience.
  • Science has formed consensus opinions in the past that we now believe to be wrong, or even ridiculous (phlogiston, anti-tectonic plates, global cooling, phrenology...). ObsidianOrder 14:17, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

On sources; it is not difficult to find authoritative V RS sources to support the assertion that mainstream scientists consider ID pseudoscience, see [2] and embedded in that the quote from the New England Journal of Medicine, which is the highest impact, most authoritative Journal of Medicine; a clearly notable source of this opinion is [Steven Jay Gould], who is notable as a scientist and as a historian of science as well as a populariser of science, and whose career garnered wide accolades. Gleng 14:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

And sticking pins in people to magic them better is different how? — Dunc| 19:48, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Compare # of peer-reviewed scientific papers on acu (1000's) with ID (exactly one, and that published by dubious means), and compare the sig minority complaining about acu to List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design. You see no difference? Now there's some magic. Jim Butler(talk) 20:19, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
OK then, where are the double blind randomised controlled trial published studies that, say for example of chiropracty and which cannot be accounted for by publication bias? Where are the results that cannot be accounted for by the placebo effect? Secondly, and more importantly where is there a logical hypothesis for explaining how this works? You don't even have to prove it, just come up with some logical reasoning. Invoking the supernatural in "science", as alternative "medicine" does is exactly like ID creationism, and it is a hallmark of pseudoscience. Making claims about the effectiveness of some quack treatment without the data to back it up is like ID creationists claiming that they have a theory of ID to be taught alongside science in schools, when they don't have a theory. The two are virtually identical. — Dunc| 20:36, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it is important to be careful, as about 85% of conventional medical treatments are not supported by any double blind randomised controlled trial published studies, many (all surgical procedures) for the same fundamental reason - there is no placebo for a physical intervention. However there is certainly evidence for its effectiveness in defined conditions, and efficacy comparable with standard physical manipulation. One place to find the studies discussed in great detail is the article on Chiropractic, where you will find references to relevant reports and studies. The issue of efficacy howver is not itself relevant to the issue of this article, which is about pseudoscience; plenty of conventinal interventions have proved to be ineffective but this does not make them pseudoscientific. The issue here is credible referencing. Bayerstein, frequently cited by KV as stating that chiro and acupuncture are pseudosciences, in fact puts them both conspicuously in a grey area, acknowledging evidence of their efficacy in some conditions yet commenting on pseudoscientific aspects of their history. He does not put ID in a gray area, or many others.Gleng 20:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Gleng, as usual, keeps the cool head and explains matters well. Dunc, you still can't answer my questions above, can you? If ID is just as pseudoscientific as what you call quack therapies, then tell us: why do scientists take the latter seriously enough to study them, and why aren't they as outraged as with ID? Maybe they know something that you don't? Scientists understand that evidence matters first, mechanism second, and in any case there's nothing supernatural required to explain manipulative therapies. You ask about evidence on acu: bother yourself to read the research, including EBM stuff (i.e. meta-analyses of RCT's), at acupuncture. For evidence on chiro, I'll defer to editors better-versed on the subject. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 21:07, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, Gleng didn't answer my points. Apparently, "alternative medicine" is now beyond scientific scrutiny. If I break my leg, I expect someone to apply a splint. I don't need a RCT to tell me this because the healing mechanism is understood. If someone tells me that the broken leg can be fixed by magic forces and spiritual energy through the fixing of "vertebral subluxations", that's plainly ridiculous. There is no hypothetical mechanism other than magic or the placebo effect to explain "alternative" medicine. It is patently pseudoscientific.

As to Jim Butler's point, I don't understand why doctors are deliberately misleading their patients by offering them quack treatments. Maybe it's a bit of post-modernism, maybe it's a bit of trying to use the placebo effect to help patients, which not only dishonest but arrogant. Maybe they worry that their patients will not take their proper treatments if they do not embrace quackery as "complementary medicine". Such dishonesty confuses people's understanding of what is and what isn't science. IMHO anyone who does or apologises for it should be struck off. — Dunc| 18:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

definition redux

I changed the definition to be almost word-for-word what my copy of the OED says (that's the OED, not the Oxford American Dictionary). The OED says: "a body of beliefs, practices or theories mistakenly regarded as based on scientific method". The old version said: "... is portrayed as scientific but diverges from the required standards for scientific work or is unsupported by adequate scientific research to justify its claims." Rationale:

  • the new version is actually sourced (except for minor syntax and word choice changes)
  • the old version's use of "portrayed" raises the question of who is doing the portraying. "claims" is clearer - it only applies if those who propose said theories etc make the claim.
  • the old version's use of "required standards for scientific work" is unclear and subject to interpretation - what standards? required by whom?
  • the old version's use of "unsupported by adequate scientific research" is utterly wrong - science can and does advance inadequately supported hypotheses all the time, that's how it moves forward. unless and until those are misrepresented as supported when there isn't enough evidence, they are not pseudoscientific, of course.
  • finally, the new version is much more concise and clear.


OED Second Edition 1989 says
A pretended or spurious science; a collection of related beliefs about the world mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method or as having the status that scientific truths now have.
Mccready 14:52, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
old edition, I guess. they kept the "mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method" part in later editions but condensed the rest. ObsidianOrder 19:23, 2 September 2006 (UTC) defines pseudoscience as:

  • any of various methods, theories, or systems, as astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance, considered as having no scientific basis.
  • A theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation
  • a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific
  • an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions

And has these definitions:

  • Scientifically testable ideas that are taken on faith, even if tested and shown to be false.
  • A set of ideas based upon theories put forth as scientific whether they are or not; based upon an authorative text rather than observation or empirical investigation.
  • Research that has the appearance of science but does not follow the scientific method, usually lacking peer review and repetition of observations by independent researchers.
  • A set or system of beliefs claiming to be "scientific" without the benefit of the scientific method used to make further inquiries that might suggest that the belief system is wrong in any particular way.
  • an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions

--Iantresman 16:35, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Iantresman, the definitions in your list come from, respectively

  • any of various methods, theories, or systems, as astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance, considered as having no scientific basis. -, "based on" Random House Unabridged Dictionary, whatever that means - not a serious dictionary ;) i don't think giving examples as part of the definition is a good idea.
  • A theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation - American Heritage Dictionary 2000. this is very close to the OED definition. main difference is it says "scientific foundation" not scientific method.
  • a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific - Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary 2002. other M-W's have the exact same definition, I think. once again very close to OED.
  • an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions - WordNet. not a dictionary.

The google definitions are not "real" dictionary sources either ;) Let me throw out one more which is somewhat below the quality of a real dictionary but perhaps still notable:

  • A pseudoscience is set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not scientific. - The Skeptic's Dictionary [3]. presumably this is the one that most proponents of the term would put forth.

All of the major dictionaries are very close, the all basically say in one way or another "claims to be scientific, but is not". That's what we should say as well, with no junk about "insufficiently supported" and "required standards" etc ;) However I like the OED best, because it specifically refers to the scientific method - which is good, because "science" has about 6 distinct meanings (look it up in the OED - ha!), but "scientific method" has only one (even if you disagree about the particulars of it). OED is also arguably the best regarded english dictionary. ObsidianOrder

Chiropractic and pseudoscience

For the record, I support the view that chiro is a pseudoscience (thus refuting the Butler position above) and should be listed as such. A listing, contrary to the Butler view, does not mean everything in the field must be PS. I've asked on the chiro page for one study, just one study that shows chiro (as opposed to massage or medical spinal manipuation) has a leg to stand on. Such a study hasn't been provided. This long discussion page took a few minutes to download on my dialup connection so I'd be grateful if someone could archive it. Mccready 14:52, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Why merely label and categorize? Where a topic is argued to have some PS aspects, why not say specifically what they are, and source the argument? What's more useful to the reader: saying chiro is cat:PS, full stop, or presenting a well-sourced argument that the straight chiro view on vert sub isn't an adequate explanation for disease? thx, Jim Butler(talk) 06:54, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you have a reliable source stating that Chiropractic is considered a pseudoscience?
  • I also note that both the American Medical Association, and the British Medical Association, do not consider that position. [4]
--Iantresman 16:39, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

This is not the place to review the evidence for the efficacy of alternative medicine, but it is relevant to note that there are divergent RS opinions; below the first quote is from a House of Lords Select Committeee on Science and Technology Report on CAM: it classes osteopathy and chiropractic together and apart from other CAMs on several grounds. The other quote references the extent of chiropractic use in the USA. It is not our job to make inferences where these are disputable, that is OR, and attempts of editors to make this inference are likely to be reverted by WP policy. What would be perfectly reasonable is to report as an opinion, not as a fact, the opinion of named notable authorities that a subject is PS; if the referenced source provides a carefully reasoned account of the opinion, and comes from an authority that is distinguished, then it deserves to be reported.

CHIROPRACTIC is regarded as the leading form of alternative medicine and the third leading healthcare profession in the US with approximately 50,000 practicing chiropractors in 1998, a number which is expected to double by 20106,16. In fact, many do not consider the 2,950 students who are expected to graduate this year with the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) from a total of 17 schools1 accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education16 to be “alternative” practitioners at all. Chiropractic was the first alternative medicine specialty to gain mainstream recognition, with all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia having established licensure requirements for DCs by 197416. [5]

Of the therapies in Group 1 we were made aware of good evidence of the efficacy of osteopathy and chiropractic[31]. Indeed, they appear to be somewhat more effective than the manipulative techniques employed by conventional physiotherapists. There is also scientific evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture, notably for pain relief and the treatment of nausea[32]. [6]

The issue of efficacy is in any case not directly relevant to the issue of PS. There is massive debate about the efficacy of many conventional treatments, with no implication that the science behind is PS.

My opinion here is not relevant (I am not a notable authority), nor is Mccready's, nor is any other editor's; the article is for reporting V RS facts and opinions in a balanced way, to do so with NPOV and avoiding OR requires quite enough of our judgement. It is hard to maintain civility and NPOV, and Mccready, your edit headings and summaries appear to continue to be confrontational, and your comments on Talk pages suggest that you do not assume Good Faith, and repeatedly contain personal attacks on editors. Those who disagree with you are not by definition trolls, nor are those whose judgements on NPOV differ necessarily pro chiropractic or chiropractors, nor is it necessarily the case that editors who are chiropractors are any less committed to the principles of NPOV and V RS than the very best of editors; indeed you will find some outstanding examples of "writing for the enemy" from some of these. "Writing for the enemy" is imo a great principle, reflecting the very best of true scientific method. Gleng 16:57, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Gleng - disambiguation: chiropractic can mean either
  • a theory of disease causation by subluxation, or
  • a practice of treatment of various conditions by means of manipulation of joints.
The practice may or may not be based on the theory; I've seen practitioners who go either way. The theory is probably pseudoscience; I don't think there's much evidence for it, so any claim that it is definitely established as scientific is at least a misrepresentation and hence pseudoscientific. The practice often works, as recognized by any number of reputable doctors and a ton of clinical studies; therefore it cannot be pseudoscience to claim that it works in the cases that it provably does work. Because the term does refer to two different things, you can't say "chiro is pseudoscience" - what do you mean by "chiro"? This is exactly analogous to the situation with accupuncture. FWIW. ObsidianOrder 19:59, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
P.S. this exact question has come up about a million times before regarding chiro/acupuncture/other alt medicine, and it usually ends up in the same semi-non-consensus, because, dammit, the terms mean several different things and nobody bothers to definie which one they're talking about. can we please let it be? ObsidianOrder 20:04, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Sure ObsidianOrder. There has never really been much need for us to identify chiro as PS, as the literature does it for us. Eg Benedetti (Spin Doctors) is a published book that tells the whole story very well, including the report on the scientific findings, the dismissal by colleges and chiropractors of those findings in favour of PS, and the rejection of chiro from major universities by literally hundreds of professors and other academics on the basis of its PS nature and the charlatanry that abounds in its practice (Benedetti). Rees, Alternative medicine: Down the slippery slope., By: Rees, Michael K., Modern Medicine, 00268070, Jan97, Vol. 65, Issue 1, calls it flat out pseudoscience, no qualifiers. Prof Atwood MedGenMed. 2004 Jan–March; 6(1): 33. calls it pseudoscience. Dominic Larose, M.D. Les « chiros » sont-ils de vrais docteurs - calls chiropractic pseudoscience and chiro uses pseudoscientific dogma regardless of sci findings. Teresa Castelão-Lawless, Proceedings of the S2002 Informing Science + IT Education Conference, June 19-21, 2002 - She calls chiropractic pseudoscience. Of course it is best to keep the article more specific though. Rather than calling chiropractic flat out PS, it is always better to be specific, and highlight subluxation theory or chiropractic theory, or the fact that its applied to curing homosexuality, or the fact that it used vitalism and incorporates many other vitalism practices. Pretty straightforward editing in general. KrishnaVindaloo 03:24, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Having trouble tracing your references. Modern Medicine is an Irish general clinical journal, not peer reviewed, but the volume doesn't match, so haven't found it there. MK Rees on PubMed is reported as having published 3 items, apparently all correspondence, but this article not cited. Congference proceedings are not peer reviewed. Am chasing the Atwood refs still. Can't find any trace of chiropractic and homosexuality - plenty on psychoanalysis psychiatric/pharmacological treatments though.Certainly did use vitalism; check out the history of conventional medicine sometime. For the record, I agree I think probably 100% with ObsidianOrderGleng 15:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

OK found the Atwood article. Odd example as the article is about naturopathy and the only mention of chiro is as an aside, in full reading "Bongiorno and LoGiudice seem unaware that the core claims of osteopathy and chiropractic are not “bona fide medical breakthroughs” at all, but are implausible, unproven, and largely incoherent.[66,67] In practice, manual spinal therapy is accepted only for the treatment of back pain, and even for that it isn't particularly effective.[68] Osteopathy has, for the most part, repudiated its pseudoscientific beginnings and joined the world of rational healthcare. That is why graduates of its schools, but not those of chiropractic or naturopathy, can train as residents and legitimately identify themselves as primary care physicians or specialists." Not exactly a direct statement that chiro is PS. The grounds given for the interpretation that this might indeed be his opinion are the references 66 and 67, both to skeptic websites. References are important. You have found a fine reference for an opinion that naturopathy is pseudoscientific, as this is the theme of the article, developed carefully and at length, and has on line accessibility. I'd be happy to see this used about the subject of the article; but for an oblique aside referenced to a skeptic website? I don't think so. Gleng 16:01, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. Actually conference proceedings are usually peer reviewed. I have to spend half my week reviewing them as a peer myself. KrishnaVindaloo 08:09, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Needs qualification; many conference proceedings in e.g. mathematically related fields are peer reviewed (and yes I too am a peer reviewer for some of these). Virtually no conference proceedings in the biological/medical area are (excluding bio-mathematical areas). There may be some, but I've not come across any. Gleng 16:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Incidentally, searching pseuodoscience on PubMed gives 71 references, a good starting point for V RS I would have thoughtGleng 16:25, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

In keeping with WP:NPOV#Undue_weight, it may be worth noting that the AMA is a business competitor and does not necessarily meet the highest standards of objectivity in assessing chiropractic. Although the AMA is under court injunction preventing its members from actively interfering with the conduct of business by chiropractors, and between physicians and chiropractors, those members are of course free to continue to publish studies more-or-less as they choose.

From Wilk, et al vs. the AMA, et al ND Ill., 1987, and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1990, certiorari denied " from Workmen's Compensation Bureau studies comparing chiropractic care to care by a medical physician were presented which showed that chiropractors were “twice as effective as medical physicians, for comparable injuries, in returning injured workers to work at every level of injury severity.” ... Kenosis 20:33, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm surprised at you Kenosis. You seem to be attempting OR. There are a multitude of such articles that support the use of Dianetics, EMDR, NLP, Primal Scream Therapy, Buddha therapy, and other Energy therapies for specific tasks. Why are you supporting chiropractic in particular? What is required is literature that shows there is an opinion that a subject is pseudoscientific and preferably says which concepts/activities are PS. Lets stick with Wikipedia style editing. KrishnaVindaloo 05:52, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, PS, if you want to do more of a review of some of the literature, I remind you that Williams 2000, Homola 2001, Beyerstein 1991, Keating 1999, Devilly 2005, and others, all clearly show the PS elements of chiropractic, and they all explain things in an intelligent way using good old common or garden scientific skepticism. Any editor who sees that chiropractic uses vitalism theories and is applied to raising the IQ, treating downs syndrome, balancing the brain, treating dyslexia, curing cancer, and curing homosexuality, would be completely certain that:
  • It is self evident that chiropractic is pseudoscientific. KrishnaVindaloo 05:52, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
What's become self-evident is that your attitude toward pseudoscience is over the top: "ID and Chiro are rich with PS ideas (chiro just more so)"[7]. As the ever-perceptive Dude said: "Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."  ;-) cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 08:13, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. •Jim62sch• 12:30, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
RE "I'm surprised at you Kenosis. You seem to be attempting OR.": This is one of an increasingly long list of examples of User:KrishnaVindaloo personalizing the discussion and overlaying it with tendentious judgments of myself and other Wikipedia users. I would be remiss if I failed to warn KrishnaVindaloo that there are potential sanctions for habitual display of these kinds of behavior on Wikipedia. Please stick with the issues, avoid the hyperbole, avoid putting words and concepts in other people's mouths, and avoid imputing ideas to their minds that are not part of the explicit content of their words. ... Kenosis 22:14, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Kenosis. The reason I am surprised at you is because your suggestion seemed out of character. I believe it is obvious that we could all spend years presenting confirming research for each and every pseudoscientific subject mentioned here, including astrology. Astrology theories are confirmed as regards studies into menstral cycles and the moon, and career paths and sun signs. ID theories are confirmed as regards aspects of animal and plant morphology. These are pieces of valid confirmatory research yet they are negated by others. You seemed to me to be beginning a pointless presentation of confirmatory studies into chiropractic. Is that what you intended? As regards putting words and concepts into people's mouths, I have been very open and quite civilly pointed out various editor's biases as per Wikipedia convention. If you have any particular charge against any one of my discussion points, then please be very specific in pointing those out. KrishnaVindaloo 02:50, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
"Out of character"? By what pseudopsychological methodology? "...pointless presentation of confirmatory studies"? By what predetermined POV? Are we all on the same talk page? Sorry, I'll have to get back to you some other time with a more in-depth and detailed analysis ... you should see the garbage I'm reading on my own computer screen. I'll need to hire a technician first to see if my computer is working right. ... Kenosis 05:23, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Kenosis, we seem to have wires crossed also. It would be out of character for you to attempt OR. I am certain you know what I mean, but for the benefit of others: I am simply discouraging it. There can be far too many confirmatory studies for even the most obscure pseudoscience concept. Its pretty pointless going through them. It is a ploy typically used by those desperate to negate the view that their following is pseudoscientific. Pseudoscientific followings are well known for selectively listing confirmatory studies. Its a characteristic of PS. Solution: If there is a concept that is pseudoscientific, it can be mentioned with appropriate citations, and the source field and application fields should also be mentioned just so that the reader knows where its from. That way Wikipedia doesn't even get close to stupidly saying that whole fields are absolutely PS, the reader gets to understand specifics, and NPOV on science and pseudoscience is followed. Censorship is reduced, conflict reduced and things are better long term. I feel pretty certain you are working generally in that direction. KrishnaVindaloo 05:39, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why people are trying to argue for absolutes here. Surely it's clear that there are aspects of the subject wich are pseudoscientific, but there is also legitimate research. Jefffire 14:17, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Sure Jefffire. As above, there are no absolutes with PS. There are supported parts to each and every subject (including vitalism). There are some editors who are desperate to present some subjects as absolutely or really really PS in order to have their following removed from the article altogether. This can only lead to anyone else coming along, presenting a slant to show relatively less PS for their following, and removing it from the article. We could remove ID, astrology, vitalism, and all the others based upon this argument. Ther are no absolutes, and PS is best explained in terms of PS characteristics. Otherwise, we get endless of censorship arguments for ever, and the reader never gets to read about specifics. KrishnaVindaloo 02:50, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
This quote, "It is self evident that chiropractic is pseudoscientific", is why I'm resisting placing chiro here. My opinion on chiro is the same as yours, Jeff, although I'm not so sure of chiro's efficacy. But that's just my opinion. •Jim62sch• 20:34, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree there are aspects that are considered PS by some (notably by some chiropractors who are powerful internal critics of aspects of the field), but because the issue is so nuanced and complex it doesn't make a good example for this article. Indeed the lack of good RS on this point probably reflects the fact that while at first sight and from its history chiro appears an obvious PS, when you get to know the current state of the profession it's just not so simple. Which is why we mustn't make inferences ourselves, but just report the inferences that other notable authorities have made in V RS Gleng 14:47, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

That's cute. Sources were asked for, provided, and now you say wikipedia is not allowed to be nuanced? Let me quote Gleng from the chiro page
Homola: It is hard I think to sustain the thesis that Homola is not a notable critic
It's time to put chiro in as an example and explain the nuances. Mccready 15:03, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

On the issue of whether to use chiro as an example to discuss the nuances, I wouldn't oppose this on principle: my position is that unless a controversial topic is covered in a balanced way with V RS then it's just a cheap insinuation. For this article, it might be better to use clean examples (ID, astrology, phrenology, scientology). What I would suggest however is that a new article on Homola's views might be the better place to cover this issue (see suggestion on the Chiro page). There we can introduce the controversy as part of a report of Homola's opinions. Gleng 16:02, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I doubt that the current tenor of this page will allow for nuance. •Jim62sch• 20:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's kinda up to the rest of us. A steady trickling stream will wear away a great rock. Or so says Taoist philosophy. Hey, that sounds like an empirical claim: ah think we got us another pseudoscience!  ;-) cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 23:59, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Being specific

Just reiterating the obvious solution to reducing censorship and conflict long term: An intelligent account of pseudoscience will always be specific. If you ask the general public if they think astrology for example, is pseudoscience, they will say, yeh, its a load of old PS. If you ask a Scientologist what they think of psychiatry drugs, they will say, its a bunch of mind crippling pseudoscience that destroys your chances of human development. If you ask a straight chiropractor what they think of germ theory, they may say, yeh its pseudoscience. Its all very general.

If you consult a good book or article, or ask an expert what they think of Dianetics, you will hear "Well,,, the concept of engrams is pseudoscientific, as is the theory that we can become "clear". If you ask whether acupuncture is PS, they may say, "well, qi theory is unsupported, as is the notion that we have a force field protecting us from disease". If you ask whether chiropractic is PS, they say, "well chiropractic rejects conventional theory about the nature of disease in favour of subluxation, and they apply it generally". It is always quite specific. Williams, Shermer, Devilly, and all the more intelligent and informative sources tend to use this way of explaining things. If we state specific PS concepts and say which field those specifics originate from or are being used, then we are not calling fields PS. We are being specific and fair. ID, for example, is more of a theory or set of concepts within the field of creation science. We are not saying creation science is PS, but we are saying ID is considered pseudoscientific for specific reasons. We can say vitalism is pseudoscientific and state which fields it is used. That is specific and fair. It also gives people no excuse whatsoever to remove the subject from the article. The article will not be overburdened. There are plenty of good editors and indicators such as notability, explicability, and recognizability that will allow us to keep the article manageable. Anyway, lets just get on with being specific to be fair, and let the reader understand what this article is on about. KrishnaVindaloo 06:23, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Mmm, people seem to be skirting around the issue of long term solutions. Discussion anyone? KrishnaVindaloo 04:33, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Moved paragraph: NPOV and OR issues

I'm moving this para to Talk for now from "Identifying Pseudoscience: Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims":

For example, Kaptchuk and Eisenberg (1998:1062) state that vitalism theories involving qi, prana, or innate intelligence are largely untestable as there is no way to measure the proposed energy fields or flows stated as the mechanism of action. According to Ford (2001), though chiropractic has some supported aspects, it is also applied in a pseudoscientific way to an exceedingly wide range of conditions from treating dyslexia to curing or preventing homosexuality. Also, according to Rosen (1999) proponents of eye movement desensitiza-tion and reprocessing (EMDR) have argued that negative findings con-cerning EMDR are attributable to low levels of fidelity to the treatment procedure.

Main problem: None of the sources cited are specifically arguing that the disciplines they mention are pseudoscientific. I'd suggest finding sources that actually do make the argument, and using those. Otherwise, it's a bit like assuming Professor Foo's criteria for being a cult leader or terrorist, pasting in a quote from Menachem Begin or Brigham Young that fits those criteria, and presto! By the magic of OR, we've created a source.

There may be merit in retaining Kaptchuk and Eisenberg somehow, since what they say about alt-med and science does echo the definition of PS, but still, we should take care not to misrepresent what they say, either explicitly or contextually. (Kaptchuk elsewhere specifically refers to the vitalistic ideas of Chinese medicine as "prescientific" and as "cultural and speculative constructs that provide orientation and direction for the practical patient situation", cf. Web That Has No Weaver. That's not quite the same as saying they're pseudoscience.)

However, Ford (see references) is completely inadequate as a source for chiro as PS. He's talking about the ex-gay movement, not chiro specifically. It's pure guilt-by-association to assume that the anecdotal use of chiro by some ex-gay crusader represents chiro as a whole. To echo Gleng's point above, we should stick close to substantive comments from good sources, not rely on incidental asides.

Finally, whatever the merits of EMDR, the argument Rosen makes regarding study design is generic. So-labelled pseudoscientists indeed often complain that controlled studies inadequately replicate real-world delivery of care, but legitimate scientists also raise this issue all the time, and for good reason. The argument isn't "diagnostic" for PS.

Again, please, let's find better examples and use sources that are really on point. best regards, Jim Butler(talk) 08:08, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Jim Butler. This is ridiculously easy to solve and requires no text move whatsoever. Firstly it is self evident that vitalism is pseudoscientific and it is self evident that chiropractic involves innate intelligence which is a vitalism theory. Its not an argument at all, its just a self evident fact. The only reason the citations are there are because editors such as yourself claim that it is not self evident. The adjustments to solve the problem are infinitely fussier and more particular than any requirement being demanded of chiropractors on the chiropractic article. I will make those adjustments nevertheless. Ford is a peer revewed article that specifically says chiropractic is pseudoscietifically applied to curing homosexuality etc. It is self evident that it is pseudoscientifically applied as such. The EMDR example is an example that is applied directly to explaining that characteristic of pseudoscience again in a peer reviewed journal. So now you have again displayed your strong motivation towards censorship of your particular interest, I will make sure to include the more definite and scathing literature to clarify the article. Sorry, but you seem to be "asking for it". Legitimate editors on this article have to learn to handle the "censors" somehow. To give in will only lead to other followers attempting censorship using the same ploys. KrishnaVindaloo 08:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Butler's argument is that to make logical deductions is original research (OR). I disagree and support KVMccready 15:14, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Logical deductions are fine, but presuming that your major premise (i.e., what the parameters of PS are) is universally accepted is POV. Also, putting topics in "sensitive" categories (WP's term) presents NPOV problems.
Scientists do sometimes speak en masse, e.g. List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design. Again, please show me anything like that for chiro or acu. Those fields have been around much longer than ID. So where's the chorus of outrage from the sci community? thanks, Jim Butler(talk) 23:50, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Jim Butler. Your presentation of the list of scientific societies rejecting ID in order to remove chiro from the article is quite ridiculous. The list is an exception. If your argument is followed, then the only subject ever to get a mention on the article would be ID. All other subjects including Scientology, will be removed also. I'll not mention your particular bias, as some editors don't seem to like me doing so, but please assume editors have some faculty for reason. KrishnaVindaloo 02:58, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
KV, you're misunderstanding my argument with Kevin. He's saying editors DON'T need V RS's to say topics are PS. He's saying scientists won't come out and diss each PS, so we Wikipedians have to do it ourselves. Nonsense. (1) Scientists do rise to the occasion for egregious breaches. (2) For topics lacking such clear sci consensus, a V RS critic is needed, and proper facts-about-opinions wording.
KV, you and I actually agree about the need for V RS's; you're just choosing some sources that other editors don't agree with, and using overly "grey" e.g.'s that don't illustrate the point as well as more obvious topics could. Personally I have no objection to something like Homola here for chiro. But human nature being what it is, your persistence is tending to alienate editors who might agree with you otherwise. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 03:40, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, to answer your point, Jim Butler: We have pretty much established that all PS subjects are grey areas, especially when you look at the ways they are applied. Scientology is fine for confessional psychotherapy and as a form of conversational command hypnosis and there is some fairly good research that supports it for that purpose (Perls 1951), especially from humanistic psychologists. Chiropractic does have some weak support when used for some sorts of back pain and which makes it a grey area in medicine only. Applied in outide of medicine in psychotherapy it is pseudoscience, as is the theory (Beyerstein). Keating states that there is some science in chiropractic yet the persistence of PS activities in journals and colleges and most definitely in practice (application to spirituality and additional pseudos), has blocked chiropractic's development as a science, and led to it being barred from universities due to its pseudoscientific following. ID is being taught in schools and some universities! I am not saying ID, Scientology, or Chiropractic should be called PS, but the specifics of those subjects are perfectly clarifying for the article. Homola can also add clarity to this article so I appreciate the suggestion. KrishnaVindaloo 08:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

The Ford article is principally about the pseudoscientific use of therapy, and I have altered the citation to it appropriately. Innate Intelligence is a still used vestige of a pre-scientific past, now used as a metaphor in chiropractic. Scientifically it wouldn't be used, just as we'd not use "mind" related concepts; doesn't mean that the use of "mind" is PS. I'm tired of this, and will have to leave you to fight it out with the chiropractors; you seem to be determined to draw your own inferences, and appear happy to accept refernce standards in your support much lower than you would accept for the converse position. It does science absolutely no credit ever to be seen to be less than objective fair and rigorous; we cannot afford to be open to the accusation that our conclusions have been predetermined by our prejudices. In my opinion, Jim Butler, like Dematt, despite their declared interests, have been an object lesson in NPOVGleng 09:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Gleng, but I have to disagree. Your latest edit: [8] must be about the silliest I've seen in a while. Firstly its not what Ford was saying, but also the spelling is wrong, and psychology is actually used quite reasonably to treat dyslexia. I will make the adjustments in good time. Jim Butler and Dematt have been very hard working in their arguments, and have also done a very good job at dismissing perfectly verifiable lit. I know you have your own biases, and those can also be seen from your edits. The improvements I've made to this article (with the help of other editors) remain. We will continue to be more specific about aspects of pseudoscience. Remember that all the suggestions I have made are consistent with good editing and good research. I am encouraging the use of specific explanations. I am discouraging the labeling of fields as PS. This is the best compromise that can be made. It means Wikipedia moves away from looking like stating "such and such is PS". It means the specific areas of PS within fields are clarified. The reader benefits, Wikipedia policy is followed more closely, censorship will be discouraged, consistency will be followed (eg acupunct, vitalims, and chiro) and conflict and endless debate will be reduced. There are some editors who don't want to see the issues becoming more specific. The only reason for that is because they don't like compromise or they want to keep their following out of the picture. Books and literature on PS shows the nuances and specifics of fields. This article can do the same, Wikipedia and the reader will benefit long term. KrishnaVindaloo 09:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The article, like other publications of Ford, focusses on pseudoscientific use of psychology and psychotherapy; quoting from publicity for his book that covers these in more detail "In their fervor to "fix" homosexuals, practitioners of sexual conversion therapies have often overlooked or completely dismissed the possible psychological and social side effects of such treatments. Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives works to counterbalance the clinical and ethical omissions of overzealous therapists who have focused on efficacy and outcome at the expense of their patients'self-esteem. Sexual Conversion Therapy features first-person accounts of patients and clinicians, including psychotherapists who themselves have undergone treatments ranging from psychoanalysis to religious faith healing to aversion behavior conditioning and even electroshock therapy. In addition to examining the history and ethics of conversion therapy, the book presents empirical data on current practice and recovery processes for survivors of failed conversion attempts." I'm not in fact arguing that this issue is worth covering, but that this source Ford, if it is used as a source should be used as a source for what it is the source of - the thesis that psychotherapy has pseudoscoientific elements. Certainly I have my biases; I have declared them openly at length on chiropractic and other pages; however my biases are not what you think they are, and I try to keep them out of edits [9];[10] apparently I am succeeding.Gleng 12:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, KV, but your edit[11] and your comments above don't address my concerns. Kaptchuk and Eisenberg are not saying vitalism is PS. Nor is vitalism defined as PS except to the degree it's represented as being scientific. However, it's a good reference if not overstated, and I've adjusted the wording accordingly. Ford and Rosen are still inadequate (Ford = incidental mention of chiro, but seems OK for psychotherapy; Rosen = objection to study design not unique to PS) and I'm moving that part back here. Be a good sport and please leave it here for a couple of days to give other editors the chance to comment.

According to Ford (2001), though chiropractic and psychotherapy have some scientific aspects, they are also applied in a pseudoscientific way to an exceedingly wide range of conditions from treating dyslexia to curing or preventing homosexuality. Also, according to Rosen (1999) proponents of eye movement desensitiza-tion and reprocessing (EMDR) have argued that negative findings concerning EMDR are attributable to low levels of fidelity to the treatment procedure.

thanks, Jim Butler(talk) 23:50, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Jim Butler. Again, this is incredibly easy to solve. Vitalism is most definitely known to be pseudoscientific.
  • Williams 2000 p367 for example, states that it is used in pseudoscientific health systems.
  • Kaptchuk and Eisenberg state that chiropractic uses vitalism
It is abundantly clear already that vitalism is considered pseudoscientific. It is also abundantly clear that chiropractic (specifically elements of subluxation theory and innate intelligence) is vitalistic. We hardly even need citations for this. They have been presented nevertheless. KrishnaVindaloo 03:11, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Vitalism is PS when it's represented as conforming to the sci method. Because "health" has multiple aspects and isn't wholly tangible, restoration of health is not necessarily an empirical claim. Vitalism isn't self-evidently a slam-dunk as PS. A sig # of chiro's and acu'ists use the stuff as metaphor and don't take it literally (e.g., see Kaptchuk quote at acupuncture). Need a V RS to claim PS, or otherwise NPOV wording, which is what I changed it to[12]. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 03:40, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Ford explains a set of pseudoscientific subjects that includes chiropractic. Chiropractic stands out in that list because psychotherapy is actually a fairly resonable (yet erroneous) way to "treat" homosexuality. It is a far better example to show chiropractic (back manipulations) to treat homosexuality. The point here is to clearly show to the reader that some subjects, though they gain some wead support for a specific intervention, are applied completely erroneously to other completely inappropriate tasks because they use vitalistic, quasi-religious, or holistic theories. Apparently its nothing to do with straightening a "camp" spine. The quasi-spiritual vitalistic elements of chiropractic make it a common and recognizable pseudoscientific subject. Again, citations are hardly even necessary. Again, they can easily be presented. KrishnaVindaloo 03:11, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

So what if the ex-gay movement has used chiro and psychotherapy to "cure" gayness? That doesn't make chiro inherently PS anymore than it makes psychotherapy PS. The fact that some fringe nutcakes use chiro for this doesn't reflect on general usage of chiro. All Ford's good for is an anecdotal account of a tiny minority use of chiro, which doesn't even belong in the article per WP policy. Try using Homola or someone who is chiro-specific. KV, I assume your silence on Rosen means you agree it doesn't belong? thx, Jim Butler(talk) 03:40, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. You keep arguing for scientific consensus on everything. It is both impossible (in your terms) and unnecessary. Subjects are pseudoscientific for a reason, and we are here to show the reasons. The article will not suffer much if a general and broad sweeping section on subjects considered PS is removed. It will suffer if there are no examples at all to illustrate PS characteristics though. The reader needs a set of examples, preferably specific, that show how science views pseudoscience. Science views pseudoscience by specifying which parts of fields are pseudoscientific. It is absolutely majority view that applying chiropractic to curing homosexuality is pseudoscientific, and the example is absolutely perfect for illustrating the abstract point. It is very obvious, self evident, and the inclusion helps the reader. KrishnaVindaloo 04:31, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Once again: Per NPOV, sci consensus is needed to assert the idea that "foo is PS". A V RS is needed to present the argument that "Joe Bloggs argues that foo is PS". You haven't shown Ford's e.g. of ex-gay crusaders represents a sig POV within chiro, and guess what, you can't, because it ain't so. Your argument for citing Ford, like your assertion that chiro is a "richer source" of PS ideas than ID, is on its face absurd. If you're trolling, shame. If you're serious, please have a look at WP:DBF. -- Jim Butler(talk) 05:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello again, Jim Butler. I have already made very clear adjustments to improve things even further. I noticed your deletion of that improvement. Just to re-state the obvious; there is a specific group of editors here who generally only arrive here when chiropractic is mentioned on the article. They argue quite heatedly around chiropractic and related subjects. They keep stating that some fields are definitely PS, so others are definitely not. They do lots of reverting as a group. I, on the other hand, am focused on improving the article, and on including all in discussion. I work on all aspects of PS and a broad variety of examples from psychotherapy to physics and treat them all equally. I've been working to make it so that Wikipedia doesn't stupidly state that any field (including chiro) is absolutely PS. I discuss and include according to NPOV policy, I keep reversions to a minimum, and work with other editors to satisfy the requirement on what science says about pseudoscience. So perhaps you (and other members of a certain group) shouldn't mention the "fanaticism" recommendation of Wikipedia. In this case it doesn't reflect too well on the accuser. KrishnaVindaloo 05:48, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Browser bug is making it hard for me to edit page. Will have another go. This edit, and edit summary from User:Mccready, is highly dubious: diff. Good material deleted and absurd ex-gay stuff put back in, and arguments above on POV and VER unaddressed. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 00:27, 6 September 2006 (UTC) P.S. - just edited successfully, after two self-reverts. Also, no objection to other language-tightening edits from Mccready, which were good.) Jim Butler(talk) 00:35, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Just some chiro clarity

Hey All, just as a matter of clarity for chiropractic from a chiropractor (take that for what it's worth). It is not a chiropractic idiom that the germ theory is pseudoscience. The simple explanation for what chiropractors contend is that the human body's natural defenses keep the body healthy. When the body's defenses fall, germs are able to take over. With the advent of HIV, this is (now) a pretty widely held view by all healthcare fields. There are even germs that are more virile than the human body and require medications to prevent illness and death. Even the field of immunology has felt the boost to its claims in the last 2 decades. That does not suggest that there are not people that think the germ theory is PS, and some of these might even be chiropractors (and probably even some psychotherapists;).

Chiropractic does not make statements concerning the cure of anything, much less homosexuality. They suggest that only the body heals itself. This does not preclude the possibility that chiropractors may also treat homosexuals. In fact, all that chiropractic theory would suggest is that the patient would become a healthier homosexual. It also doesn't preclude the possibility that a chiropractor talks to his patient concerning issues about his sexual orientation, particularly of it is perceived to be affecting his health. Reparative therapy would be a psychological approach that only those with proper certification in that field would be expected to perform.

Use it for what it's worth. --Dematt 15:30, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Please note that chiropractic curriculum does not include setting of fractures or prescribe vertebral adjustments as a replacement for the proper management of fractures(temporary splinting and immediate referal to an orthopedist or ER should a fracture be discovered) whether vertebral or extremity. State law, Board of examiner issues leading to loss of license as well as malpractice potential are all in place and prevent such actions. While the 1920's, mixer chiropractors may well have legally set fractures as well as performed minor surgery, that does not happen anymore. I wouldn't doubt that, given the knowledge base at the time, adjustments were given then, too. Lots of strange things happened in those formative years. Thanks for listening. --Dematt 18:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Dematt. To reply to your assertion on health and chiropractic. You are suggesting the chiropractic notion of holistic health. Of course this is pseudoscientific. Conventional medicine would not say that a homosexual needs any kind of healing unless there is something wrong with them diagnostically. Thus, paying a chiropractor to manipulate a homosexual (or any other healthy individual) will not make them any healthier according to conventional medicine. It will not increase their chi, innate intelligence, or mojo, or allow them to utilize the force more effectively. It will have no effect on mental health. Homosexuality is not recognized as an illness, except by religious dogma and reparative therapists who propose the use of chi machines, chiropractic manipulations, spirit therapy, and so on. These holistic notions are pseudoscientific. KrishnaVindaloo 08:50, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
KV, what you say here doesn't follow as a logical rebuttal to what Dematt said. You're knocking down a straw man. Jim Butler(talk) 18:29, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Mccready; I don't think I have any problem with your edit, and if you've read the full reference and this is correct then it's correct. I think Ford is writing mainly about psychotherapy; I think that it is true that some chiropractors claim to be able to treat some conditions which I think are quite inappropriate; that's my opinion. If any chiropractor thought that homosexuality was a symptom of a vertebral subluxation I might think him or her demented, and the word pseudoscientific would not spring to mind in that context as rather stronger words would. My edit was to attach the reference to a point which the reference is clearly appropriate for; unfortunately I don't have access to the full text, only the abstract, but from the abstract and other writings by Ford (and from the title) it was clear to me that the allusion to psychotherapy is central to Ford's writings but it was not clear to me where chiro comes in, as I have not found any evidence at all that chiro claims to cure homosexuality, so my modification was conservative on what I could verify. Gleng 15:51, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Question for Krishna Vindaloo

KV, have you actually read the article written by Ford about homosexuality and chiropractic? Is chiropractic actually mentioned in the article? Thanks Steth 02:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Steth. Yes I have read it. As above. There are other refs on the way though. KrishnaVindaloo 03:11, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Does it (the Ford article) specifically use the word chiropractic, or reference chiropractic as a treatment for homosexuality? Steth 03:47, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
A more clarifying and specific reference is: A Re-emergence of Reparative Therapy. By: Christianson, Alice. Contemporary Sexuality, Oct2005, Vol. 39 Issue 10, p8-17, 10p; (AN 18639497). Ford's ref is better as an overview of the state of reparative therapy and all its pseudoscientific psychospiritual aspects. I know this ends up with more scathing reviews for the reader to peruse (the chiro can of worms can only get bigger), but I'll do my best to keep the example fairly "straight talking" in the article. The article benefits nevertheless. KrishnaVindaloo 04:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

If claims to treat homosexuality by chiropractic were a prominent feaure then i would be pressing to include this on the chiropractic page. I honestly see no evidence that this is anything more than the bizarre activity of an unrepresentative rogue, and implying that this is a representative feature of chiropractic is dishonest. What is common is the use of therapy to treat homosexuality; personally I think that this is just straight pseudoscience, along with cures for dyslexia etc. Frankly, scientists like myself get angry about pseudoscience in areas like ID, creation science, psychotherapy, some areas of psychology and psychiatry, IQ science etc because we see arguments masquerading as serious science when they are nothing of the sort; these provide a real threat to the credibility of science. It's hard to get upset about a concept like "innate intelligence" which can't plausibly be confused with a scientific concept but is obviously a metaphor, and can be translated into pretty unobjectionable terms. I think that the discussion of pseudoscientific aspects of chiropractic has a place in WP, but the issues are just too complex for this article, and the case is not clear (unless you are talking of historical chiropractic). I suggest that the right place will be an article on Homola that reports his views; see the Chiropractic Talk page. Clearly there are some in chiropractic whose views are PS in my opinion, but for a very large segment this is not clearly true, and there is a reform wing for whom this tag is just ridiculous by any standards. So what might be true of particular stated views of a particular named chiropractor is not necessarily representative of chiropractic.Gleng 09:09, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Gleng. Again here is a meeting of the ways: You say:
“Frankly, scientists like myself get angry about pseudoscience in areas like ID, creation science, psychotherapy, some areas of psychology and psychiatry, IQ science etc because we see arguments masquerading as serious science when they are nothing of the sort; these provide a real threat to the credibility of science.”
Your statement there shows that your preferences are quite selective. You accept chiropractic, yet reject the rest. Well there is a fundamental connection between all of them. Chiropractic’s vitalism concept (Innate intelligence) is ultimately teleological in exactly the same way that ID is teleological. More specifically, the holism notion of innate is based on the doctrine of teleology, which implies that there is a design or purpose in nature. The concept that is still followed and taught as dogma at chiropractic colleges is that "universal intelligence" manifests in living things as an "innate intelligence," There is no difference. According to your reasoning you should be equally angry with both. They both spread misconception about the nature of things in exactly the same way. Also, chiro is used in fringe psychotherapy, and proponents do claim that it raises IQ or mental functioning. Actually, one fact that will be well presented in this article is the fact that the majority of pseudoscientific subjects have their origin in ancient superstitious thinking. This one fact will help tie a lot of the concepts together. If you are interested in maintaining consistency, you will have to treat ID and chiropractic as equally pseudoscientific. I myself am happy with simply using the concept and saying which field it comes from, rather than stating chiro or ID is PS in the article. They can all be treated quite equally and fairly in this regard. KrishnaVindaloo 03:15, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Vindalucy, you have some 'splainin' to do

"Ford is a peer revewed article that specifically says chiropractic is pseudoscietifically applied to curing homosexuality etc." Post by KrishnaVindaloo 08:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, it looks like Krisnha Vindaloo has everyone chasing their tails. The problem is that chiropractic is never even mentioned in the Ford article. I don't want to think that he would deliberately lie to us just to force his personal POV on the article. You know, assume good faith and all. So maybe KV can clear up this mystery as to why he did lie to us. KV? Steth 11:25, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Steth. No, I've already explained that more clearly. Ford says reparative therapy is PS. Christianson specified chiropractic as part of reparative therapy. As above. Clarifications were made in the article before they were censored out again. KrishnaVindaloo 11:45, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

So if the article never mentioned Chiropractic, why did you say it did (see above) when you also said you had read the article? Steth 11:52, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Steth, when we're on the same side you know it's usually because we've arrived there from opposite directions but I absolutely share your irritation here. WP has a long article on reparative therapy (about which I knew nothing) and it doesn't mention chiro, and nor do any of the other articles I've found. I have found a Google site that mentions a chiro who practises it, the same site also reports two physicists who claim to practise it. This seems to be exactly the reason for the no OR rule, and for V RS; an idiotic inference wrongly drawn from synthesising two weak references that are hard to verify (one is in apparently a monthly newsletter, written by [13], I can't get the original, but it doesn't exactly look a compellingly strong source) apparently to support a preformed opinion, and then cited in a frankly totally misleading way. I'm taking a break from WP for a while you'll be glad to hear, I am just so disappointed at the utter waste of time in chasing this nonsense.Gleng 12:50, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. Now I see where we have some different points of view. Lets try to meet somewhere: From what I understand of what you have just written, you are disappointed or irritated. I believe that is because we both have slightly different objectives. You seem to me to be determined to identify pseudosciences, and you are looking for evidence for the existence of some field (eg chiropractic) being pseudoscientific.
That is not my goal. My main goal here is to present a clear article on the subject of pseudoscience and to do it in a way that handles all the common problems associated with presenting PS on Wikipedia. PS is unclear so clarity is paramount. PS arguments are confusing and need to be clarified with science. There are many potential censors who are determined to keep the article unclear and inconsistent.
As you can see from the section on subjects considered PS, I made changes to them recently to specific concepts that are PS, and the fields that have those concepts (in order to present something recognizable to the reader). It no longer states that chiropractic, homeopathy, etc are considered pseudoscience. It states that vitalism is a PS concept and those fields use that concept (with various terminology). I did the same with (Left/Right brain mythology). It no longer says EMDR and NLP are pseudoscience. It says LRB mythology is pseudoscience. That is the way to handle the article in general because it adheres more closely to Wikipedia standards for verifiability and specificness, it removes the “perjorative” objection, it potentially reduces the likelihood of (or excuses for) censorship, and it makes the article a great deal more clear to the reader.
More specifically concerning your communication with Steth, he is having a go at me for daring to maintain a pretty obvious fact and is complaining that I stated the wrong citation (though I corrected it before the complaint). Chiropractic is most definitely applied to things other than back pain. The majority of chiropractors treat a huge range of conditions (Benedetti 2002). There is a whole list of things it is applied to and homosexuality healing is one of them amongst ear infection, dyslexia, downs syndrome etc. The characteristic of PS in question is:
Lack of boundary conditions: Most well-supported scientific theories possess boundary conditions (well articulated limitations) under which the predicted phenomena do and do not apply. In contrast, many or most pseudoscientific phenomena are purported to operate across an exceedingly wide range of conditions.
The example is chiropractic which is used across an exceedingly wide range of conditions including homosexuality cures, etc. It’s a fact. Back manipulation for curing homosexuality is pretty much perfect for illustrating the PS characteristic in question. It doesn’t say that chiropractic is PS, but it does say that applying chiropractic to homosexualty cures is pseudoscientific. Its very clear and very specific. The citation (Christianson) is perfectly reliable (She’s an expert at a university and has a perfectly good publication). There undoubtedly will be other citations to follow, but the fact remains that it is a very good example.
So we don’t need any citations to prove that chiropractic is pseudoscientific as we should not be saying any field is absolutely PS. We have no need to prove that any field is PS. We do need cites that say certain PS concepts or activities are associated with certain fields. They are much easier to find, and they tend to help clarify the concepts surrounding pseudoscience far more effectively. They will certainly make you feel less irritated about legitimate editing. Such clarity may make myself and other editors such as your self far less popular with would-be censors, but hey, we have to handle them anyway. They are certainly not here to make the article clearer for the reader.
You also mentioned that innate is just a metaphor. Well, metaphor is pretty much synonymous with dogma and rhetoric in the context of PS. Those are used in vague sales language, pseudoscientific exaggeration and religion. Pseudoscientists use a lot of metaphors in general as well as attacking critics etc. Using metaphor and stories is a characteristic of pseudoscientific sales (Pratkanis 1995). Doctors and scientists generally use specific language, and qualify their statements with limitations.
Though I’m not exactly mortified by Steth’s little accusations, I’ll do my best to explain my goals more clearly each time I make an edit and I’ll slow down on the quotes to make it easier for editors to focus on specifics. KrishnaVindaloo 03:05, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Gleng, I think we are usually on the same side of the fence, even though as you said, we arrive there from different directions and using different methods.

My concern is if Krishna Vindaloo lied to us by using WP, this and other articles, and legitimate editors such as yourself and Jim Butler to further his ulterior motive which was to marginalize chiropractic, then how do we know that he didn't lie to us about other additions and edits he has made? How do we know that he isn't lying on any future edits/additions? I don't think we can trust him any more, now that we have egg on our faith. (I couldn't help that pun!)

Any references to chiropractic in this article should be removed immediately.

He has really wasted huge amounts of everyone's time here. So I do share your irritation. Steth 18:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

KV's recent comments and conduct provide good reason to subject his edits to careful scrutiny. Jim Butler(talk) 18:33, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Steth and Jim Butler. I remind you that there are other editors who are standing back and reading your comments. Beyond the obvious observation (ad hominem attack is a characteristic of a particular subject) and the highlighted need to solve censorship problems long term with this article, it is very clear that a particular group of editors is trying to beat up a particular individual for their own reasons. It really does reflect badly upon you as editors. I cited Ford (the corroborating article) and ommitted Christianson (the source that states chiropractic is used to treat homosexuality) and now you want to make a big deal out of it. Well, sorry it just looks like your own personal agenda is in the way of good editing. KrishnaVindaloo 02:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Nobody's censoring or picking on you, KV. It's just that the ex-gay/chiro "connection" is pretty far out there, and it would be nice if you'd be more receptive to input about such things. best regards, Jim Butler(talk) 03:11, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. Again, lets talk about the folk standing back reading this.
  • It is obvious that chiropractic is used to treat an outrageously wide range of conditions from ear infections, to psychological conditions (Benedetti, Homola, Keating et al all say so).
  • Christianson states that chiropractic back manipulations are used to treat homosexuality, and Ford supports this with a deeper discussion on other pseudoscientific aspects of such practices.
Its a very very clear example that will clarify the abstract point. I will make the appropriate adjustments. KrishnaVindaloo 03:26, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
KV, once again: your source doesn't show that "treating homosexuality" is a sig POV within the chiro profession. So the cite doesn't belong here. I know things can get silly on WP, but this one's right up there. I'm practically waiting for someone to pop out of my monitor and tell me I've been punk'd. -Jim Butler(talk) 04:48, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello again Jim Butler. Please calm down and refrain from shouting. Creating conflicts is unconstructive. The example (chiropractic manipulation for homosexuality) is highly clarifying for the reader, it is supported in the literature, its a real life example, and it doesn't say that chiropractic is PS. It very specifically highlights the pseudoscientific application of an intervention, it shows nuance in an extremely useful and brief way. KrishnaVindaloo 05:08, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Not shouting, KV. Just shaking my head at how surreal your insistence is. First, Christianson isn't a V RS (link; scroll to p. 15 Christianson). Second, it doesn't show that using chiro in this way is representative of anything other than a tiny minority viewpoint. Your credibility in terms of vetting reliable sources has just about vanished, imo. (BTW, if you're going to add new sources to the article, please include the full citation, not just (Name Year). It is very helpful and clarifying to the reader, and all.) -Jim Butler(talk) 05:33, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. Bolding or using Caps is seen as shouting in discussion and it generally discouraged. If you want to punctuate your communication strongly but without looking like you are ranting, then please use bullet points. And of course, don't engage in shouting accusations on edit summaries either. Also, if you do it as part of a group of advocates, it reflects even worse on yourself and the group in question. The Christianson source is perfectly reliable. Its also clear. I will add the page numbers as requested. KrishnaVindaloo 06:44, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Bolding for emphasis since you still aren't addressing my point. Explain please how Christianson's non-peer-reviewed article is reliable for showing that a sig number of chiros believe chiro is appropriate for "treating homosexuality". If it's not, how is it appropriate (cf. Gleng's point on dentistry) to include? One anecdote doth not a significant trend make. Also, why do you keep restoring EMDR without addressing my concerns -- and in this latest, using an inaccurate edit summary[14]? Your uncollaborative editing is against WP:DR. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 07:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

KV, are you lying to us again? Can you understand why we are hesitant to believe anything you 'recommend'? You did after all lie to us. Was that intentional? With all of the many examples of pseudoscience in the world, will only the inclusion of chiropratic make this article complete in your view? Have you heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? Have you learned anything from it? Steth 03:47, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Steth. I am doing my best to keep things calm here. Please restrain your accusations. Take your time and check each of the facts I present if you wish, and try to make reasonable comments on my edits. This article is not easy to handle. There has been a long history of those wishing to censor various facts, and that will always continue to some extent. The solution that has been allowed and developed here, is to discourage calling any particular field a pseudoscience or pseudoscience, even if verifiable sources state so. I repeat, there is no need, and it doesn't help the reader much. Showing specific PS concepts, and showing the origin of the specifics is necessary. So, the article has improved and it now doesn't say that homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture etc are considered pseudoscience. Compromise and improvements have been made across the board. Please realise that and stop making unfounded accusations. KrishnaVindaloo 04:12, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Unfounded? You told us that Ford specifically mentions chiropractic when he never mentions it at all. You said you read the article when obviously you hadn't. So why did you say the article mentioned chiropractic specifically when the article never mentioned chiropractic at all? This is a question you always seem to tap dance around but never quite answer. So as long as you accuse me and others of things, I will keep asking this question. Remember KV, it was YOU who lied to us. Remember? Steth 04:24, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Again, Steth. Please calm down and stop throwing accusations. I have the paper (Ford) right in front of me and I read it in its entirety days ago. If you want me to endulge you in your rather destructive conflict game, I can quote word for word so you can see obviously I have read it. I will say again, Christianson states that chiropractic is used to cure homosexuality, and Ford elaborates upon this by looking more closely at reparative therapy (where chiropractic is used). I made the adjustments on the article way before you started accusing me of being a liar. Now please stop trying to make a conflict out of nothing. KrishnaVindaloo 04:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

KV - I can find a single source for almost anything ;) The notion that chiro can be used in the way you suggest is exceedingly fringe within the chiro field (and, I suspect, mostly talkd about by opponents of chiro). In fact it is sufficiently fringe that it utterly fails to pass the criterion for notability, certainly on this page (which is not primarily about chiro). In short, it should not be in here; anything else is a glaring violation of NPOV. ObsidianOrder 07:26, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification in the article, ObsidianOrder. I appreciate you are helping out to solve a problem. The censorship problem does need some work though and you may find certain editors arguing to remove your edit nevertheless. I suggest perseverence. Your edit still doesn't say that the field of chiropractic is PS and thats great. However, I believe it will be far easier to simply use the line, chiro used for curing homosexuality. Its brief and to the point. Chiropractic for ear infections is not so obvious to the reader (the jaw bone and inner ear bones can be manipulated). The homosexuality cure is more obviously pseudoscientific and reparative therapy is seen as pseudoscience (hence the Ford ref). There is more than one source that establish the fact that chiropractic is applied to treating homosexuality, and I can add them. Its not a fringe application. Its certainly not any more fringe than chiropractic for earache. They are equally pseudoscientific applications. I emphasize consistency. Again we don't need to establish if chiro is PS, or if a majority or consensus say its PS, and we don't need to say that everyone knows chiro is used in reparative therapy. All we need is to show the obvious example that chiro spine manipulations is a PS intervention in treating homosexuality. Its a real world example, reliable sources establish it as such, and its a very clarifying example. The goal here is to be clear and to handle the long term censorship issues that have plagued this article. If we give in to one, we will have to give in to them all. On a more positive note, the solutions are pretty simple (discourage stating whole fields are PS, and focus on specifics). KrishnaVindaloo 07:47, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

List change Kaptchuk and Eisenberg 1998:1062

I took out the Kaptchuk and Eisenberg reference from the vitalism "list". The link is too indirect. If I authored that paper, I would not want anyone referencing me improperly, especially in an encyclopedia. We cannot be manufacturing information. We have to be accurate, especially on controversial subjects. WP:NOR --Dematt 01:29, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

But Dematt, I've been learning so much from KV's OR -- like what "straight" chiro really means.  ;-) Anyway, you're right, those authors don't cite vitalism as PS. Agree on removing them from list. I had felt it was OK to cite them in the text[15] as saying that testing vitalism mechanistically is largely impossible, but looking again, voila, they don't even say that (probably because they actually understand the difference between metaphor and outcomes). It's a fine article but better cited at alternative medicine. Glad you caught this. cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 03:06, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim Butler. I placed the reference there on the insistence of Steth, a while back. He refused to accept that innate was a type of vitalism. I have no problem with you removing it, because innate intelligence is so obviously vitalism that it doesn't even need a citation. Vitalism is a pseudoscientific concept according to Williams and many others. It was ditched by science in the 18th century in favour of biochemical theories (biochemical theories are rejected by chiropractors in favour of vitalism). KrishnaVindaloo 03:20, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
"(biochemical theories are rejected by chiropractors in favour of vitalism)"
KV, I think you have confused what you want chiro to be and what it actually is. But I am also quite sure that if you read everything written when you Google "chiropractic and pseudoscience", it is quite likely that you can put together anything to get that impression. The nervous system is ripe with biochemistry and neurotransmitters that modulate and facilitate every human function and emotion. If that is not a belief in biochemical theories, I don't know what is.
If you would like to write a paper on chiropractic and PS, please feel free to do so. Present it to a peer reviewed journal and we can use it. But otherwise, lets just use verifiable and reliable sources and no original research, lest we lower the bar, please. --Dematt 04:15, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Dematt, Williams states the fact I present, as do Keating, Homola and others. The majority practice using vitalistic and teleological theories, some even spiritually (new age). Subluxation does not exist according to research, and vitalism (innate intelligence) is untestable according to the literature. Please stop accusing me of original research. It is all clearly written in the literature. And a lot of it states pretty clearly that chiropractic is pseudoscientific. I would discourage stating that chiropractic (or any other field) is pseudoscientific. Rather, state the characteristic of PS, or PS concept, then say which field it comes from. The ramifications of that "simple formulation" - the specificPSconcept-in-field/s, will lead to reduced conflict throughout. When someone tries to censor a fact (which will still happen to some extent), legitimate editors can simply tell the censor that the field is not being called pseudoscientific. The specific concept or characteristic is pseudoscientific, and it is necessary to point out the field. That way legitimate editors don't have to make spurious arguments for stating certain fields are absolutely PS. It will save time, and reduce conflict. Again, I repeat, chiropractic is not being called pseudoscience. KrishnaVindaloo 05:02, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The issue is no longer chiropractic or acupuncture, it is the use of sources. When we cite a source we are asserting that the fact or opinion has notable support, and giving verifiable evidence for this. If the source is weak then our evidence is weak, and if the source does not in fact clearly say exactly what it is claimed to say then our use of it is dishonest. We have a responsibility to find good sources, sources that are representative of a consensus, which means that they should be notable authorities, ideally academics publishing review artivles in major peer reviewed journals; every step below that is a step down a ladder of progressively weaker evidence. For example, especially when we make a statement that is controversial, we should not for instance rely on an article written by a counsellor with an MA in psychology writing in a non peer-reviewed monthly newsletter for her profession, with no apparent reason to believe that she knows a lot about chiropractic. This is a serious matter well beyond the content issues; if sources are used irresponsibly, if they are hard to find and check and when found and checked do not even make the stated claims, then our time is wasted. And we do have to check: I have just looked at one of the cited sources, and this is the sum total of what it has to say explicitly about pseudoscience:

Alternative medicine includes chiropractic science [28], homeopathic science [29], psychic science [30, 31], and even occult science [32, 33]. Academic science would undoubtedly call these approaches "scientism" and discuss the boundaries between science and pseudoscience [34-36]. However, for practitioners and their patients, these sciences are absolutely credible. Indeed, many of these disciplines have a long intellectual tradition and sophisticated philosophy [37-39], as does the broad notion of nature's healing power [40] and vitalism [41, 42]. Adding to the genuineness of the scientific label is the fact that training in alternative disciplines may involve years of study of complex knowledge bases and relations, intricate determinations of causality, and empirical testing of practice [43].

This is the ONLY mention of the word pseudoscience in the article by Kaptchuk and Eisenberg. What is actually said is not the same as what might be inferred by some readers. KV, you have made misleading statements about your references; you implied wrongly that a particular Conference Proceedings to be peer reviewed; you implied that Ford made a statement he categorically did not, and evaded admitting it when challenged. You cited both Bayerstein and Kaptchuk in ways that add your original inference to what they actually say, significantly distorting the meaning for a neutral reader. You gave on these pages a reference that I was totally unable to find and have not provided corrected access details. You are continually inserting OR into your edits by making your own inferences beyond what the authors actually state. As an author, I can tell you that being mis-cited is a considerable irritation; we choose and use words very carefully to say what we want to say and no more. Please take note, adjust your editing style, get rid of any prejudices or opinions that you have formed; our job here is to report, not to interpret, and that job is being done very well by some who have beliefs that I do not share, and badly by some whose beliefs I do. This is not a battle between philosophies, and if it were then I would be even more adamant that science absolutely requires objectivity, rigor and evidence. One of the most insidious aspects of weak science and pseudoscience is the selective use of weak anecdotal evidence to support a preformed opinion Gleng 08:00, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng and thanks for your input. I have already stated that I don't mind the Kaptchuk ref being removed from the article. In fact I made appropriate adjustments to all of the objections you have just made against me.
Rules on sources are there to be used reasonably. It is reasonable to expect a very strong source or set of sources for an assertion that, for example, Dianetics is considered pseudoscience.
However, some facts are plain obvious (self evident). It is self evident that applying chiropractic to curing homosexuality is pseudoscientific. Stating that is simply giving a clear example to clarify an abstract point. Its helpful. We already have a wide range of sources from scientific to philosophical that state chiropractic is pseudoscientifically applied to every health problem and psychological problem in existence. So it is also self evident that it is used to treat homosexuality. In effect, there are a large number of sources that show this to be true. The Christianson ref is simply a corroboration of that fact. The homosexuality back manipulation is simply the best example for the article.
The problem with applying the rules in the way you have said, is that it is exactly the way people use them to censor facts from this article, as is your insistence that I am consistently wrong about everything. To each of your objections I made adjustments accordingly at the time, yet you still complain. Censorship has been a problem here for a long time and it needs to be dealt with. If editors are quoting rules to banish certain self-evident facts from the article, and that is encouraged, then legitimate editors are going to have a very hard time doing anything about the article. Lets make it reasonably easy for legitimate editors to edit, and let us deal with the censors appropriately. KrishnaVindaloo 08:30, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your response. The discipline is hard but simple. If a statement is disputed then it is not self-evident and needs a V RS, and if there is no V RS then it should be removed - this is WP policy, not censorship. Statements that seem self evident but in fact are not supported by evidence are exactly those for which we should be most alert as scientists. Part of the problem seems to be that you are extending the application of the term pseudoscience to all activities that you judge to be disreputable or inadequately justified. If anyone uses chiropractic to treat homosexuality, I would consider them as demented but not conclude that what they did was pseudoscience without evidence that they claimed a spurious scientific justification, and then would not consider it notable unless the practice was demonstrably common and arguably representative. Psychotherapy on the other hand is widely used to treat homosexuality, and does invoke spurious scientific justification, and is sustainably and verifiably pseudoscientific in this. Psychology would be utterly denuded of content if you removed from it vitalistic concepts. Go for the clear and obvious exemplars, (ID, creation science, phrenology) or for the big debates (IQ, psychotherapy, psychology, race) because here there is lots of V RS to report; I keep coming back to ID because this has a huge wealth of relevant academic literature, search for chiropractic and pseudoscience on PubMed and the well is dry. As a scientist, I cannot get upset about assertions that do not enter my realm; for example I don't get upset about religious assertions; belief in a God is not pseudoscience, and belief that prayer helps healing is common but not pseudoscientific. If a field misuses the terms and concepts of conventional science, and misrepresents itself as being scientific, that is a different matter; I have no problem with people talking about innate intelligence if they wish or about IQ, or about mind for that matter, but if they confuse mind with brain or IQ with genes then there is a potential issue of pseudoscience Gleng 09:13, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

On sources - Benedetti is a journalist for goodness sake. In some contexts that would be fine, but is this really the best source you can find?Gleng 09:31, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

No problem Gleng, my edits are factual. Contrary to your accusation that I am generally unreliable, my edits have all been adjusted (with the welcome help of other legitimate editors) to a good standard. I have encouraged this. No, Benedetti is inappropriate for some facts and I've even removed it already. Its appropriate for some facts as its a published (not self published) book and under some degree of peer review (publishers). I am quite capable of obtaining many citations for my edits. Many of the cites on the article at present are from my editing and I've encouraged others to add accordingly. Go ahead and check them thoroughly with the help of any others who wish to accuse me of whatever crime that suits them at the time. If you want to encourage censors to enforce the addition of multiple verifiable citations to facts that are already self evident, then I believe you are not doing the legitimate editor or the reader any favours. And you will only end up with an overload of citations on a sentence for no good reason but to satisfy the censor's version of vexatious litigation (a common activity of pseudoscientific followings). The discipline of Wikipedia editing involves knowing the difference between group attempts at censorship and attempts to clarify the article. I can be clearer on this point if you like. KrishnaVindaloo 09:48, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Gleng, concerning your bias for IQ PS over spiritutal healing parts of prayer (Gods healing, teleological vitalism etc), well they both have PS elements and I will treat them equally in accordance with the literature. Both those groups overlap and they both have very clarifying elements of PS therein. Again, I see no reason to state one field is more PS than the other, except in order to censor one's followings from the article. KrishnaVindaloo 09:48, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I have no wish to burden the article with redundant V RS, only a wish to eliminate statements for which there is no accepted V RS; if you provide V RS on these pages that will be fine and there may be no need to include it. Notable academic sources (e.g. Gould) are great; peer reviewed reviews in good journals are great, but these must say clearly what is claimed of them. That's all. Note by the way that characteristics of pseudoscience include: a) Selective use of experimental evidence, b) Reversed burden of proof. c) Evasion of peer review before publicizing claims d) Failure to provide adequate information for other researchers e)Failure to progress towards additional evidence of claims f) Lack of self correction, and g) Attacking the motives or character of anyone who questions the claims.

You are I know editing in good faith. I don't want to impede you, but to encourage you in ever greater care and rigour, and encourage you not to accept low standards of evidence for your insertions. Gleng 10:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Its very easy for to point out the obvious, and I practically live in the library so finding good cites is easy. Though, I have to admit, pubmed is pretty crap in my experience. Good old solid books and journals are a lot more enlightening. Whatever, as long as people realise that backing up Wikipedia policies is one thing, but backing up groups of determined censors is completely off bat. I encourage the former and discourage the latter. There's no balance to be struck there at all, just focus on the former and avoid the latter. I know legitimate editors will never form collectives like "believers", but we have to stick together somehow (by applying Wikipedia policy reasonably, and learning from WP process). KrishnaVindaloo 10:29, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad you're taking a constructive attitude as I know that you have made some excellent contributions. Please note though that there are good articles in WP on vitalism and on teleology; neither of these features implies pseudoscience. Vitalistic concepts and teleological arguments are very common in areas of conventional science, as is described in those articles. Gleng 13:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. You may want to check your claims again. Even the Wikipedia article on vitalism shows issues of pseudoscience. And teleology used in the context of evolution is very much pseudoscience, though that isn't particularly mentioned in the teleology article, it explained to some extent on the ID article. Teleology is something adopted by proponents of chiropractic "innate intelligence' as innate is supposedly sourced by God, and the reason we can heal ourselves apparently, is because of God's love, according to proponents. Spiritual aspects of fringe practices are probably the main reason chiropractic is adopted (with prayer) in order to attempt to exorsise homosexuality. I don't mind explaining this here. It really does seem to me that explaining the deeper connections of pseudoscience is necessary. So I encourage it. To others here, if you see any other interesting historical PS connections that may help the article, please point them out here. KrishnaVindaloo 05:43, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The vitalism article states correctly that vitalism is a feature of many areas considered pseudoscientific; it also correctly states that essentially vitalistic concepts (stripped of metaphysical overtones) are used in some areas of concentional science. Psychology would be denuded if stripped of these. Teleological reasoning is very difficult to exclude from several areas of biology, including physiology, my own area, and frankly many people don't even make the effort to avoid them anymore as they are convenient metaphors. I was trained at a time and in a place where exclusion of teleology was considered a priority for rigorous science, those views now (that I happen to sympathise with still) are probably generally considered quaint now. The point is that neither vitalism nor teleology can be considered defining features of pseudoscience, so the inference from vitalism to PS is logically illegitimate. The issue of religion is one for the editors to make. Personally I would not class religion as PS (I might class religion as utter bunk or I might not, my opinion is irrelevant). However religion claims knowledge from revelation, not evidence - this is not a scientific claim and so can't be classed as PS. In its origins, chiropractic was mystical, religious in nature, and innate intelligence was a mystical concept. Now the name stays, but the mystical connotations have been shed and it is used as a metaphor for certain mechanisms known to exist but poorly understood. In conventional science and medicine we use similar vague terms very commonly - "stress", "anxiety" are two that spring to mind; the difficulties of scientifically defining stress are considerable, yet it is an unavoidable concept because consequences and epiphenomena of stress are readily measured and important.

There are interesting issues for a PS article raised by some of your responses but especially that of Duncharris above. One interesting characteristic of pseudoscientific arguments is how the question continually changes when an answer is given; so when I am asked why there are no placebo controlled RCTs of chiropractic and I point out that this is because there can be no placebo for a physical intervention, I am then accused of not answering the question of why there are no RCTS. This, is a question I didn't answer because it wasn't asked, but as it happens there have been lots of RCTs and NIH has a web site summarising them, this is not the place to discuss the efficacy of chiropractic, which is irrelevant, but you will find that chiropractic seems not much better and not much worse than conventional treatments generally.

If you want to claim that chiropractic now claims inspiration from God, I look forward to seeing your sources, the chiropractic organisations have extensive sites explaining their philosophy in detail, and you will find gateways into these on the chiropractic page. I personally think it wisest to claim that people say what they actually say, not what others claim they think they say, but others might disagree.Gleng 09:04, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

You're joking! That will lead to stating only what pseudoscientists think about their pseudoscience. It means that almost all views about pseudoscience will be dismissed. Its not exactly NPOV policy. I don't need to show that chiropractic now (today) claims inspiration from God. The evidence shows that chiropractic is pseudoscientific in that most of its adherents and practitioners still use pseudoscientific notions of vitalism and untestable notions of subluxation theory.

No I'm absolutely not joking. This is the essence of V RS. If you state that chiropractic now claims inspiration from God then you have to provide a V RS for that. If they claim this they claim this, let's see them claim this. WP is not the place for gossip or innuendo.Gleng 10:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. I believe this point really does need clarifying here. NPOV policy says science should be used to explain pseudoscience. Otherwise you will get confusing pseudoscientific ramblings all over the place. V RS sources such as Williams, Lilienfeld, and Beyerstein are not innuendo or conjecture. Those sources don't say what pseudoscientists say, because what pseudoscientists say is confusing nonsense. They take a scientific view and the explain the claims of pseudoscientists. The core theory if chiropractic does claim inspiration from God in terms of its vitalism concept. It is perfectly NPOV V RS to state scientific views on the use of chiropractic to beat the slot machines, to cure homosexuality and so on. KrishnaVindaloo 04:38, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
It is a common view that core theory of chiropractic uses vitalism concepts. Its actually very obvious. Innate intelligence is a vitalism concept. The concept is used by contemporary chiropractors. The largest organizations still use it (the international body of chiropractors). Now you may say that innate isn't about vital forces, but reliable sources do. "Vitalism is one of the ideas that form the basis of many pseudoscientific health systems that claim illnesses are caused by a disturbance or imbalance of the body's vital forces" (Williams 2000). There is enough nuance there to deal with just about everything you have said.

No dispute that chiropractic uses vitalistic concepts. So does a lot of conventional science. It's therefore not a defining feature.Gleng 10:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Gleng, you seem to have totally ignored the Williams quote that I placed in discussion. The Williams quote is absolutely accurate. Vitalism is a pseudoscientific concept in the examples presented (unless we are living in the 17th century). KrishnaVindaloo 04:38, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Chiropractor's main proponent (Palmer) wrote at length about teleological notions of ID (Intelligent design). This is still taught, and chiropractors still use the arguments. Just take a look in any chiropractic journal. Its full of wierd star wars concepts. Apparently there are even articles about using Innate Intelligent to beat the slot machines. Use the force Luke! KrishnaVindaloo 09:58, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes. Have you looked at what conventional medicine was like in Palmer's time?Gleng 10:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Gleng. Like the literature says (and you seem to be denying it), palmer’s philosophies are still followed by many thousands of international chiropractors today. Chiropractic is applied to a huge range of ailments outside far beyond the scope of back pain. It is still being treated as a vitalistic spiritual panacea. KrishnaVindaloo 04:38, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Please indulge us Krishna Vindaloo

"I have the paper (Ford) right in front of me and I read it in its entirety days ago. If you want me to endulge you in your rather destructive conflict game, I can quote word for word so you can see obviously I have read it." KrishnaVindaloo 04:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

KV, you know me, I always assume good faith. I am assuming good faith when you say that you have the article in front of you and that you have indeed read it. I am assuming you are sincere in your crusade to ensure that chiropractic is included in this article to somehow make it complete.

And yes, your idea is a good one to "quote word for word so you can see obviously I have read it." Given your history here, I would be more assured that my assumptions of good faith are justified if you could reproduce the exact paragraphs "word for word" from the Ford article that contains the mention of chiropractic. I think this may also assure other editors as well, not that I am trying to speak for them.

Thank you for understanding and indulging me. I look forward to your reply as I have confidence you will come through for us. Steth 14:21, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Steth. Why should legitimate editors have to put up with this kind of grilling? Some proponents will simply deny the existence of obvious facts, and make claims and excuses in order to promote their interests. The facts are clear, and the literature shows a significant view that reparative therapy involves all kinds of pseudoscientific charlatanry. Such developments involve new age treatments, fringe psychotherapy, and yes, chiropractic manipulations. Again, the literature is clear on this.

The Ford article (concerning the PS of reparative therapy) states on the last line of the conclusion:

"I will continue to do anything in my power to expose their fraudulent claims."

KrishnaVindaloo 05:35, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Steth. Your point is made, so let's move on. Clearly the Ford article does not mention chiropractic explicitly, clearly my ammendment of the citation to it (replacing chiropractic with psychotherapy) was the appropriate correction, and clearly Mcready was understandably misled by KV into assuming that the article must refer to both in his subsequent correction. It would have been nice if that would have been acknowledged as a citation error early. I think the message for us all is that for sources to be verifiable they need to be widely available electronically at academic institutions at least; if sources are unavailable and content is disputed then perhaps the relevant extracts should be posted on these pages. Exposing fraud is a worthy aim KV and I wish you well, but WP is not a soapbox, this is not the place for campaigning, however virtuous the intent.Gleng 09:32, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Gleng. I should clarify. The line is from Ford, its not my main intention. I'm here to improve the article, to work with others to reduce the level of censorship, and to make the article look more like it knows what its talking about and less like a rant at various fields. KrishnaVindaloo 09:46, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Krishna Vindaloo has a BIG problem

Not so fast KV. You are right, legitimate editors don't have to put up with this kind of grilling. If you were a legitimate editor you wouldn't need grilling. If you were interested in exposing fraud, then you will explain why you makes things up and pass them off as fact. That's why the facts are not clear on this, as you contend. Because you are making up the 'facts'.

Problem is, KV doesn't recognize that he is a pathological liar and his edits cannot be taken seriously. So how can we move on, Gleng, until he moves on? He has ground this article to a halt. KV has yet to admit he fraudulently made things up to push his POV and make WP his soapbox. The only way he can "improve this article" is by leaving it alone and seek help.

BTW, I received this email from Ford, the author of the article in question. Very revealing. Of course KV will deny it is legitmate, so I will provide Ford's email upon request, although it is available on his website.

Hello Mr. Ford,
I am not familiar with your work, as this is not my area of interest nor expertise. But recently I came across the following statement and was wondering if it was accurate. In other words, was chiropractic actually mentioned by you in your article noted below. I could only find the abstract, so I thought it would be best to ask you directly.
"According to Ford (2001), though chiropractic has some supported aspects, it is also applied in a pseudoscientific way to an exceedingly wide range of conditions from treating dyslexia to curing or preventing homosexuality."
The reference given was:
Ford, J. (2001). Healing homosexuals: A psychologist's journey through the ex-gay movement and the pseudo-science of reparative therapy. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, 5(3-4), 69-86.
I ask this not to comment on your work, but rather to determine if it was the proper use of a reference regarding chiropractic.
Thank you very much for your time.

NO! That is not a correct quote. I did not mention chiropractic anywhere in the article or anywhere else for that matter. It was a licensed consulting psychologist who used a device that delivered electric shocks to patients who were experiencing homosexual arrousal. Can you send me a link to that quote?
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Jeffry Ford, MA, LP

So Gleng, you are of course, very professional and diplomatic. But I feel things should be stated a little more strongly. Until Krishna Vindaloo admits he has a problem, his edits cannot be trusted. He has violated one of the most fundamental principles of WP -- Assume good faith. And we don't have to assume good faith anymore when it comes to KV's edits:

This policy does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary. Actions inconsistent with good faith include vandalism, sockpuppetry, and lying. WP:AGF

So KV, you have the opportunity to leave gracefully now OR GET OFF YOUR F---ING SOAPBOX! Any further comments you add to this or any article will be carefully scrutinized and, with regards to chiropractic, will be removed. Steth 11:12, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Remarkably revealing. KV, it appears that the correction that I made (the one you called the silliest edit ever) should have referred to psychology and not to psychotherapy. This episode shows clearly the absolute importance of not attempting to make original inferences, but to treat sources with integrity for exactly what they actually say. Another feature of pseudoscientific arguments is the selective summoning of evidence however weak to support a prejudice. As scientists, we must try to follow facts, wherever they lead, regardless of our prejudices, and be especially suspicious of evidence that apparently confirms our beliefs, because here our critical judgement might be most likely to be weak. The scientific method is all about falsification, not confirmation. We absolutely do not decide what is true first and then look for evidence to support that prejudice.Gleng 11:58, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Well said Gleng. Steth 12:06, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Can we all move on with our lives now? I'm vaguely happy with the article as it stands now, with Inate Intelligence clearly a pseudoscience but chiropractic in whole not a good example. Jefffire 12:11, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I think so. --Dematt 13:01, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, let's agree that KV has outlived whatever usefullness he may ever have had to this article, that he is in essence a non-productive troll (I calls em as I sees em, so no WP:NPA slop), that his facts are his own and no one else's, and that working together we can make this article what it needs to be. •Jim62sch• 22:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Steth and co. I remind you that Wikipedia policy is strictly against personal attacks. You have made several against me. I am pretty tolerant, but Wikipedia is not on this matter. You will be reported if you continue such attacks. See Wikipedia policy [[16]]. I leave it up to others to remove such personal attacks from the discussion page.
I said it very clearly before the first personal attack upon me, I said it afterwards, and I will say it after your last ones. Christianson states very clearly that chiropractic is used for sexual conversion therapy, in conjunction with other pseudos. Christianson cites Ford, which has a great deal of very useful information about the pseudoscientific nature of sexual conversion therapy (very useful for those wishing to investigate further). You (Steth) accused me of not having read the Ford article (you asummed guilt until proven innocent), and I have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that I have read it, yet you still call me a liar. If we were to exact the same impossible standards on you concerning all the denials you have made, there is not a chance that we could ever assume good faith on your multiple deletions or your arguments. The article will continue to improve despite your vicious personal attacks and vexatious actions. Action will be taken if you persist. KrishnaVindaloo 04:26, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Please observe Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Bubba73 (talk), 05:25, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Bubba, thats a much clearer link style. KrishnaVindaloo 05:34, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
This too rings hollow, see the below case very carefully put together by Gleng (nice work, BTW). The simple fact is KV, or should I say the "self-evident" fact is, that you have ceased to be in any way productive, have frittered away the community's patience, have done nothing but bring disruption to the page, and have lost any expectation of application of WP:AGF,thus meriting the appelation of troll. While you may find this moniker to be harsh, it is in fact an acceptable appelation so long as it is used judiciously, which is the case herein. Thank you. •Jim62sch• 13:40, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, Jim Butler, I should remind you, though everyone has their bias, accuracy is indeed very important, and the ongoing spanish inquisition has showed a lot of "selective editing" on the part of some of the inquisitors. I will assume good faith on your part and not report you for calling me a troll or encouraging Steth to throw personal attacks. I have to assume that your main intention is indeed to root out trolls and to keep harmony in this discussion, and that the only reason you didn't chasitise Steth for calling me a pathalogical liar, (get off your f...king soapbox) or liar multiple times is because you must have missed those points. KrishnaVindaloo 04:07, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
What are you busting on Butler for? He didn't write that, I did. I don't recall Steth using the adjective "fucking" (BTW, if you're going to use the word, go for the gusto), instead he used pathological. Now while that might be a bit harsh, and unless he's a psychiatric expert probably outside the realm of his expertise, but his assertions seem to be well-substantiated by those little things we "inquisitors" (too funny of a word) like to call facts.
This is humorous, "I will assume good faith on your part and not report you for calling me a troll or encouraging Steth to throw personal attacks". Report away, especially on the second accusation -- I can't wait to rip that to shreds. In fact I'll quite enjoy it. As for troll, read the link I provided for you, compare your behaviour, and, if you've any analytical ability you'll see that I was right on the mark.
Oh, BTW, ever seen The Caine Mutiny? The "everybody but me is guilty" defense didn't work too well there, either.  ;) •Jim62sch• 13:03, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Integrity and editors

KV appears not to have taken the invitation to drop this issue, and accuses editors of making personal attacks. My reading of the dispute is that the attacks have been upon allegedly dishonest and deceptive assertions made repeatedly by KrishnaVindaloo. My view is that these allegations are very clearly established. There have been clear examples of personal attacks on these pages, especially from KV who has consistently suggested that editors who disagree with him are not legitimate editors, who are conspiring in censorship, and who are not editing in good faith. KV has been treated with I think remarkable civility and restraint. It would be nice if KV were to concede that he has been deliberately deceptive to other editors and correct his ways. Failing that it would at least be appropriate for him to say no more. But allegations against other editors, from him, in context, are not to be borne. The relevant deceptive statements by KV are documented on my Talk page, so as not to overburden this page.[17]Gleng 11:11, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Gleng. If you want to continue to gang up on me on your talk page, go right ahead. Go and list all the edits and adjustments in chronological order and I will put you straight wherever it is needed. The adjustments on Ford have been made long before Steth decided to make a conflict out of nothing, and I have already proven Steth's accusation to be false. I have shown to all here that I own a copy of Ford (Pseudoscience of conversion therapy). I fully accept that your group will probably continue to call me a liar throughout my edits. That is the kind of thing one has to accept when making legitimate edits on this article. So yes, take your accusations elsewhere and remind Steth not to make personal attacks. We have work to do here. KrishnaVindaloo 11:58, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Go ahead and correct then. Documentation of relevant statements by KrishnaVindaloo (difs)

1) Insertion by KV of Ford reference to chiropractic as treatement for homosexuality [18]

2) Reiteration of claim [19]

3) KV states “Ford is a peer revewed article that specifically says chiropractic is pseudoscietifically applied to curing homosexuality etc”. [20]

4) KV states ‘’According to Ford (2001), though chiropractic has some supported aspects, it is also applied in a pseudoscientific way to an exceedingly wide range of conditions from treating dyslexia to curing or preventing homosexuality’’ [21]

5) Gleng amends the reference to Ford to clarify that he is referring to psychotherapy not chiropractic. KV responds by describing this as “about the silliest I've seen in a while. Firstly its not what Ford was saying...” [22]

6) Mcready modifies edit adding chiropractic in with psychotherapy; Gleng does not dissent, explaining that he could verify psychotherapy but cold not verify mention of chiropractic but if Mcready could then OK. No word from KV, the only one apparently with the original text.

7) KV repeats assertion about Ford content, after clear and open questioning, stating “Ford explains a set of pseudoscientific subjects that includes chiropractic. Chiropractic stands out in that list because psychotherapy is actually a fairly resonable (yet erroneous) way to "treat" homosexuality.” [23]

8) Steth asks KV if he has actually read the Ford article, and explicitly asks him if chiropractic is mentioned in it. KV says yes [24]

9) KV adds for the first time mention of an article by Christianson [25]

10) KV now modifies the article using Christianson as a source for the assertion that chiropractic is used to cure homosexuality and Benedetti as a source that it is used to cure dyslexia. (Later he concedes that as Benedetti is a journalist and not an appropriate RS for this) [26]

11) KV reiterates to Dematt assertion about chiropractic and homosexuality [27]

12) For the first time, Steth alleges directly that the Ford article does not mention chiropractic. KV’s response is “Hello Steth. No, I've already explained that more clearly. Ford says reparative therapy is PS. Christianson specified chiropractic as part of reparative therapy. As above. Clarifications were made in the article before they were censored out again.” [28]

13) In reply to Jim Bulter and Steth, KV now states “I cited Ford (the corroborating article) and ommitted Christianson (the source that states chiropractic is used to treat homosexuality)” [29]

14) In response to Gleng, KV re-asserts claim and insists that Christianson is a good source ‘’The citation (Christianson) is perfectly reliable (She’s an expert at a university and has a perfectly good publication).’’ [30]

15) To Jim Butler, KV clarifies “::::*Christianson states that chiropractic back manipulations are used to treat homosexuality, and Ford supports this with a deeper discussion on other pseudoscientific aspects of such practices.” [31]

16) KV reinserts into article ‘’Though chiropractic has some verified aspects, it is also applied in a pseudoscientific way to an exceedingly wide range of conditions from treating dyslexia and ear infections (Benedetti 2002) to curing homosexuality (Christianson 2005).’’[32]

17) Steth accuses KV of lying about the Ford article KV in response states ‘’I will say again, Christianson states that chiropractic is used to cure homosexuality, and Ford elaborates upon this’’ [33]

18) KV insists that the Christianson source is reliable [34]

19) KV repeats the implication that the Ford reference supports the assertion about chiropractic in response to ObsidianOrder| ‘’However, I believe it will be far easier to simply use the line, chiro used for curing homosexuality. Its brief and to the point. Chiropractic for ear infections is not so obvious to the reader (the jaw bone and inner ear bones can be manipulated). The homosexuality cure is more obviously pseudoscientific and reparative therapy is seen as pseudoscience (hence the Ford ref).’’[35]

20) Steth establishes conclusively that Ford does not refer to chiropractic, implicitly or explicitly, in the cited article or anywhere.

21) Gleng makes a broad criticism of KV’s use of references: ‘’KV, you have made misleading statements about your references; you implied wrongly that a particular Conference Proceedings to be peer reviewed; you implied that Ford made a statement he categorically did not, and evaded admitting it when challenged. You cited both Bayerstein and Kaptchuk in ways that add your original inference to what they actually say, significantly distorting the meaning for a neutral reader. You gave on these pages a reference that I was totally unable to find and have not provided corrected access details. You are continually inserting OR into your edits by making your own inferences beyond what the authors actually state’’

KV responds declaring that it is self-evident that chiropractic is used to treat homosexuality ‘’So it is also self evident that it is used to treat homosexuality. In effect, there are a large number of sources that show this to be true. The Christianson ref is simply a corroboration of that fact.’’ [36]

22) KV responds by accusing editors of making personal attacks [37]

Gleng 12:11, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it was this way from the beginning of KrishnaVindaloo's participation here. See, for example, Talk:Pseudoscience#Removed passage from "Identifying pseudoscience". Upon removal of a one-sentence passage and placement of it on the talk page for further discussion, KV responds by saying: "Hello Kenosis. Do you realize your unreasonable actions are highly antagonistic? You seem bent upon provoking conflict." Perhaps needless to say, at that stage KV had already demonstrated his penchant for twisting facts and research to suit his predetermined point of view, most particularly about chiropractic.

The protest just above directed to Gleng rings extremely hollow to me, and doubtless will ring hollow to other editors as well. I have a list at least as long as Gleng's, wherein comments using the words "Hello User:X" and "please" and "thank you" – nice demonstrations of politeness at first glance – are actually wolves in sheep's clothing designed to manipulate each of the editors to whom they are addressed, including myself. ... Kenosis 15:31, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng and all. I notice some rather selective presentation of the facts there, and will point them out. I will assume good faith, and say that they must all be oversights on the part of the presenter.

  • Point 8 above. Yes, that edit states yes. But that is not a complete edit. I have already made the adjustment. This statement no longer exists in the discussion page because I explained more clearly. I realised Christianson had been confused with Ford and made the adjustment. The following edit corrected that point and states: -----------"Hello Steth. Yes I have read it. As above. There are other refs on the way though. "----------- Search for that statement in the talk page. I have already proved that I read Ford. If you like you can quiz me on it. I promise I will not confuse Ford with Christianson again. If I do so, feel free to ban me from Wikipedia indefinitely. KrishnaVindaloo 04:15, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Point 12. The first time Steth alleges that Ford doesn't directly mention chiropractic. And I explained that point. Ford's paper covers sexual conversion therapy. Christianson states very clearly that chiropractic is used to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals. And I had made the corrections in the article. By normal Wikipedia editor standards, thats a job done.

Steth goes on to accuse me of never having read Ford, and tells me again to state that chiropractic is mentioned in Ford. I proved that I read Ford (though no editor need prove any such thing), and the latter demand was already dealt with above. I have absolutely no need to prove Ford said chiropractic is used in reparative therapy. Christianson says it and elaborates using Ford.

  • The only question that any reasonable editor should ask is: Did KV lie about chiropractors using chiropractic for conversion therapy? Or was there just some early confusion with citations?
  • [38] Jim Butler removes Christianson and confuses it with Ford, calling Christianson Ford. And gives his opinion against the evidence (he says chiropractic is not used for treating homosexuality) Assume good faith! Stop calling me a liar! KrishnaVindaloo 04:29, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

"Hello Steth. Yes I have read it. As above." Where exactly is the gracious acknowledgement in this that you had made an error? Editors here are, thankfully, a hugely forgiving community. We all make mistakes and nobody need be pilloried for that. But not acknowledging them promptly and correcting them yourself is a serious omission; it wastes our time, strains our good faith, exhausts our patience. Your edit summary here is a straight insult and breach of good faith; you are implying that the editing of myself, Jim, Kenosis, Jim Butler, Dematt and Steth is guided by pro chiropractic prejudice and not by our declared commitment to WP values. This is why we cannot continue to edit with you; apologise for your mistakes, go and rehabilitate yourself by good editing on other pages, come back when you've learned that people who disagree with you might have very good reasons indeed for what they say. The Christianson reference, to put a sick dog to death, falls so far short of V RS that it doesn't bear reading, even if it were available which for some reason it is not. The reference is to a non peer-reviewed monthly society newsletter written by a private relationship counsellor with an MA in psychology. The content, nobody apparently here has seen except KV; the reference was transparently produced after the Ford reference was challenged at a time when KV realised his error, but failed to admit it, and instead sought to disguise it. Go. Gleng 08:47, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Gleng. Um, it seems that confusing name statements (your first line) has become contageous:). We are hugely forgiving, so we shout a statement in bold that we cannot continue to edit with you? That sounds more than a little confusing also. Perhaps we should strive (all of us) to be more clear, and certainly not to assume bad faith in every word. My edit summary reflects the self evident situation. I am a fan of pseudoscience myself. I actually like science fiction and fantasy amongst other genre, and reading the proclamations of Hubbard, Soko, and the International society of chiropractors is equally inspiring, bizzarre and inadvisable.
If you are finding it hard to obtain published articles, I suggest you join a university library or two. They generally have a good variety of sources and databases. Certainly the Internet is pretty unreliable. I know it is not possible to verify all sources, but as long as sources are verifiable, good faith should be assumed. Surely between the pro-chiropractic group, someone must be able to obtain a copy of Christianson. Its all there just as I said. I am telling the truth.
There are some things that are self evident. It is obvious that heated discussion around chiropractic only occurs whenever chiropractic is mentioned in the article. I have worked hard to solve that problem, and it seems to be fairly sorted right now, even according to other editors (Dematt). I sometimes feel like I am here to solve the problems of one particular group. One suggestion I put forward now is that it would help your situation if you kept other proponents in check at least in terms of direct personal attack. I know discussion can get heated when there are proponents around, but some actions should really be discouraged. OK, you don't want to work with me. There are plenty of other cooperative editors who do seem to want to work with me, and our work is ongoing and positive. We can even request the help of mentors, mediators, and other such experienced Wikipedians. If you care to join us, be my guest. KrishnaVindaloo 11:37, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Good grief. Maybe it's time to request a temporary ban on KV for this article.Gleng 12:32, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

If for no other reason than the fact that I'm tired of seeing "self-evident" slung around every third sentence. KV, in reality, nothing is self-evident. •Jim62sch• 12:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Sure KV, thanks. It is self evident that your problem here has never been about chiropractic. It has always been about OR. Assuming good faith no longer applies for your editing. Please don't use my name to justify your editing style. That, too, is misleading.--Dematt 13:13, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Dematt, but unless, as with Steth, you are calling me a liar, you have no choice but to assume good faith. I will clarify. I posted your name because your comment (that you are happy with placing "Innate in Chiropractic" as a pseudoscientific concept, was cooperative and reasonable, and I am in the process of calming a group of proponents down in order to maintain reasonable editing. KrishnaVindaloo 03:37, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
As I assume that the use of the word "sorry" in the above comment is not meant as an apology;I will clarify:
  • WP:AGF:This policy does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary. Actions inconsistent with good faith include vandalism, sockpuppetry, and lying. Assuming good faith also does not mean that no action by editors should be criticized, but instead that criticism should not be attributed to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice. Accusing the other side in a conflict of not assuming good faith, without showing reasonable supporting evidence, is another form of failing to assume good faith.
  • Evidence:"Ford is a peer revewed article that specifically says chiropractic is pseudoscietifically applied to curing homosexuality etc." in KrishnaVindaloo's response to Jim Butler when concern about Ford, an article that was offline and could not be checked by corroborating editors, not being a good source for using chiropractic in the sentence. The subsequent Steth discussion and Gleng discussion satisfy me that you performed the following faux pas: lie2: 1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood. 2 Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.
KrishnaVindaloo, I previously assumed good faith when I did not delete the edit immediately when I saw it. In order to maintain WP as a reputable publication, WP requires that I no longer assume good faith as per WP:AGF.
--Dematt 13:50, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Dematt. You are presenting selective evidence. I have already stated the confusion between Ford and Christianson, and even Jim Butler has made the same confusion. Christianson cites ford in the same paragraph as stating that chiropractic is used in reparative therapy. I used the Ford ref to say reparative therapy is considered PS. That is good research. Confusing citations is not lying. You have no choice but to assume good faith. Obtaining a copy of Christianson will reassure you further. KrishnaVindaloo 15:00, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Your "sorry's" ring as hollow as the rest of what you've written here. The cute little bait-and-switch tactics -- attack and then say sorry -- will not work. There will be no good faith assumed regarding you by myself, and it seems by others as well. Good faith is like respect -- it may be temporarily assumed for civility's sake at the beginning of any series of interractions, but after that, it needs to be earned. KV, you have done nothing to engender either respect or an assumption of good faith. Thus, no one has "no choice but to assume good faith", quite the contrary in fact -- no one has a choice but to not assume good faith in your case. This is reality. Deal with it. •Jim62sch• 16:04, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup tasks

OK, good to see that pseudoscience is casuing the same amount of trouble as it always has. I wrote the original article way back when, and one whole sentence of the original article still survives, which is nice. (The sentence about "Pseudoscience can be distinguished from revelation, theology and spirituality...")

Anyway, while staying out of disputes, here are some editorial tasks I've started.

1 - Under "Identifying Pseudoscience" I cut the sentence "There are also bodies of practical knowledge that are not claimed to be scientific. These are also not pseudoscience." I have no problem with it, but I don't really see what it is trying to say. If someone can improve it (give examples), by all means put it back.

2 - just above that was a section which pre-empted the "Protoscience" discussion that follows. I cut it because it doesn't add anything not covered in the next section, and it muddies the waters. Manning 23:24, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Manning. Its pretty clear where the problems are. There are solutions that are being implemented right now though. As its quite unnecessary (and inaccurate) to state whole fields are absolutely PS, the article is increasingly being focused on PS concepts. That way the reader gets to read specifics, and its made clear to them by saying which field the PS concept comes from. True, we'll probably always get lynch mobs of proponents who don't want the article to be clear, but there are perfectly good Wikipedia solution to that if they cause too much trouble. There's always a solution to any problem that comes along. KrishnaVindaloo 04:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
The insertion of the word "in" is satisfactory for me with the use Innate Intelligence "in" Chiropractic on the list. Thanks all.
Sure Dematt. Its a good solution. Specific, consistent and clear editing are the way forward. Thats only fair. KrishnaVindaloo 04:34, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Manning - re your point #1, "There are also bodies of practical knowledge that are not claimed to be scientific" - nice easy example, the body of knowledge consisting of all cooking recipes. Practical body of knowledge, check. Does not claim to be scientific, check. Basically the only falsifiable claim of a recipe is that someone somewhere might like it... which is probably true a priori since someone bothered to write it down. This is even an empirical field, just not scientific. Contrast with diets which do claim to be scientific and are probably often PS. ObsidianOrder 09:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Ubiquity of PS thinking

Hi all, further to Kenosis' helpful suggestion, I added to/altered the section on demographics to something more meaningful and explanatory. More can be done with it and additional input is welcome. I believe it could be made more brief, yet more rich in terms of psychology. Any ideas from those in the know will be great. There will probably be quite a lot that scientists say about this aspect of pseudoscience, and I'm sure we can make it more clarifying to all aspects of pseudoscience. KrishnaVindaloo 05:51, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

"A survey on public knowledge of science in the United States showed that in 1988 “50% of American adults [rejected] evolution, and 88% [believed] astrology is a science". Source: Bunge, Mario (1989). “The Popular perception of science”, Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, series V, Vol. IV, 269-280, as cited in [39]. Have a look at the this PDF for an overview and pointers to further reading. --Pjacobi 06:42, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks much PJacobi. Thats a very interesting find. And Bunge is a fine source. There's also some useful information on various vitalistic "spurious therapies" on page 254. All round a good article. Lets see how we can appropriately include the information into the article. KrishnaVindaloo 07:22, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi PJacobi. I also found the Bunge info and its pretty good. There are other concepts and indications that he talks about and he fills a gap in pseudoscience in physics also. Useful stuff. KrishnaVindaloo 12:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi again PJacobi. I added the Bunge ref as is, and will check more closely for page numbers etc. The ref section of the Epistemology of Science, Science Literacy, and the Demarcation Criterion: you posted has turned out to be rich in good sources. Thanks again. Adjustments and further information will be welcome as usual. KrishnaVindaloo 05:02, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

First line of Identifying PS

Hi all. This first line needs some adjustment, either in terms of its content, or its citations:

A field, practice, or body of knowledge is reasonably called pseudoscience or pseudoscientific when (1) it has presented itself as scientific (i.e., as empirically and experimentally verifiable); and (2) it fails to meet the accepted norms of scientific research, most importantly the use of scientific method.[14] [15] [16]

The line doesn't seem to represent the citations. I'm not saying there's anything in particular wrong with the line, but the citations don't support it. I'll have a good look through the lit to see if there is a better line, but if anyone could provide (or show me) where the line comes from, that'd be great. KrishnaVindaloo 04:39, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

More specifically, there seems to be no line in any of each citation presented, that has any of the lines written above. Can someone please present the correct citations. I'll not remove the line (though I believe the line "is reasonably called" is quite spurious and looks like soneone's attempt at dictating what is absolutely PS and what isn't), but I believe the citations are inappropriate. Any help on this will be welcome. KrishnaVindaloo 03:26, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
KV - this is almost verbatim from the OED (note: the original, not the Oxford American). The only changes are the addition of "alleged" and the addition of the definite article in "the scientific method". I think the year on the edition was 2000 but I can check. Also note AHD and MW both have very similar definitions, they just omit "method". P.S. See also Talk:Pseudoscience#definition_redux. P.S. Sorry, I didn't notice that you quoted a different version which departs from sources... someone must have changed it back to the good one. ObsidianOrder 09:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks much ObsidianOrder. Thats a great help. I'm uncertain of the source you mention though OED. Could you post it here? So far then, I take it that the present citations are inappopriate according to the source you mention? KrishnaVindaloo 09:27, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

OED •Jim62sch• 22:39, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Melanin theory

Hi Kenosis. I don't object to your removing melanin theory at all, but I believe (under the circumstances especially) that it would always be advisable to open some kind of explanation or opening for discussion on the talk page. I believe this should be a habit on this article. I havn't studied the subject myself, but if there is a core concept that is PS, then that could be presented instead. My main reason for saying this is that someone put it there for a reason, and I have to assume that it was reasonable rather than just a racist provocation. I'll have a look through the literature anyway, just to see if there is something useful there for the reader. Feel free to discuss if anyone did indeed have a valid reason for placing the entry. KrishnaVindaloo 11:43, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

My initial explanation was given in the edit summary, which is conventional practice within WP. Discussion on the talk page is now open, per KV's preference--this is also conventional.

Elaborating just very briefly on my edit summary, melanin theory was characterized as a field regarded as pseudoscience, and was linked to the article on black supremacy. The lack of counterbalancing example(s) of erroneous uses of "science" to justify white supremacy or other racial or ethnic supremacy was quite conspicuous. So, I took melanin theory out of the list. As I indicated right in the edit summary, I don't think it's this article's proper function to be involved in this nonsense unless the perspective is sufficiently NPOV,. In my judgment this would require a reasonable set of examples of pseudoscientific justification of racial bias as a whole, not just of one particular race. ... Kenosis 15:24, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Kenosis, I'd refrain from calling the addition nonsense, as the theory is actually mentioned at least in part in Williams, and similar texts. It does seem quite spurious and possibly inflamatory, and would need other information to balance or clarify it. From what I have read, I see no particular reason to include it yet. But that may change if anything else comes to light. Indeed, as you say, race as a whole, rather than just one race (if such a thing actually exists). KrishnaVindaloo 03:22, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, when I said "nonsense" I was referring to all racial-supremacy justification in its myriad forms, only one form of which is this "melatonin theory". And I hadn't known KrishnaVindaloo was responsible for, or so supportive of, this one passage. But now that you mention it, let me ask KrishnaVindaloo: why pick a theory associated with notions of black supremacy to call pseudoscience? Why pick that one, when you have Nordic theory, Nazi eugenics, eugenics generally, scientific racism, and a host of other widely documented opportunities to include on the list of things that have been accused of being pseudoscience? Why just malanin theory, KV, please do tell us why? ... Kenosis 03:58, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Like I said, I would prefer the article stay out of this nonsense entirely. But if examples are to be included, they had better be balanced across the board, and presented very strictly in accordance with WP:NPOV. This whole discussion is ridiculous if you ask me (which KV did, by way of this latest bit of baiting). If anything should be "self-evident" to a person genuinely interested in clarifying for the rest of the public issues related to pseudoscience, I would think it would be this kind of issue. ... Kenosis 04:10, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

As Kenosis notes, the inclusion of only one of those asinine pseudosciences is quite alarming. Why were the others not included?
Secondly, unless we include all pseudosciences related to racial or ethnic supremacy or cleansing, there is no reason to include any. •Jim62sch• 14:14, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that basicaly melanin theory isn't notable enough to warrent inclusion here. Jefffire 14:18, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree, would requires significant NPOV discussion within the article that would eventually add nothing. --Dematt 14:33, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


Just needs a pause here; innate intelligence here is linked directly to the relevant article that places it as a chiropractic concept. I happen to agree that innate intelligence is not strictly a pseudoscientific concept, but a non-scientific concept persisting as a metaphor from the early history of chiropractic. However this is a content dispute that can be resolved by others. I think it is however correctly placed within chiropractic. My revert is by way of clarifying this issue, I in fact agree with Steth's edit in this case as stated above.Gleng 16:23, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng, I am a little confused. You think it should stay, but agree with my edit to remove it? If innate intelligence is not a PS concept, then why have it in? It doesn't add anything except to confuse. There are other entries that make up a nice list. Thanks Steth 16:38, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi. Already had second thoughts and edited - sorry. On reflection. It seems obvious (self evident? :)) that it is opinion not fact that innate is PS, and obviously disputable opinion, so if included it would need V RS for opinion and be clearly flagged as opinion not fact, likewise for the others in the list.Gleng 16:42, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Gleng, didn't see the second change you made. Very clear explanation, appreciate it. I think Vitalism sums it up, although it may not be PS, except to some in the medical profession, who are not scientists. But that may be a discussion for another day. Steth 16:50, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Yep, the edit works! Cool. And very funny Gleng.  ;) •Jim62sch• 19:23, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, its perfectly clear that there is a long term problem with a particular group of advocates. The problem will have to be tackled with a long term solution. In the meantime, there are other edits to make. KrishnaVindaloo 03:12, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Yet again a clear breach of WP: good faith in inferring motives to editors.Gleng 10:08, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Advocacy? No KV, it is simply that vitalism encompasses all of the separate topics you had listed, so there is no real value added by their inclusion. •Jim62sch• 14:29, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
There is no need for me to assume good faith. There is clearly malice in the above statements, and in the edit. The six subjects considered PS are supported by multiple sources and multiple editors. Removing them without first seeking consensus is clearly against cooperative editing. It can also be considered a type of blanking vandalism as it negatively effects the integrity of the article. I have no desire to get into reversion wars over this, and I will leave you to your interests. I have other edits to make in cooperation with other editors until the unnecessary conflict has died down. I now apologise for confusing Ford with Christianson, even though it is a fact that chiro is used in RT according to the latter. If apologies could be made upon the malicious persecution upon myself, and the personal attacks on myself, I'm sure things will calm down even more. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 15:08, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


And yet another example of failure to assume good faith, and accusations of malice from KV. We can either proceed to a RfA (and we really all have better things to do unless we must), but first I would like to politely advise KV to voluntarily withdraw from editing this page for a month. I believe there is ample evidence on these pages that he has exhausted the patience of this community, who so far from engaging in personal attacks upon him have treated him with remarkable civility and restraint despite the issues of OR in his edits, the deception involved in his edits and remarks, and the persistence with which he impugns the motives of other editors. Please sign if you agree with this brief summary of the events and actions recorded (exhaustively) above. I will add that if any editor on this page other than KV believes that there is merit in his suggestion that I have edited with malice or otherwise dishonourably in any respect then I will voluntarily withdraw myself for a month.Gleng 15:43, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, although an RfC is generally the first step. But, whatever course of action is decided upon, I will support. •Jim62sch• 16:12, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I think we have been patient and kind beyond reason with KV. He has stretched our civility to it's limits. He has hijacked this article to further his radical anti-chiropractic fundamentalist extremist agenda. He has ground this article to a halt and continues to do so, making the Wikipedia experience an unpleasant one.
He shows no signs of repentence nor any hope of rehabilitation. Of course the fact that he violated one of the fundamental principles of WP by straight-out lying to the community in the face of evidence means that we no longer have to assume good faith towards him or his edits, according to WP policy.
I will also support the course of action recommended above. Steth 03:31, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikiquette alert, RfC, keeping it off the talk page

This article discussion has become vexing to all, and I am suggesting the correct remediation. RfC is the way to go, but there is a fairly sane earlier option for handling this sort of conflict. I have made a Wikiquet alert in order that someone from the outside intervene. I believe there are other relative "outsider" editors here who could also have helped, but this is a pretty reasonable first step [40]. I am getting tired of people accusing me of lying, and tired of having to repeatedly defend myself. I am sure other editors are getting tired of having to read the same cycle of accusation/defense. I am perfectly willing to go to RfC and RfA on this also and have plenty of literature as support. The literature shows quite clearly that I am telling the truth about the fact (Chiro and RT) and it is extremely clear that there was a confusion over sources (including Jim Butler's confusion). I'm not talking about winning or losing here. Simply moving forward as editors. Lets keep the dispute off the talk page. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:34, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I support KV on this and abhore the organised cabal ganging up on him. Mccready 14:34, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Abhor away, but make sure reality plays a part, Mccready. •Jim62sch• 22:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Mccready. I appreciate the vote of confidence, though I wouldn't call them a cabal. Their accusations, tone, and unwillingness to obtain literature to back up their claims have already made it impossible for them to stand up straight in mediation or arbitration if it ever comes to that. Thanks. KrishnaVindaloo 03:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim62sch. Please be civil. We need to move forward together as editors. Thats the reality of the situation. The sooner that is realized and followed, the easier its going to be for everyone. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
But brawly kent I that a' this was but a scoug to keep some ither thing oot o' sicht. •Jim62sch• 23:41, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Science moving slowly and quickly?

I removed this line from the introduction:

Both the theories and methodologies of science evolve, sometimes very slowly, and in other cases quite rapidly[citation needed].

Its quite misleading (slowly compared to PS?) and there has been no citation added to it even though the citation needed tag has been there for a while. If anyone can provide a citation that'd be great, but I believe it will also need clarification if it is to be replaced into the article. KrishnaVindaloo 03:45, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Misuse of fact tag. Alas Kenosis added it back, and I made it less conversational. •Jim62sch• 14:33, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Seems reasonable, Jim. KrishnaVindaloo 14:56, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


I propose that we try to move, wherever possible, to sources that are available online. This is, after all, an online encyclopedia - and the problems of verifiability will not arise, though disputes about reliability are inevitable.Gleng 16:56, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

....And as soon as we do, then problems of verifiability become apparent. Feyerband is quoted here as talking about the difference between science and pseudoscience. In the article which I found and linked, he does not use the word pseudoscience once; he talks of distinctions between science and non-science. The reference to him is thus I believe a mis-citation, inserting interpretation beyond his actual text.Gleng 09:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Sure Gleng, I'm having trouble finding the Feyerband ref you talk of. ITs not here, and I can't find it with a search on the article. Could you point it out or present it here? KrishnaVindaloo 09:49, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd already linked the reference in the article to an on-line pdf.Gleng 13:30, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't support the suggestion that only online sources be used. It is silly to exclude well sourced material and against WP policy. I find it hard to believe the suggestion has been made. Mccready 14:29, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Note, "wherever possible". End of discussion. •Jim62sch• 22:41, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Unwarranted Attacks on user KV

I do not support the gang organising to attack KV. As I said on wikiquette - he has my support and admiration for a valiant effort to remove pseudoscientist bias and prevent pseudoscientists from dominiating WP. Mccready 14:29, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Mccready also comments on the Wikiquette alerts: "I find KV's edits well researched. This attack by the usual bunch of pseudoscientists ganging up with the support of a man who claims to be an independent scientist is deplorable." [41].

I guess Mccready's idea of well researched edits and mine therefore differ. However, I said I'll withdraw from this page if any editor accuses me of acting dishonourably. I have no idea on what evidence he believes me to be part of a gang organizing anything, but I withdraw from this article as promised. It seems to me that Mccready wants WP to be a soapbox; whatever.Gleng 14:53, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. I don't believe there is any need for you to withdraw from this page at all. I have no evidence of Mccready soapboxing, and I doubt if anyone else has. Lets try to keep personal feelings out of this. We are all quite capable of discussing PS concepts and arguments without jumping to conflict every time. A little heat is fine, as long as its only to drive good logical argument forward. Again, lets move forward with this. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:22, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Apparently Mccready hasn't been subjected to quite the same betrayal of interactive thought processes that have happened to other editors involved in discussion and analysis on this page. Such intellectual dishonesty can be quite reasonably demonstrated. Problem is, it takes a greater deal of work to show and explain where the all the little betrayals, and the arguably larger ones, occurred; and the "jury" needs to be willing to grapple with more than quick 20-second "sound bites" of what happened. If I may put forward a sound-bite about what's happened here recently, a number of editors feel intellectually manipulated or betrayed after having interacted with KrishnaVindaloo on analysis related to the content of this WP page. This suggests, at an absolute minimum, a conflict of expectations about what a genuine discussion should consist of. Gleng, Steth, Dematt, Jim62sch, myself, and perhaps others, have all had points of disagreement with one another. But it appears we all share in common the feeling of having been intellectually betrayed or manipulated by KrishnaVindaloo in recent discussions. If I had my preferences, I would rather not spend the time and effort that would be required to document and explain every lousy bit of the discussions occurring over the past month. My preference instead would be to see movement towards a more intellectually honest set of exchanges in the future. In the meantime, a number of editors here appear to have decided to keep a close critical eye on KrishnaVindaloo's edits and arguments, a temporary adaptation that I support. ... Kenosis 15:41, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Kenosis. Yes, please scrutinize my edits. For example, obtain the correct literature and scrutinize this:
Christianson (2005) states that chiropractic is used in reparative therapy. Ford (----) states that reparative therapy is pseudoscientific.
If you or anyone else feels betrayed by me then feel free to take this up with me on my talk page. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
KV, nobody expects you to apologize for making a mistake, we all make them. What I have not heard, yet, is that you understand that combining two different authors work in the manner that you have done with Ford and Christianson (and others) is inappropriate and represents WP:OR. If you would like to make that inference, then write a paper, present it to a reliable peer reviewed journal and then we can use it. Otherwise it is just a POV construction that we as editors have a responsibility to delete, regardless of our individual careers or belief systems. --Dematt 16:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Dematt. But this is not about OR, the issue is censorship from all followings. I am not trying to get the information onto the article using Ford so there is no need to defend chiropractic again in this case. Did you obtain the literature and did you scrutinize it? Because there have been a lot of accusations but I have not yet heard of anyone here obtaining the literature and actually reading it. Christianson shows clearly that chiropractic is used to treat homosexuality.
Chiropractic adherents have fought hard to exempt themselves from the PS category, despite the recent clarifications and additions of scientific subjects to that category. They have worked as hard as they can to remove their following from this article despite it being fairly represented. I know there will be trouble if I place it back despite the current support (Christianson). Therefore, I have not tried to replace it. I agreed with Kenosis in that scrutiny is a good idea. I have scrutinized and found editors using pseudoscientific arguments to defend vitalism and its use in alternative medicine. Scrutiny is useful. In order to solve the long term censorship problem, and in order to reduce the incidence of unwarrented accusations, I encourage scrutiny. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:13, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Very well put, Kenosis. My preference would be that Gleng not leave, although I fully understand his reasoning for wanting to, as his presence here, as well as his experience as an editor and editor of medical journals is needed here. As for Mccready, I suggest that he read through the discussions and archives with as open a mind as he can achieve, and then make judgments. Merely scanning the activity here with a mindset predisposed toward the discovery of a conspiracy is insufficient, and is demeaning to those who seek the proper application of neutrality to the article rather than the carrying of the flame of a dogged hatred of a particular discipline.
For me, KV's betrayal is not so much intellectual as I inherently distrust an intellect shaped by bias, but is rather more visceral as his one-man tag-team good-cop/bad-cop routine sickens and disgusts me. That we have allowed someone who proclaims to be an expert on pseudoscience but is instead an expert on using pseudologic as a manipulative tool to poison this page for sennights is disheartening. That all of us tried to work with KV only to be used in the furtherance of his ends, even after the first doubts of his sincerity were raised, is merely a symptom of the human hope to see the good in mankind. Sadly, KV, in his rapacious selfishness, does not share in that hope. •Jim62sch• 23:27, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim62sch. If you really feel that bad, please take this up with me on my talk page. We can discuss the literature of Christianson and Ford, and move forward to resolution. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 03:30, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Opening discussion concerning the removal of subjs considered PS




Vedic science:

The last century saw three great arenas of intellectual debate; about phrenology, about reform of psychology (where rejection of vitalist concepts was seen as central to the progress of psychology from pseudoscience to science), and ID. Because in each of these areas scientists perceived a real threat, they mobilised for debate, and there is an abundance of V RS from notable authorities in major publications. To a lesser extent the same can be said to be true of the IQ race debate, cold fusion and homeopathy (water memory).

If a subject cannot plausibly be confused with real science then it either scarcely qualifies as pseudoscience, or provides such a minimal threat as to be not worthy of time and attention - so there will be a relative paucity of V RS.

Our job here is to report; what we report depends on, and must reflect, the V RS. Why even bother with vedic science and reiki?Gleng 09:31, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. My main concern is that items are being deleted with a complete disregard for the discussion that took place last month concerning the brief list of PS subjects. From what I remember, these were included on the basis of notability and of course there were sources that said they were pseudoscientific. There is another overriding concern though, about good clear writing, and most readers will not recognize the concept of vitalism within the context of pseudoscience. In theology its all fair enough. But when applied to healing and medicine it is pure pseudoscience. But the reader will want to know where it is used. A simple list of areas where it is used pseudoscientifically is very easy to maintain and it just helps the reader orient the theory in their world view. Thats how its done in other encyclopedias and it works well. PS can be far too abstract for people to get a clear picture. So such examples are easy to present. As before, presenting them does not mean that Wikipedia is saying they are PS. But it is saying that the concepts are being used pseudoscientifically in those fields, as per the literature. Its specific, clear, miles away from perjorative, and very much in accordance with NPOV policies. I'm not that bothered with them being absent right now, but I'm sure others will have something to say about this either short or long term. KrishnaVindaloo 09:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

No particular wish to exclude these from the list if each is given V RS. However citing them within vitalism is misleading. Vitalism is a notable topic within PS as this was the crux of the dispute within psychology, and there is abundant V RS for this issue. Whether psychology has shed vitalist concepts or merely removed the associated mysticism is a topic of continuing debate. However vitalism per se, at discussed in Vitalism, is not necessarily PS, unless you regard for example the concept of emergent behaviour as PS, which would probably be disputed by mathematicians and computer scientists. As I stated in my Talk discussion of this edit, the question of whether specific examples of vitalism are indeed examples of PS are matters of opinion and so need V RS for opinion (whose, and is the opinion notable?). Gleng 10:08, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Gleng. The argument you present is pseudoscientific. Vitalism concepts are used in fringe psychotherapy (eg, primal scream therapy, Buddha therapy etc), but its not a testable hypothesis. Chiropractic is used to treat schizophrenia in the same way, because its fringe. Vitalism is used in chiropractic, and appeals to holism are used in order to refute scientific findings on its non-testability. The the heading on the Vitalism article is grossly misleading when it says "scientific versions". It would be more appropriate to head the section "pseudoscientific types". Science dismissed vitalism centuries ago because you can't measure it, and only the hucksters and psychics of the 1900s re-used them (Williams 2000). Its easy to visualize, but you can never grab hold of it - must be a ghost or spirit!
Vitalism is inherently metaphysical, but that doesn't mean it has to include God or gods. It just means that it goes beyond reality in that we can't measure it - use the force Luke! Call it a metaphor, a theory, a hypothesis, it doesn't matter, its just not testable, and therefore falls way outside the bounds of science.
It looks scientific enough; you see all those diagrams showing flows of energy going through nerves, subluxations, or meridians. Stick in a pin, massage a chakra, or twist a spine, and you've got the good old human potential movement and New Age rolled into one big placebo. It removes negative blocks, you get a panacea for backpain, headaches, depression, dyslexia, and self improvement in general! This is why the metaphysical gets in. People are prone to make reality and fantasy overlap.
Concerning "modern" biochemical explanations for vitalism, in science its just not on. Its like taking valid evolutionary science and saying its proof that God edists (the ID argument). You can't measure God, and you can't measure vitalism. My intention here is to avoid conflict that is based upon erroneous thinking. I may do some work on the vitalism article in order to rectify some confusions there. KrishnaVindaloo 03:39, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I abhore any attempt to remove these from the article. They, unfortunately, are part of the anti-science culture in our world that is reponsible for so much damage to health, waste of resources and subversion of intelligent attempts to explain nature. Their proponents regularly try to adopt the language of science (even funded by government) and they need to be listed in any article that has pretensions to discuss pseudoscience. Mccready 14:33, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Outside feedback

Formal dispute resolution is long overdue. Suggest RfC or mediation. Durova 15:04, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Durova. Thanks for the feedback. I'm more than willing to go to both through the correct channels if that will help the article. As it is though, I see some hope in that editors right now are moving towards resolution and making good suggestions for improving the article. Actually, good edits have been made throughout the conflict, its just a matter of resolving accusation issues on the discussion page. I'm open to suggestion. KrishnaVindaloo 05:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually I'm not confident at all that the problem is so simple. That's why I haven't tried to mediate informally. Durova 17:18, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

ranging from

ranging from is unencylopedic rhetoric which begs the question of what's in between. I'll revert. Could someone archive this talk, it took three minutes to download on my dialup. Mccready 16:12, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. When the examples are of "naivete" or "ignorance" on the one hand, and "intentional deception", "ulterior motive" such as financial or political gain, etc., on the other hand, a term such as "ranging from" is quite appropriate and describes a particular scale with which readers are already familiar. But I'm not stuck on the language. I thought Mccready's tightening up of the language in that paragraph (in the "Introduction" section) was generally an improvement.

I also think the content of the last month's discussion should be retained just a bit longer until the various contentions involving KrishnaVindaloo are put to rest, which I hope is immediately. I'd like to see this all move forward with a rapid restoration of honest intellectual exchange on this page, however contentious and vociferous as it may continue to be (we're accustomed to hearty arguments around here, and the page has generally improved as a result). Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of this current page is only one month's discussions, mostly involving KrishnaVindaloo either directly or indirectly. Hopefully the bulk of the talk page can reasonably be archived within the next few days, but that's just my hope. ... Kenosis 16:43, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, archiving would be helpful. Off talkpage discussion can continue on various objections, and I know some editors would appreciate a smaller filesize for this discussion as browser speed is a factor in loading. KrishnaVindaloo 05:38, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

close to 3RR

kenosis I think you are editing to quickly. If you'd spent more time on your edit you would have seen that your are using redundant rhetoric. Either something is fulfilled or not - the qualifier is not needed. Similarly for "reasoned judgements". Your purported reason re a reference to reliability would be totally lost on the reader (with due respect). Once again I'll revert and request that you archive this talk - it again took a lot of dialup time to download. thanks. Mccready 16:31, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Bullshit. There is not one reversion applicable to me today. Look at the edits before making such statements. (I've removed the reference to my username from the title of this talk section, originally titled "Kenosis close to 3RR".)... Kenosis 16:45, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Upon reviewing the edits, we find the following:

  1. Mccready makes a wide set of changes to the "Introduction" section here.
  2. We find Kenosis following up by changing two words here.
  3. Kenosis makes another minor adaptation of the multiple changes by Mccready here
  4. Then we find Mccready immediately reverting here
  5. In the meantime, Kenosis copyedits one sentence here. Specifically, and this is important, it is not the case that "These requirements allow others to accept or reject reported results." I changed it to "Proper fulfillment of these requirements allows others to make reasoned judgments whether or not to rely upon the reported results."
  6. And, wouldn't ya' know, suddenly Mccready reverts again here.

Now, if I may ask, who is it that is close to 3RR? We'll deal with the substance of these edits again later. ... Kenosis 17:12, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Getting back to the substance of this issue, the first paragraph of the "Introduction" currently reads, after Mccready's edit of the last sentence:

The sentence :"These requirements allow others to accept or reject reported results" does not explain anything to the reader in my estimation, and if it's taken literally it may as well be left out entirely rather than stated in this way. People accept or reject results all the time, or alternately don't know what to do with the results. The issue here is whether the methodological, statistical and full-disclosure expectations actually been fulfilled by the researchers in a way that allow reasoned assessments whether to rely on them. If a 5% statistical correlation and a relatively large confidence interval is reported, some may still choose to rely on these results, while others may not. If a 90% correlation and a small confidence interval (from repeated testing) is involved, some practitioners may still decide to wait for a 99% correlation and a yet smaller confidence interval before relying on the results in their particular field or area of practice. Before Mccready's last revert, the last sentence read: "Proper fulfillment of these requirements allows others to make reasoned judgments whether or not to rely upon the reported results." That is not the only way of expressing the concept, but it is a reasonable way. Therefore, I am going to replace it, pending the weigh-in of any other interested editors. ... Kenosis 19:00, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Replace. Mccready's version creates a cancellation-dichotomy devoid of meaning. •Jim62sch• 23:37, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello all. I believe Mccready's inclusion of the last sentence there is fairly reasonable, though it could be improved upon. The idea is pretty sane in good editing terms. The procedure allows others to make reasoned judgments using scientific method on a variety of issues. The core idea (in the final sentence at least) is peer review. Remember that review is a core term also. It is not just one paper, but the review of many papers that tends to determine scientific view on pseudoscience. The sci method offers a standardized way of assessment for the sci community. We don't need to mention sci community as such, because pseudoscientists are also going to make judgments, including statistical inferrence (and exaggeration of implications). I would suggest that the sort of sentence that Mccready has suggested is useful as it at least shows the reader some reasoning for why why the scientific process is used. Of course, your suggestions on improvement or specification of that final sentence will be useful. KrishnaVindaloo 06:49, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Building upon Mccready's idea and other's input, I suggest the following for the final sentence of the paragraph in question:
"In this way, a group of researchers can collaboratively assess the relative strengths, weaknesses and reliablity of research findings, using a generally agreed upon set of criteria".
The line is far more concrete (easy to imagine) and accessible than the previous more abstract lines in the paragraph. This will help the reader understand the rather difficult information presented. The purpose of the sentence is to help the reader say "Oh, thats what it means!", or "Oh, thats why!". Further comments or suggestions are welcome. KrishnaVindaloo 07:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Peer review was already mentioned, with a link to peer review. The words "...documented for scrutiny and made available for peer review" were used in order to take into account situations where peer review occurs informally. Also, it's not as difficult to get published as it used to be, and many today publish on the web. The issue that was intended to be emphasized is that of making it available to be double checked and commented on by other experts and argued accordingly. That's one of the hallmarks (one of a cluster of hallmarks) of science. If someone says they're doing science, and someone else asks "OK let's see your data", and the answer is "Uhh, well it's a trade secret", or "Oh, we're going to publish next year", or "It's all up here in my head", it immediately should lead one to think about the possibility of it being pseudoscience rather than genuine science. The key point being, science today does not involve wizards behind a curtain, but instead must be thoroughly documented and made available so other experts can assess the research or experiment(s), and, if they choose, to follow up with further research or experimentation. This is already made clear in that paragraph.

The last sentence speaks to the end user of the information. Proper fulfillment of the requirement of full disclosure and proper statistical analysis allows the end user, the therapist, practitioner in the field, or knowledgeable analyst of the information, to have adequate information to make a reasoned choice whether the disclosed correlation coefficients, statistical confidence levels, and confidence intervals are adequate for their particular needs in whatever their particular practice happens to be. That is to say, fulfillment of these requirements allows practitioners to make a reasoned assessment, in advance, of what the odds of success are likely to be if they choose to actually put the experimental results to use and/or recommend something to their clients. ... Kenosis 05:30, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

... Kenosis 05:30, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Kenosis, yes you are correct. I like the wizard/curtain metaphor. Confounding potential peers is definitely a PS ploy. Readability can be improved also. The problem ending the last sentence with “important factors such as statistical significance, confidence intervals, and margins of error.[3]”, is that the reader is likely to go: “Huh?”. It’s a pretty good confusion technique when used in intellectual debate. It creates a kind of amnesia for everything that came before. I suggest that the clearest and most accessible sentence be placed at the end of the paragraph, so that it is pretty clear to the reader what all that “stuff” was about, and that they leave the paragraph with the main point in mind: (the scientific method involves a bunch of professional fusspots sitting around whining to each other in statistical jargon☺ But its just so everyone is speaking basically the same rigorous and well defined language:) Those guys have rigour coming out of their ears, and quite rightly so.)
Here’s a suggestion:
"The Scientific method is expected to be applied always, and bias controlled or eliminated, through experimental designs including double-blind studies, and via statistical means such as the determination of statistical significance, confidence intervals, and margins of error.[3] All data, including experimental/environmental conditions, are expected to be documented using conventions that allow further experiments or studies to be conducted to provisionally confirm or falsify results. In this way, a body of researchers can collaboratively assess the relative strengths, weaknesses and reliability of collections of research findings through peer review using a generally agreed upon set of criteria".
Here I have kept the more “obscure jargon” away from the ending of the paragraph. I used the term “provisionally confirm” and believe that is a science nuance that needs repeating. In a thousand years, who knows? We may have provisionally concluded that sun sign astrology is effective for insurance planning, and the base of the food pyramid may be consist of cream cakes and cigarettes (provisionally). Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming. KrishnaVindaloo 07:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the existing explanation in that particular paragraph is already close enough that we shouldn't mess with it unless there's a clear and convincing improvement.

(1) the issue is not double-blind study or statistical analysis, but rather that double-blind studies are used to eliminate both subject bias and observer bias, while statistical methods can also be used to help sort through potential observer bias and reporting where the observed quantities are not of human subjects, as well as in such processes as instrument calibration. Beyond this, statistical methods are used, independently of the issue of best-possible elimination of observer bias and flaws in instrumentation, to analyze the data for correlations and dependability, and generally presented as summary measures. So they're separate processes in general, and that's how the paragraph presently puts it, in simplest possible terms without explaining the whole of scientific and statistical method (which generally requires two textbooks to explain even the basics).

(2) See the discussion in the archives of Talk:Scientific method to ascertain why these days it is not the scientific method, as it once was.

(3) "generally agreed upon set of criteria" doesn't explain much of anything in this context of the proposed change in the paragraph; if we mean statistical methods, this is already said in that paragraph as it's currently written.

(4) "provisionally confirm or falsify" is not how it is done. Rather, someone does an experiment, reports a statistical significance or lack thereof between an independent and dependent variable to within a target statistical significance level (e.g. .05 or better), and includes at least a basic statistical summary analysis of the results along with an interpretation. Others may follow up, gradually building a body of information, using what's generally called Bayesian inference, which most often neither confirms nor falsifies the hypothesis in the strict bivalent sense, but rather hones in on a probability that, assuming there is a sufficiently clear operational definition for each of the variables, can result in a smaller and smaller confidence interval as the body of data grows, especially among multiple researchers. That's a very quick version at least, but I don't think the article should get that specific about the process. The current text is already a reasonable expression of this.

In other words, a great deal of thought went into the existing paragraph, and should at this stage involve a clear improvement before changing it significantly. ... Kenosis 20:45, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Kenosis. It doesn't take a great deal of thought to improve the passage. Its a necessary process if the article is to become anywhere near readable.
OK, if you like, the "or statistical analysis" can be substituted with other words. Pretty easy, though not exactly paramount. Removing the "either" will probably do it. I'll make the adjustment.
Your point 2. Do you think we need to add anything about the history of the sci method here?
Generally agreed upon, is to help the reader understand the jargon "peer review" and explain that there are conventions that are to be followed if peer review is going to be effective. Its pretty concrete language and is the sort of explanation "method" used in order to make encyclopedias understandable to the reader.
You think that "provisional" is not the way its done. Well, Williams (2000:ix) seems to disagree with you as does Popper according to this Stanford source [42] amongst other literature. Its clearly a nuance that needs repeating. Its mentioned and recommended in books on research design. The sequence you present is not as strict as you are trying to argue, and statistics can be used in various ways at various places in the process. Thank you Kenosis. Input from other editors is welcome also. KrishnaVindaloo 04:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello to you too. As to Popper, unless KrishnaVindaloo refers to Popper in the 1930's, KrishnaVindaloo is incorrect. As to Williams (2000:ix), I don't know at the moment. But, I can now agree with a very high degree of confidence that it doesn't take a great deal of thought to improve the passage according to KrishnaVindaloo. Why? Because KrishnaVindaloo just said so. ... Kenosis 05:14, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Kenosis. Thanks for reiterating what I said, at least. If you have any updates on Popper, then great. Otherwise, Williams says that scientific theories can be provisionally accepted (he doesn't use the word confirmed). This issue also quite usefully relates to the demarcation problem as is mentioned in the Scientific method article (last bullet point). Again, its a nuance that will improve the article. As mentioned by others, science and pseudoscience are not absolute, though pseudoscientists will tend to be both absolutist and over-general about their claims. There are still debates concerning the definition of science and the scientific method in phil of sci circles. Thank you for the suggestion. KrishnaVindaloo 06:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

There's only one thing philosophy is unlikely to debate too much -- it's own importance.
"scientific theories can be provisionally accepted" -- wow, deep. Accepted by whom? What does accepted really mean? Accepted as being a theory? Accepted as having merit? Accepted as being "true"? •Jim62sch• 21:18, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Hello Jim62sch. Here is the statement in full:
"The practice of generalizing from observations to form a rational explanation - a theory - of a particular part of our world and then testing that theory by experiment, rejecting it if it doesn't match up, accepting it provisionally if it does" Williams (2000:ix).
Notice also he uses rejecting and accepting instead of falsifying and confirming. It may be a good idea to clarify the terms, falsify and confirm, using these synonyms. I remember undergrad sci students struggling with these terms (especially falsify as it sounds like someone is deliberately trying to adjust the theory so it is wrong). Contingency is obviously an important point. It all depends on follow up studies that may falsify the theory in the end. Either way, its a clarification for the artice from an encyclopedia on pseudoscience, and the rather accessible statement is made by a reliable source. KrishnaVindaloo 04:11, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

What happened to this paragraph?

One of the paragraphs in the "introduction" previously read like this:

  • Critics of pseudoscience such as Richard Dawkins, Mario Bunge, Carl Sagan, and James Randi consider almost all forms of pseudoscience to be harmful, whether or not they result in immediate harm to their adherents. These critics generally consider that pseudoscience may occur for a number of reasons, ranging from simple naïveté about the nature of science and the scientific method, to deliberate deception for financial or political gain. At the extreme, issues of personal health and safety may be very directly involved, for example in the case of physical or mental therapy or treatment, or in assessing safety risks. In such instances the potential for direct harm to patients, clients or even the general public may be an issue in assessing pseudoscience. (See also: Junk science.)

Then Mccready changed it to the following:

  • Critics of pseudoscience such as Richard Dawkins, Mario Bunge, Carl Sagan, and James Randi consider pseudoscience to be harmful. These critics say pseudoscience appears for reasons including simple naïveté about the nature of science and the scientific method, to deliberate deception for financial or political gain. Critics also cite issues of personal health and safety, for example in the case of physical or mental therapy or treatment, or in assessing safety risks of treatment. In such instances the potential for direct harm to patients, clients or even the general public is an issue in assessing pseudoscience. (See also: Junk science.)

Now it explains even less, in my reading of it. The second sentence is grammatically incorrect. And it now misses much of the whole point of the earlier longstanding paragraph, which was: (1) These critics consider all pseudoscience to be harmful whether or not it results in direct harm; (2)It may occur for reasons ranging from ignorance of scientific method to deliberate deception for personal gain; (3)Personal health and safety may be directly involved, (in which case, by implication, the importance of sorting out science from pseudoscience is increased). Two of the three main points are somewhat lost in this version. No doubt this could be written differently or a whole new approach could be taken. But I think the longstanding version explained it better.

So I'm replacing the current version with the longstanding version, until a better version of it can be arrived at. ... Kenosis 00:27, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Incidentally, originally the beginning of that paragraph read as follows: "Some critics of pseudoscience consider some or all forms of pseudoscience to be harmless entertainment. Others, such as Richard Dawkins, Mario Bunge and Carl Sagan, consider almost all forms of pseudoscience to be harmful, whether or not they result in immediate harm to their followers. ..." Then about the end of April, the sentence referring to "harmless entertainment" was removed, and it's stayed pretty much like that since then, until very recently. As I indicated just above, I imagine it could all be done better. ... Kenosis 00:46, 12 September 2006 (UTC) Part of Mccready's edit that I agreed with, and still agree with, is in the questionable use of the word "almost" in the first sentence. So I've left it out of the replaced paragraph. My apology that it took so long for me to recall and double-check the history of this paragraph.... Kenosis 02:16, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Kenosis. I'd like to point out your use of italics for emphasis. The bar at the top of the edit field is very useful for this also, and makes writing easy. I'd like to encourage it in this discussion as its a great way to emphasize without giving the appearance of shouting using caps or bolding. And I'll start using italics myself.
I can understand why Mccready removed the all from the text. It may seem to be unnecessary when you can just state the object (Scientists or whatever). If its a quote, then fair enough, but otherwise, there is a reasonable question there. I think (provisionally) it could be done either way.
You're right, the passage could be explained better. Anwswering the why?question in the mind of the reader will make for a better passage. Why is it considered to be always harmful? From my research, it is because pseudoscience always misleads people, in conception, logic, science, and knowledge, even if their practice of pseudoscience does not lead to an needless loss of money or death due to forgoing proper treatment. Thus, its always harmful to treat quantum mysticism as science because it encourages anti-science or anti-intellectual thinking. As pseudoscientific ideas are so catchy, either by design or by wrong-headedness, such ideas become even more harmful. Some ideas look wierd enough to be avoidable by most (chiro for RT), but some are very scientific looking (eg left-right brain mythology) and have infected society as a whole. Anyway, that sort of thing could be useful if briefly placed as a subclause or inbetween sentence. I'll see if I can find a brief quote to cater for that explanation. Other suggestions are welcome. KrishnaVindaloo 05:30, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea why KrishnaVindaloo put "italic text" in front of the section title (here), ,,, Kenosis 06:01, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, my mistake. On reflection its probably easier and better to use manual italics. Fumbling with the italics button on the web page makes it too easy to pepper the talk page with italics willy nilly. Thanks for the pointer. KrishnaVindaloo 06:32, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Last word on sources and goodbye

Thanks for the various kind comments; but no I should not return here. But I will make a few minor clarifications.

Yes, I am a scientist and an editor of scientific journals; I am not anonymous. However, probably everything that I’ve written in peer reviewed journals will probably be read less than what is written here, so WP needs to be taken seriously. As an editor and referee, I spend a great deal of time checking assertions against references, and checking for balance, and several thousand manuscripts have passed through my hands in this way. This is part of the discipline of peer review and it is what sets peer reviewed sources above all others. This does not make them perfect, and you can find my own criticisms of those imperfections in the peer reviewed literature if you want. As a scientist, rather than as an editor, the obligation is to find the evidence first and draw conclusions after, you might be guided by a hypothesis but your activities seek to challenge what you think might be true, not to endorse it. Selective citation of references to support a preformed opinion is not good research. As a skeptic, I don’t accept anything without evidence, and then am cautious, especially I don’t accept argument from authority, whatever the subject. So what should we do to make WP a better encyclopedia? We must resist the temptation to use it to assert our beliefs. Instead we must make it possible for the reader to exercise his or her own reasoning, and make the evidence available to them to do so. We have to select the evidence, but not select it for its message but for the quality of the evidence, and that means simply presenting the best V RS –regardless of its message. If we can, we should use sources available online; in the journals for which I write and edit, virtually all sources are available in this way. They need to be checked, because honest misstatements are easy. The Feyerband citation is an example; it’s available online, check it and it doesn’t use the word pseudoscience. The account of this citation is a reasonable reading, but Feyerband would I suspect not endorse using the term pseudoscience; to do so would be contrary o the view that he is expressing, so to cite him in a way that makes it appear that he would endorse this usage is not correct, imo. This is not a criticism of the editor who inserted it, the point is a subtle one, but it exemplifies the importance of making sources accessible to the reader.

As for the word pseudoscience, it has derogatory implications, but is used in some of the great intellectual debates of our time; these arguments do not deserve to be caricatured by comparing them to online rants about fringe nonsense, however well merited the rants.

We perhaps should also note, despite what KV says, that until very recently the history of medicine itself has been extensively the history of the placebo effect, and that to a large extent its scientific foundations are still flimsy. Replacing vitalism is a continuing process; but some such concepts (like “stress”) are still irreplacable. Many areas of science are inherently irreducible (see emergent behavior). So casual denigration of things we dislike has implications for things we do like, if we resist double standards of argument. Arguing that something is PS because of its history opens a very large field for mischief and disinformation, and we should resist it.

In the end, I can edit happily with those views I do not share but who accept good faith and the discipline of V RS (and yes I have come to appreciate that people who hold very different views to mine can yet be humane, intelligent, interesting, honest, and very well informed); I cannot edit happily with those whose views I do share but who accept neither. So I go, but I wish you well. Gleng 09:49, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Gleng, I think it's extremely unfortunate to lose a highly competent contributor such as yourself. I hope you'll reconsider and come back after your anger settles somewhat. I'll certainly try to help see to it we don't hold you to your statement just above in the event you do decide to become involved again-- and in any event I should observe that you're under no obligation not to change your mind. Take care for now, OK? ... Kenosis 18:02, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Sure, Kenosis. As I said before, there was never any need for him to leave in the first place, though he clearly has his own reasons. Welcome back any time. KrishnaVindaloo 03:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Merge with psuedoscience discussion

It says on the article that it has been suggested that this article should be merged with Psuedoscience, but there doesn't seem to be a discussion thread regarding it. So I thought I'd start.

  • Keep: A contraversial theory isn't necessarily psuedoscience.

--G. McVey 22:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

References (whole page -- keep at bottom)

  1. ^ See, e.g., Gauch, Hugh G., Jr., Scientific Method in Practice (2003) 3-5 ff.
  2. ^ Gauch (2003), 191 ff, especially Chapter 6, "Probability", and Chapter 7, "inductive Logic and Statistics"