Talk:Psychokinesis/Archive 5

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Talk Page Archive

Archive 4 has been created with a link at above right. Archive 5, when needed in the future, should be a new subpage (same as creating an article) titled "Talk:Psychokinesis/Archive 5" and the link added to the template on this page's code. For further information on archiving see Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page. There are also Step-by-Step Instructions - Archiving a Talk Page on my personal User Page. Thank you. 5Q5 19:38, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Reference list - how it displays in IE vs Firefox and Safari

There are two types of Wiki reference section templates: {{reflist}} and {{reflist|2}}. This PK article is using {{reflist|2}}, with the "2" meaning it should display in two columns. However, on my PC using Windows XP Professional operating system with Internet Explorer 6.02.2900... browser, the list of References is displaying as a single column. This differs from a Macintosh I also have access to using OS with both the built-in browser Safari 3.0.4 and an add-on browser Firefox In those browsers, the list of References appears as two columns, thereby cutting its length in half. The "See also" list appears correctly in multiple columns in all three browsers. Is anyone else experiencing this single column problem in IE or might I have some setting disabled? 5Q5 15:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Am showing just 1 column in IE 7 on XP, too. Perhaps this discussion should be moved to the template page since I think you've found a noteworthy problem here and they may want to try to fix it... Antelan talk 05:46, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
I found this in Wikipedia:Footnotes: "A similar CSS class exists to create small footnotes in two columns, but this displays as a single column in some common browsers (like Internet Explorer). If desired, use <div class="references-2column"><references /></div> The same effect (with any number of columns) can be accomplished by using {{reflist|number of columns}}." (end quote) Continuing my comment: The {{reflist|2}} template doesn't work perfectly on the Firefox browser with regard to clicking on the link and then jumping down the page to the reference. With second column refs, the page on Firefox jumps down to the external links section and then you have to scroll up to find the ref, which is highlighted in light blue in both Firefox and Safari. With the {{reflist|2}} template on Mac's built-in Safari browser, everything works correctly: two columns displayed, jump-down links to refs in either column, and refs highlighted in light blue. So, to recap, with {{reflist|2}}, IE displays the refs as a single list but the links work; with Safari the refs are in two columns and the links work on both columns; and with Firefox, a significant problem exists: the refs display as two columns but the links only work on column one. 5Q5 22:26, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Reflist|2 works fine on Firefox Antelan talk 01:57, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

See Also section

I'd like to trim down the list of links in the 'See also' section according to WP:SEEALSO. I just thought I'd make mention of this in case it raises any concerns. -Verdatum 17:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Alright, I've removed the redundant links. I'm glad to say there actually weren't very many. I still have the following issues with the following links:
  • Loyd Auerbach - article makes no reference to PK.
  • Banachek - Article makes no reference to PK. But perhaps he could be worked into the "skeptisism and controversy" section.
  • Stephen E. Braude - Hey no kidding, this guy teaches at my alma mater...But yeah, article makes no references to PK.
  • Jon Ronson - I don't even see a reference to Parapsychology in this article. Why is it listed??
  • Materialization - I disambiguated this term. It certainly belongs for now, but it feels like it should be mentioned in the section on subcategories of PK, after which, it can be removed.
  • Nensha - It's a redirect of Thoughtography. I'll fix it within the article.
  • Neural oscillations - No reference to parapsychology in the article. If it's desirable to link this term, it should probably be done within the body of the article, as opposed to the see also section. Else, it should be removed.
  • Quantum mind - No mention of parapsychology in the article. Why is this listed?
Further, many of the of the articles listed only seem be be included because they are people claiming to have psychokinetic abilities. In this case, would it not be enough to just make sure those articles are listed in that category? -Verdatum (talk) 01:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The above look to me like they can all go. Some of them I posted way back when the article was slim. For info sake, Auerbach wrote at least two books about PK and is/was a psi wheel claimant along with his friend, the late author Martin Caidin. Auerbach is in the Further Reading section, so he's covered. Banachek (not mine) is a famous skeptic "spoon bender" and was part of Randi's Project Alpha, in which his fake PK fooled scientists. But if his article doesn't make that clear, then that's his fans fault and he should be delinked here. Ronson authored the book that told the allegedly true story of the military experimenting with using PK to kill goats. His article doesn't make that clear enough. I listed Quantum mind because it had "mind" in it. (!) I agree, the PK claimants can be moved up to the claimants section, but I don't have the time to write little bios, so that's why I stuck them in See also. They will just be names up there, which is okay with me. Maybe some editor will come along later and add something. 5Q5 (talk) 22:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Very good, your insight is appreciated. Changes made. Banachek sounds potentially relavent, so I may seek out a reference and hopefully add him to the body of the article. -Verdatum (talk) 22:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Uri Geller Reference

I'm concerned that using What Scientists Say about Uri Geller as a source is an example of a non-Independant Source and shows bias. I realize these are legitimate quotations from legitimate professionals, but being that the reference is from his personal website, he has a conflict of interest to represent himself with a positive bias. Honestly, I don't know what should be done about this. For now, I just wanted to raise the concern, and see if anyone had any input on the matter. -Verdatum (talk) 09:43, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

You make a good point. The quotes by magicians on his site appear to be all sourced, while the ones on his scientist page are not. It could be argued that they have been posted on his site for a long time now and none of them (who are alive) have demanded their removal, but that's not good enough. Surely he or his brother-in-law know the sources of when these scientists said these things. These were my references. Go ahead and remove them. There are enough refs left behind so that it won't affect the material. There are probably quotes in books out there, so maybe later adequately sourced replacements will be found. 5Q5 (talk) 19:39, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Update: Issue resolved. The references in question were removed by editor Verdatum on Dec 12, 2007 as per above discussion. 5Q5 (talk) 21:30, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Page numbers in references

The numbers may be identifiable in the templates as "pages =" but in the visibly reference text in the article it is not clear what those numbers mean to the average uninformed reader. They could be page numbers. They could be some sort of publisher code, etc. Personally, I think it would be helpful to add the word "Page" in front of the number in the template: "pages = Page 1560." That would then make it clear that the quote is a quote and not a personal note by an editor. Some uninformed editor might come along in the future and alter the quote not realizing it shouldn't be changed. Remember, this is a medium where anyone can change anything, not a professional work adhering to strict standards of the publishing and academic worlds. Well, anyway, that's my helpful opinion (since I'm the one who actually sourced the quotes). If you don't agree, at least I've mentioned my concern here. I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. I'll accept it either way. 5Q5 (talk) 22:53, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, good point. Now that you mention it, I seem to recall the example template uses something like, "pages= pg. 1-5" etc. as one possibility. I'll review the style and update it first chance I get. -Verdatum (talk) 23:15, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
If not out of line with the normal standard, you might also consider putting the ISBN number before the page number in the template so that the page number immediately precedes the quote. Example: | isbn = | pages = | quote = 5Q5 (talk) 15:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Concerning the order, (I believe) I'm just following the order as presented in Template:cite book (or related templates). I don't claim to be a template design guru, so I'm not really certain about the methodolgy behind the specified order of arguments. I don't feel particularly strongly about this, but I'd like to do a bit more research. I do see your point, as it more closely relates the page number to the quotation. I'm also under the impression that flipping the order of arguments will have no effect on the order presented by the template, but I've never bothered to test this assumption. -Verdatum (talk) 18:41, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I did a test, rearranging the template elements as I proposed above and no-go, Wiki ignores placing the page number after the ISBN and before the quote. I now propose, and have successfully tested at least adding the word "page" in front of the number. Example, try this test on ref #1: | pages = page 1560. That works and will clearly identfy the number as a page and associate it with the quote. If you agree and don't have the time, I can go through the list and make the additions. 5Q5 (talk) 18:20, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that. According to Template:Cite book it uses the syntax of "pp. x-y". I'll start fixing them now. -Verdatum (talk) 05:38, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
K, fixed -Verdatum (talk) 18:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
On ref 7, this error message is showing up in red instead: "random number generator.[4][6]Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer, use a descriptive title." It shows up in a PC and on a Mac. Also, regarding the numbers "p" is page and "pp" is pages. 5Q5 (talk) 15:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Problematic references

I have a huge problem with a lot of the references that are sourcing some of the more outlandish claims in this article. First of all, referencing the "parapsychological association" should be done only to give the PA's perspective: it can not be done to reference a fact. Secondly, the book on "Controversial Science" has an author who is research director of the Institute for Parapsychology, hardly a reliable source for a fringe subject. We're going to have to find second- and third-party sources in order to make such bold claims. I am going to leave this notice up for a bit and then I'll begin to cull sources and remove content that is poorly referenced and in violation of neutrality. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:11, 26 December 2007 (UTC) Subscript text

I agree, there are some problems, and your arguments on policy seem sound, but I don't like to speak generically. Perhaps you should consider tagging the offending sections with Template:Fact, Template:ww, or similar inline tag. Or perhaps bring up or justify any specific potentially controvercial changes here. I suspect that some of the problems are in the wording of the claim, and some in the quality of the reference. Mostly, I'm concerned about wasted effort if your changes don't meet concensus; but I'm excited to see what you think should change. Either way, I'll keep my eye on the diffs. It's fun to see this page evolve :) -Verdatum (talk) 05:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Specifics would help. I already disagree with dismissing the PA and [assume you mean Radin and the Institute of Noetic Sciences] as unreliable outright. It's a long article. I would need to know which sections you think are misrepresented as fact. --Nealparr (talk to me) 06:57, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I can only second Verdatum and Nealparr. I'm not sure what ScienceApologist has in mind. Also, in an article on a subject such as psychokinesis, the PA is the professional association of scientists who study such claims. As Verdatum says, it would be better to suggest changes on the talk page before inserting them, I think, since this is such a controversial article. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 07:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but since there is kinesis in the term, physicists would be eminently qualified to comment. That they have not is quite telling, and per WP policy, and more importantly, per common sense, this is an absence of support by the majority viewpoint within the scientific community. It should be made more clear which claims have any support by the broader community and which are pop culture. Not that the pop culture needs to be removed at all, just that the demarcation should be made clear. Antelan talk 07:41, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Antelan, this line of argument is covered by WP:FRINGE. There's nothing wrong with a topic that declares that it falls outside the relm of modern accepted physics. There's really no need to use arguments to push one POV over another here. Sticking to the reporting of documented facts and properly representing them allows this article to be brought closer to neutrality. I fail to see how the pop culture aspects enter into it, as far as I can tell that is not the issue of this line of discussion. If you see spots where references from the relm of fiction are potentially being misrepresented as being nonfiction, you may want to point them out in a separate topic, or fix them yourself and see if these fixes are retained. -Verdatum (talk) 11:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Verdatum, it sounds like you are describing a protoscience, not a pseudoscience. This isn't string theory, where people are building careers on trying to figure out how to make the theory testable. If this topic wants to be outside of the realm of physics, it should stay away from invoking science, except to say that it is not a scientific topic. As such, it will be a cultural, not scientific, article. Antelan talk 20:10, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
If you read WP:FRINGE you'll note it makes no reference to psuedoscience or protoscience. The idea that psychokinesis can work in the real world is a fringe theory, and it should follow the guidelines specified in that article. WP:FRINGE does not have any such rule that if a topic wants to be outside of the realm of physics, it should stay away from invoking science. If you can find such a policy or guideline, please reference it here for my information. Thanks. -Verdatum (talk) 05:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Split the article - PK (parapsychology) and PK (fiction)?

It might solve a lot of problems, I think, if the article could be split: "Psychokinesis (Parapsychology)" and "Psychokinesis (fiction)." Right now, as a single entry, it is trying to serve the needs of both audiences. It would be a shame to lose all those references that could be helpful to a future fiction-related article. Maybe one of you might consider pursuing even a starter article to move items over there? Just a thought. 5Q5 (talk) 16:54, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree with 5Q5 on that. You could fill up an entire article with comic book lore and never even get around to covering the books and movies, much less parapsychology. I vote split. --Nealparr (talk to me) 17:07, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
That's a complicated issue. Psychokinesis in fiction is a collection of disjoint and anecdotal references. It's difficult to write and maintain an article on such a topic that doesn't degrade into "listcruft" and WP:PLOT issues. Psychokinesis in popular culture apparently was a previous article that got deleted by AFD. Still, if someone wants to try and create such an article with a proper lead section explaining it's scope, I doubt anyone will have any serious problem with such a split. -Verdatum (talk) 18:11, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Examples: Force field (science fiction), Portal (fiction), Hyperspace (science fiction), Parallel universe (fiction), Reboot (fiction), Stasis (fiction). I did a quick wiki search for "(fiction)." There are undoubtedly more. 5Q5 (talk) 22:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 01:38, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm having second thoughts. The creation of a new article "Psychokinesis (fiction)" would be useful for the various fan communities (comic books, movies, TV, games, etc.), and anyone is welcome to create such an article. We could put a main article link here at the pop culture section. What I'm having second thoughts about is that I don't understand what is in the PK article now that is not a serious, nonentertainment treatment of the subject. ScienceApologist has the opinion that there are outlandish claims in the article. I must remind everyone that this article at page bottom is locked in the Pseudoscience category. If this were in the Physics category, I could go along with that, certainly. All the sections look okay to me as far as having pro and opposing viewpoints covered; that is except for "Types of abilities." It could use a referenced opposing viewpoint to make it neutral. After I post this, I will add something to the intro there. By the way, the reason I've included quotes in my refs is not to clog up the article, but to help authenticate them. Keep in mind, this is a topic involving a history of hoaxes on both sides. Trust no one... 5Q5 (talk) 16:41, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Categories are a useful tool for the reader, and do not function as disclaimers. Antelan talk 20:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Since parapsychology is also fiction, I see no need for that... Guy (Help!) 19:04, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
    That's fascinating and very exciting! I have not yet read the report that successfully and completely disproved the entire relm of parapsychology. If such is the case, it makes a whole lot of arguments much much easier. Please site your reference that inarguably proves parapsychology to be fiction...Unless of course you're just voicing an opinion, in which case that really isn't useful in any sort of argument over the content of an encyclopedia that is attempting to achieve neutrality. -Verdatum (talk) 16:11, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • To do so would really be begging the question. Antelan talk 19:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Quote by James Randi: "parapsychology, a legitimate investigative science" Swift, Sep 19, 2003 / Google that quote. Off topic, but worthy to note. 5Q5 (talk) 18:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality check banner - remove or keep?

This article has been flagged continuously with a NPOV check banner since and by "17:36, 23 May 2007 AoS1014 (Talk) | (contribs) (55,471 bytes) (POV-check tag) (undo)." The editor who flagged it has not contributed to the article or discussion since May 26, 2007 and has not even logged in to Wikipedia since June 2007. Anyone else feel it's time to remove the banner? If someone adds a new section, then its return could be reevaluated at that time. I vote to remove. 5Q5 (talk) 22:45, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

It isn't right to just keep tags around that long when an article has changed so much. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 23:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

i vote to KEEP. Parpsychology and related dissident sciences are in a state of seige from the "mainstream" etablishment both here and around thw world, and the tag is the only marker of viiglance against bias and evidence distortion on wikipedia. Smith Jones (talk)
I think it's wrong even as just an issue of appearance to have a controversial article indefinitely flagged. As I write this, there are no flags currently on parapsychology, telepathy, Uri Geller, or James Randi, but at various times I'm sure there were. 5Q5 (talk) 22:02, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
If 5Q5 is going to be around, the tag can be put back if editors try to bias the article. One editor may not be able to make a flag stick, but 2 or 4 can. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Right now, the article is not NPOV. I would vote to change the flag to {{NPOV}}. Total removal of the tag is unacceptable as long as the article remains in this awful state. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:38, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

You've changed the flag at article top from a Neutrality nomination check to a total Neutrality disputed. You are obligated then to state specifically what your dispute is. If you feel that more negative material needs to be added, then add it, but don't suppress information in the article that explains what psychokinesis is purported to be. Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ: "material that balances the bias should be added" / Wikipedia:NPOV: "The acronym NPOV does not mean "no points of view". The elimination of article content cannot be justified under this policy by simply labeling it "POV". / Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial: "Points of view held as having little credibility by experts, but with wide popular appeal, should be reported as such. That is, we should expose the point of view and its popular appeal, but also the opinion held by the vast majority of experts." The intro to this article plainly states: "Skeptics contend that psychokinesis does not really exist" and more example of such can be found throughout the article. Add more where you think it needs it, but don't delete the material that describes the wide popular view of what psychokinesis is. People come here to do research. 5Q5 (talk) 22:21, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
As you say, the intro states "Skeptics contend that psychokinesis does not really exist." A more legitimate intro would read, "There is no accepted evidence that psychokinesis exists. Nevertheless, psychokinesis is widely embraced phenomenon in popular culture." Something more in that direction. Antelan talk 23:05, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
"No evidence for psychokinesis has been accepted in the mainstream scientific community." Would be fine. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 23:26, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

The tag needs to be there as long as Antelan's change remains [1]. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 04:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

John Santrock, the author of the reference that is highlighted in that diff, is a scientist - a full professor at a major research university with a PhD in psychology. Antelan talk 04:38, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes. What about it? There isn't any question that some scientists say this. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 06:24, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
OK. Perhaps, then, I misunderstood your statement above ("The tag needs to be there as long as Antelan's change remains"). Can you explain? Antelan talk 06:39, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Fine. That's POV because it is like asking a child if it had a cookie, and it says "no," and it isn't lying because, actually, it had 10 cookies- hey, it's true, it's just that it communicates an untruth. You know that some scientists say PK is supported by evidence, and if you don't then that is because you don't believe they are scientists, which is your POV. Oh, and there is the WTA issue, also. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 08:23, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
There are exceptions to everything in human behavior, but due to the preponderance of evidence, I'm not buying your argument. Antelan talk 20:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I've rewritten this passage. I fail to see why this section is continually a source of controversy. It is merely the question of whether or not these named abilities, existent or ortherwise are potentially subcategories of PK. There is no need to constantly remind readers of the skeptic position, readers do not need to be coddled in this manner. -Verdatum (talk) 20:31, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm a little confused by this back and forth argument. My only input is that this article still has serious neutrality isssues. These issues are present both on the side of proponents and on the side of skeptics. Fixing the issues in this article will require a major effort. I don't feel the need to site specific examples until we actually start actively trying to fix it. It should absolutely be tagged with something to note that work needs to be done. -Verdatum (talk) 15:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

It is inaccurate for the article to imply that all scientists believe that there is no scientific evidence for PK. Those with degrees in the physical sciences, as opposed to the social sciences (like psychologists) who have publicly shown support on the PK side include Edgar Mitchell, John B. Hasted, Dean Radin, William Joines, Eric Davis, and Jack Houck. I'm sure there are more. These are physicists and engineers, unlike Kurtz, Shermer, Nickel, Carroll, Randi, Penn and Teller, Angel, etc. It is always claimed that mainstream science is anti-PK, but can anyone find a single quote for this article by a scientist with a physical science degree who has publicly said something negative about PK in the last 10 years? The Sagan pseudoscience quote that I included in the article is 13 years old, but even he supported continued research. If I were to include a line listing the above pro-PK physical scientists, who besides Sagan could be listed in opposition? As James Randi would say, "I'm waiting. Silence...." This article is about PK. It has to discuss the various aspects of the field and so what may seem like excessiveness is actually thoroughness, not an attempt to indoctrinate anyone. Even skeptics need to go somewhere to look up this background information. If mainstream physicists and engineers are so against PK, if they are the majority of experts, where are the quotes and sources? Let's add them to the article. I would love to include them. I feel the Neutrality check tag is more appropriate. I vote to restore that flag. Individual sections and lines can also be flagged instead, not the entire article. 5Q5 (talk) 16:45, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
This looks a lot like special pleading to me. You should be aware that these people you cite are not considered in high regard within the scientific community, nor is their supposed "evidence" for psychokinesis given much of a second thought. The point is that the pseudoscientists spend most of their time trying to trump up their stature while debunkers are content to simply debunk without attempting an appeal to authority. The scientific community, meanwhile, dismisses out-of-hand this nonsense. Try sending "research" to any respectable journal and see what the response is.
The major issue is that this article asserts as reliable sources which are simply not reliable to report on physical phenomena. This is why we need to revamp the article with particular attention to WP:FRINGE, WP:NPOV, WP:OWN, and WP:SOAP.
ScienceApologist (talk) 16:50, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
My major issues with the article are the rebuttals of the rebuttals, content that appears to be straw man arguments and various other violations of WP:FRINGE. From this, and from the position of others on this page, it appears that the neutrality of this article is in fact disputed (and does not just need to be checked). I think it's perfectly resolvable, but work needs to be done to achieve it, preferably without losing quality content. -Verdatum (talk) 18:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I see, apparently the only sources that will be acceptable to ScienceApologist's version of the article are ones by prominent skeptics who are only commenting on others' first-hand investigations and research. I can paraphrase the editor: You should be aware that these people are not considered in high regard within the parapsychological community, nor is their supposed unbiased "review" of the evidence for psychokinesis given much of a second thought. The goal seems to be to copy the tone of a biased Skeptic's Dictionary entry and disregard any sources that do not conform. I am disappointed by the lack of support by other editors. Go ahead and gut the article. Once Google's new competing service comes online and places at the top of search results, Wikipedia's PK article will no longer matter. Still waiting for those anti-PK scientist sources... 5Q5 (talk) 19:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, the neutrality issues are every bit as much the fault of the skeptics as the proponents. I personally believe sentences like "There is no evidence to support this" have no place in any encyclopedic article, as it is too broad a claim to be provable. The closest proper phrase is something like, "as of this writing, the author knows of no evidence to support this" which is also completely unencyclopedic (self-referencing original research). Being published in a reputable peer-reviewed science journal is not and should not be a requirement for a good source, the biases of peer reviewed selection criteria have been well documented. To use logic terms, it is a sufficient condition for a good resource, but not a nessisary condition. If this article is ever made to look like the skeptic's dictionary entry, then the article should once again be tagged with NPOV; it works both ways. -Verdatum (talk) 20:08, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
From a scientific standpoint, I think it's important to note that there are certain minimal standards that are generally recognized.From the standpoint of writing an encyclopedia, which we are doing, I agree with much of what you've said here. However, I think we should be very clear - when relating to the popular cultural phenomenon of psychokinesis, scientific sources don't have much say; when relating to claims involving the natural world, the scientific mainstream has an enormous amount of sway here. Antelan talk 20:38, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

5Q5, who is not supporting? We will not gut the article. We will continue to use sources which are highly reguarded in the field, that is, parapsychological sources. We will also use skeptical sources, to explicate the skeptical position. There is support for an NPOV article from at least 3 editors here, and only support for the Skeptic's Dictionary version from two. Even if the numbers are different, NPOV is not a negotiable position, though its application is debatable.

About the "scientific mainstream:" We can cite only sources which are about PK. Otherwise, we are doing WP:OR. This discussion was just recently settled in the Bleep talk page, with SA and Antelan and a few others believing that any textbook is good enough to refute and debunk any non-mainstream or pseudoscientific statement, and the rest saying that this is OR. So go look over the argument there, in order not to rehash the debate here (some of it is archived).

Further, "Scientific mainstream" is not represented by Ray Hyman and Randi and Shermer and CSICOP/CSI. Those are skeptical sources, and it is necessary to present them as such. If anyone is not aware, look over the [on pseudoscience] and the [on the paranormal]. Specifically, in relation to whether we can use parapsychological sources, here are the two most relevant sections: [2][3]

Thus, parapsychology cannot be dismissed as pseudoscience, and Wikipedia acknowledges that it does serious scientific research. WP also includes the information that parapsychology is disputed -for lack of rigor and various other reasons. In contrast to the interpretation that this is a content decision by the ArbCom, actually it was a response to editorial behavior which sought to deny the obvious. The ruleing on "obvious psdudoscience" was similarly close to a content ruleing, indeed it was one, but you do not hear the same complaints from the skeptical community on that one. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:02, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Parapsychology can and is dismissed as pseudoscience. That is how it is treated in the mainstream scientific community. That is the treatment which has the most WP:WEIGHT when dealing with observable reality. The terms of this are non-negotiable. ScienceApologist (talk) 00:05, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Martinphi, you are correct in that it is not a content decision; consequently, it has no bearing on content. Antelan talk 00:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad we agree. The ArbCom on the paranormal and the ArbCom on pseudoscience both gave us guidance to keep in mind as we go about generating content, but did not decide on the content itself. And ArbCom decisions are not negotiable, nor are their findings of fact. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 01:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

After reviewing the article, there are many places where the neutrality is in need of a fix. For example, "The more vocal members of the skeptical community assert..." This page and that tag get along well together for now. Antelan talk 01:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't have any issues with the edits made so far, except for "Umbrulla term" as a section title (needs improving) and in the spoon bending caption I am revising the caption slightly to "some" proponents think it due to PK activity. My major concern are statements on this page by ScienceApologist regarding his/her POV that some or many of my sources are not reliable. I physically held those books in my hands in libraries and book stores. I leafed through their pages. I judged them to be adequate to use as references and not in the category of promotional works like The Secret or any book on astrology. I am an editor of equal status here, too, and in real life the author of nonparanormal nonfiction books and articles. I am having a dificult time understanding how another editor who has not physically examined the sources is determining that my editorial judgment in inferior in the matter of assessing their appropriateness. If mainstream science refuses to publish material on PK, then that leaves only debunking skeptical and pro-parapsychological sources, with some works, like Broughton's Parapsychology: A Controversial Science positioned in between. To maintain neutrality, care must be taken to not disregard sources from one side of the issue, especially if that side that is the one actively doing research on the phenomena and the other mainly then commenting on the published results of that research. 5Q5 (talk) 16:40, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
ScienceApologist has not yet gone into specifics, so you may be fretting over nothing, but I believe you are in the right on this matter. Because real-world PK is a fringe theory, so long as it is represented as such, resources do not need to be of a high peer reviewed standard. This is covered in WP:FRINGE#Parity of sources. The way to argue against existing cited content is not to dismiss the source, but to find a source of higher regard. Since no one has done this, the existing sources are fine (some may be innapropriate on closer inspection, but that is beyond the scope of this argument. I've discussed the ones I've found in the past above, and will continue to do so as I notice them, as should anyone/everyone). -Verdatum (talk) 16:59, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
That's right. There has been recent targeted source removal of peer-reviewed parapsychology. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 23:01, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Just because someone has rebadged "physics" does not mean that physical law suddenly does not apply. Sure, physicists have scarcely published on the subject of "psychokinesis" - but hundreds of years of physics research certainly has much to say about the claims made by those who think psychokinesis is an actual phenomenon that impacts the physical world. Again, giving it a new name doesn't mean that it's a new discipline - loosely put, it's a set of claims about psychology and physics. My point is very simple - don't invoke science unless you are going to be willing to deal with the mainstream view on scientific claims. If you avoid that, and just stick to the cultural influence and popularity of this idea, then you don't have to worry about mainstream science because it has nothing to say about popular beliefs. If you don't avoid it, WP:FRINGE et al come into play, and you'll have to explain that this is fringe, not accepted, etc.Antelan talk 00:49, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, the article is already taking the position that these claims are not well accepted. Whether using science or not, claiming that PK can work in the real world is a fringe theory, and thus falls under WP:FRINGE. There is nothing wrong with that. Granted, one must be careful when including scientific claims from non-peer reviewed sources as factual content, as it allows for improper adherance to the scientific method, abuse of statistics, and other fallacies; but these must be examined on a case-by-case basis. I have no intention of leaving valid information out of an article just to duck a guideline. -Verdatum (talk) 01:14, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, but the article in its current state is almost totally unacceptable. There is a major problem when the lead contains statements like, "Skeptics contend that psychokinesis does not really exist", but then contains totally in-world descriptions like "Examples of psychokinesis could include distorting or moving an object,[5] or influencing the output of a random number generator." People may not be aware of the WP:FRINGE guideline, but we should make them so in the hopes that future editions will do a better job of complying with policy. Antelan talk 03:27, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

The references to FRINGE are without details. And I don't see the problem with the example above, due to the use of the word "could." That means they might not exist. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 03:38, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, anything might or might not exist. P or not P. That is the problem with that statement. Antelan talk 03:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
PLEASE clarifiy what you meanby that statment. ambiguity in cases liek this is not completely out of the ordinary. Smith Jones (talk) 03:43, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
"P or not P" is a statement of first order logic. I used that statement here because I know Martinphi is familiar with it, so I knew it would quickly convey meaning to him. Essentially, "P or not P" universally evaluates to 'true'; it is a tautology. I consider Examples of psychokinesis could include distorting or moving an object,[5] or influencing the output of a random number generator to be tautological due to the word "could" - psychokinesis could include anything, everything, or nothing at all and this statement would still be true. Consequently, this sentence either provides the reader with no information since it is not falsifiable. Imagine an article that read, "George W Bush could be the President of the United States." That's profoundly uninformative, and you could say the same thing about me without changing the truth value of the statement: "Antelan could be the President of the United States." You don't need an encyclopedia to tell you what psychokinesis could include; you're looking at it to find out what it does include. Antelan talk 05:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

As a statemnt

I have added a secojd tag to the article as a statment of my intentions to repair it by any means necessary. Smith Jones (talk) 00:30, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

While your zeal is appreciated, one tag is perfectly sufficient. Two tags of the same type is just confusing and looks like a typo. -Verdatum (talk) 20:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
if you insist that one tag si sokay, then fine, but i would like to be the one to place the tag myself. Smith Jones (talk) 23:36, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, your zeal is appreciated, but perhaps you should take a look at WP:STYLE. I had to revert nearly all of your recent edits due to issues of style; not to mention spelling errors. It's a good idea to use the preview button to carefully review your changes before submitting them :) -Verdatum (talk) 02:01, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Image caption

Ye Gods! My image caption got butchered. Here's the reason why it said what it did:

Spoon bending is said by proponents to be an example of psychokinetic ability. In the 1970s, the apparent spoon bending abilities of Uri Geller gained the attention of the media and noted debunker James Randi.

It's not said to be evidence of PK. It's said to be an example of PK. Spoon benders demonstrate the spoon being bent, which according to your take on the subject is by trickery or PK. The key part is the -ing. A bent spoon could be presented as evidence, a spoon bending is presented as an example.

"Said by proponents" is proponents of spoon bending. Stage magicians who spoon bend aren't proponents. Proponents are those who pass it off as an example of PK (the concept behind spoon bending). Thus, when the text was changed to "some proponents", I have to reply, all "proponents" call it an example of PK. Can't be a "proponent" and consider it to be anything other than PK because then you'd be a "detractor".

I hate images out of context that don't tell you why they are there. The "In the 1970s, the apparent spoon bending abilities of Uri Geller gained the attention of the media and noted debunker James Randi" demonstrates it's notability, or rather "why we're showing a bent spoon". It's not just an example of what proponents say is PK, it's something that gained notability in the 1970s. A young reader who doesn't know much about the history of PK would wonder why there's a bent spoon at the top of the page if we don't explain why it's notable. Most print encyclopedias include detail in image captions, and they're limited by space. We're not.

Hope this explains why I'm reverting the butchering : ) --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:13, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that's fine. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 08:57, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe it's a bit overkill for a caption. The first sentence alone should be sufficient. The rest is covered in the spoon bending article which has been appropriately wikilinked. -Verdatum (talk) 14:07, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Verdatum on this one. It reads like an opportunity for a spillover of the Geller-Randi fight. To be neutral, it would also have to mention that it brought him to the attention of scientists or researchers, not just Randi. PK was a topic even before both were born.5Q5 (talk) 18:10, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
The big notables in PK are the Geller-Randi dispute and the work at PEAR. The more notable is Geller-Randi dispute because it occured out in the open, on everyone's television set, on the Johnny Carson show even. It's famous in pop culture where the PEAR stuff occured in a tucked away lab that most people have never even heard of. Same issue with the parapsychologists who tested Geller, not as notable in pop culture. Pop culture, or in Wikipedia terms notability, always trumps obscure research. Look, I'm no fan of Randi by any means, but Randi got famous off this, the parapsychologists didn't.
On the question of overkill, not at all. The image needs an explanation of why it's there. It's no more lengthy than any of the image captions on any of the Featured Articles that also need an explanation of why they're there. I don't know of any guidelines that apply to image captions, but the spirit behind WP:SUMMARY applies. When you split off an article section, you don't just wikilink to the new article and say it's all in the new article, you provide a summary of that article as well. Here, in just one line, it does that.
I'm disappointed that someone reverted without waiting for my response. I'm not an edit warrior, but that's how edit wars occur. Nothing is that pressing, and I'm sorry but my image caption is encyclopedic enough not to just dismiss outright and revert. The article isn't going anywhere and discussions are always better than edit warring. --Nealparr (talk to me) 19:42, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
(I wrote this a few hours ago, apparently didn't submit) I believe I was the first one to cleave the caption, and you're right I probably should've waited for discussion. My apologies. I still think it's overkill to say anything beyond the point that there's a common and popular association between spoonbending and PK (Worded better than that, so as not to make a controversial claim). If it could be shown that Yuri Geller was the first person to put forth spoon bending as evidence of PK, then it might be good to have a caption along the lines of, "Due to the demonstrations of Yuri Gellar, spoonbending is a phenomena commonly associated with PK". -Verdatum (talk) 02:56, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
It looks like the edit fights continue. I think the clarification that proponents only believe some instances of spoonbending are related to PK is a reasonable one. It would be perfectly reasonable for a proponent to believe that some people actually use PK to bend spoons, and others are just doing parlor tricks. It's similar to some demonstrations of sword swalling are authentic, while others are illusions that engage prop swords or other tricks (Don't even think about going OT to debate the accuracy of the example :) ) It is well established that it is quite easy to bend spoons using techniques other than PK (IOW just using your hands and brute force). But I'm starting to digress. I really don't want to debate the nitpicky details of spoonbending on this page. -Verdatum (talk) 02:56, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't matter. I give up. Apparently no one reads the talk page before axing anyway. This time it was removed for 1) not having a source, and 2) no rationale for the contribution. There's several sources in the article that talk about the spoon bending during the 1970s and if those aren't enough, could have just fact-tagged it and I would have been happy to have provided one. No rationale? I've written several paragraphs above just talking about this one simple edit. Too hostile an environment for me, I'm moving on. --Nealparr (talk to me) 03:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
The current back and forth over whether it's "some proponents" or just "proponents" is also covered above, though no one will bother reading it. It's not "some proponents believe it is PK". All "proponents" believe it is PK. If you don't believe it is PK, you are a detractor, not a proponent. I put thought into which words I chose, you know. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:49, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Are tautologies really necessary? Antelan talk 06:01, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Excessive sourcing

Is three or four sources for simple statements really necessary?


  1. Examples of psychokinesis could include distorting or moving an object,[5] or influencing the output of a random number generator.[4][6][7] - Does it need three sources to convey that RNGs have been used in studies?
  2. The term "Telekinesis" was coined in 1890[11] by Russian psychical researcher Alexander N. Aksakof.[12][13][14] - OK, it definitely doesn't take four sources to demonstrate that the term was introduced in 1890 by Aksakof.
  3. Movement of matter (micro and macro; move, lift, agitate, vibrate, spin, bend, break, or impact).[67][68][69][70][71][72] - Six sources to define telekinesis?

There are a lot more. --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:29, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

What? Do they hurt anything? ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 08:57, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Byte size - important (70 KB is going to be criticized), readibility - important (a line of numbers in the middle of a sentence is distracting), and editing readibility - most important from a usability standpoint (why do editors have to pour through dozens of lines of code because someone wanted to overemphasize a point?). Off the top of my head. --Nealparr (talk to me) 09:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Unless WP is the end of the research road, there isn't anything more valuable we can provide than the sources. I checked the ones on Alexander N. Aksakof, and they are valuable. I'm sure we could cut some, but if you cut the one, (in this example), then it has no "mainstream source." If you cut the other 2, you eliminate a resource. Unless that's a bad example? ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 09:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
If it's about providing resources, Google has about 257,000 of them.[4] Fortunately, sourcing is only about providing verifiability of statements made in the article itself. If one source, whatever is most reliable, says Aksakof introduced the term in 1890, that is absolutely all that is needed. Wikipedia articles aren't link or resource repositories, even if those links or resources are directly about the topic. It is solely an article, about the topic, written in an encyclopedic style. It's not meant to be a guide or collection of links to resources, that's a search engine or directory. It's meant to be the resource, an article about the topic. One source, whatever is most reliable, two or three if necessary, but never with the goal of just providing external resources. --Nealparr (talk to me) 09:35, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I personally agree quite a bit with this. I tried to fix this issue a month or two ago, but got reverted. Supposedly, there was arguments as to the definition of psychokinesis, and it was fixed by including multiple definitions. Problem is, the definitions are strewn all over the article, when they really only need to be in the lead section. According to guidelines, multiple sources are beneficial for controversial claims that need further support. I fail to see how these claims are controversial. If the concern is the loss of resources, then they merely need to be included in "additional resources". If the additional resource is just a general dictionary or encyclopedia, then it doesn't really add much to include it. And this isn't really an argument, but merely from an asthetic standpoint, it comes off as quite distracting to see so many references attached to unastounding claims. As I argued before, it comes off as giving a claim undue weight. -Verdatum (talk) 14:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
These are my references, so let me give my position. I included as many multiple sources as I could find because I was doing a major expansion of the article 2006-2007 and I didn't want things to be challenged for undue reason. Policy does allow multiple sourcing on controversial claims. I would be satisfied with Verdatum, who seems to be doing revision at the moment, choosing the best source and omitting the rest if there is agreement that the line won't then be deleted later on because of just one source. If there is a question about a particlar source, ask me. 5Q5 (talk) 18:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

What can be dumped or split off

70,209 bytes is a bit much. I have some thoughts on how it can be trimmed, but I'd rather see editors invested in the article make suggestions. --Nealparr (talk to me) 08:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

again, I agree. A lot of the article bulk comes from including excerpts from every source. Additional bulk comes from the excessive references as you sited above. I've been working to trim this article in such a way that the informative content is not obscured by fluff (Please forgive the biased term) and will certainly continue to do so. As far as splitting content, I don't see any section worth splitting off. Doing so just risks deletion of content via AFD. -Verdatum (talk) 14:24, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Alright, without specifically trying to shorten the article (Mostly through reorganizing sources), I've got the article down to 52,004B. Pretty good considering the 92,358 Bytes it was at before I started. -Verdatum (talk) 19:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Much better! That's about how long parapsychology is. --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:53, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
And yet you added an unsourced editorial like comment about "popularity" in the 1970's, which had the additional issue of referring to unspecified "televised performances". I have removed this addition. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:11, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this revert. I don't see any need to make a "statement of notability" in the caption of a photo. Spoonbending's relavence is already covered later on in the article, not to mention in the spoonbending article itself. Making the caption any longer than it is just seems like needless clutter in my opinion. -Verdatum (talk) 20:46, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


I still have a problem with the usage of the term "teleportation". The definition in parenthesis, "disappearing and reappearing elsewhere" is not supported by the references cited. The problem is, one definition for teleportation is "to transport (a body) by telekinesis." [5] Which is redundant to the first bullet of the section. My concern is that this instantaneous movement requires not only the innate talents of PK, but also a further adjustment of physics to move matter instantaneously...I don't want to get scientific, because that's an exercise in futility, but my point is, it's not self-evident to be a subset of PK; it's merely potentially an extension of PK. Barring a resource that states that this Nightcrawler type of teleportation is a subset of PK, I believe the claim and it's references should be removed. -Verdatum (talk) 15:25, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

You see, this is what worries me about removing the supporting quotes from my sources and then arguing that something should then be deleted for lack of supporting evidence. Below are what the sources originally read to support the inclusion of teleportation on the list. 5Q5 (talk) 18:37, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I was the one who removed those references, and I kept that in mind. Even those references do not claim that the PK variety of teleportation is instantaneous or involves the object disappearing. The closest thing these sources describe is this concept of "phasing", which is already on the list. -Verdatum (talk) 18:43, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
In the above ref, "dematerialization and materialization." Disappear, reappear, like on Star trek. That's not phasing through a wall, like in the X-Men movie or the movie 4D Man. I excerpted the quotes in the refs to save space, but they were talking about teleportation by mental power.5Q5 (talk) 19:53, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, now that I think about it, that's fine. I guess I'd have a problem if it claimed to be instantaneous within the article, but it doesn't. Thanks -Verdatum (talk) 20:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Umbrella term section

The revision of this section has produced a major definition change in the article. There is no longer a mention that telekinesis is restricted to simple object/particle movement. It now implies that TK can refer to all the specialities on the list and is thus an umbrulla term also. I don't agree with that. 5Q5 (talk) 18:31, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I suspect you're right. Could you find a reference that specifically deliniates between PK and TK? If so then it sounds like an easy fix. As is, the article makes mention of the suggestion that the term "Telekinesis" become obsolete. So without explanation, this would be confusing. -Verdatum (talk) 18:47, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
The "Modern usage" section in the article discusses this, with a reference: "^ Davis, Eric; physicist, Ph.D, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 2004. Teleportation Physics Study. Retrieved on July 19, 2006. “Telekinesis is a form of PK, which describes the movement of stationary objects without the use of any known physical force.” 5Q5 (talk) 19:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Alright, I reworded the first bullet to be TK. I hope this satisfies your concern. -Verdatum (talk) 20:33, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


The article says, This listing is no claim to the existence or nonexistence of such abilities in the real world, merely that such could be considered a subset of Psychokinesis. Why this disclaimer? Antelan talk 19:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Not my doing, but an earlier version read: "These specialities, which skeptics say have yet to be supported by scientific evidence,[38] include:" 5Q5 (talk) 19:59, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I put it there, I'm not a big fan of it either. It's an inclusion criteria. I added it because I've had to explain the claims made by the list about a dozen times in the last 3 months. It resolves the blurry line between believed (albeit by a fringe) real-world psychokinesis and the fictional manifestations of psychokinesis. -Verdatum (talk) 20:00, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
My problem with the wording is that it seems to say, "The following is an in-universe list." Antelan talk 20:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree it can probably be expressed better, but I don't see any confusion of in-universe speak. The previous "skeptics say have yet to be supported by scientific evidence" is a bit silly, because the list is merely abstract nomenclature and denotation. It has nothing to do with scientific support evidence or occurance in fiction. There's a word "X" that means to do <foo> with the mind, and according to <reference>, it should be considered a subset of PK. That's all the list says. -Verdatum (talk) 20:30, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite understand what you mean when you say "I don't see any confusion of in-universe speak". Does that mean that this is in-universe speak, but it is not confusing, or does it mean that this is not in-universe speak? Sorry to ask such a plain question, but I promise I'm not idly asking. Antelan talk 21:22, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
We must somehow be reading this sentence very differently (all the more reason to come up with a better wording.) I don't see how the (currently removed) statement can be construed as being in any way related to in-universe speak. All I'm trying to convey is, as long as it's a notable (i.e. people are independently referring to it) phenomena that can be considered a subset of PK, it can go on this list, and that is the only claim the list is making. Reality or fiction doesn't enter into it, (and I'm a bit confused why people keep on bringing it up in discussion.) -Verdatum (talk) 02:34, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
i presonally feel that in some cases in-inuverse speak woudl be better. if ther eare no other more valid terms being used, it would be bteter for wikipedia to use the in-universe terms (provided htat the definitons of those terms be made clear) instead of inventing news ones. of course if the words can be replaced without making the aritlce impossible to understand of full or bad syntax then i would also suport that. Smith Jones (talk) 21:43, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the sentence per WP:NDT. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Good. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:18, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that one was easy because its clearly covered by policy which doesn't have anything to do with terminology, rendering the difficult debate a moot point. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:39, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I'm afraid I completely disagree. This is not a disclaimer, it is a clarification of the content. If you read WP:NDT it's regarding disclaimers like profanity, or don't try this at home. For a similar example of where such clarifications are blessed by WP Guidelines, please see WP:SAL#Lead and selection criteria. -Verdatum (talk) 02:25, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Martinphi and KC on this one. That sentence was extremely problematic. Antelan talk 02:39, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Verdatum, it's not that it's bad, it's just that I don't see it as necessary. It comes under the cultural artifacts part of the ArbCom, and Adequate framing as well, and Paranormal as an effective tag. It just isn't necessary in an article on PK. Especially when that far down the page. However, if the alternative were to insert a word like "purported," then it is better to have a disclaimer. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 05:26, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, Verdatum, my problem is that this appears to say "We don't make any claim that what you are about to see is real." Afterwards, one could literally say anything and justify it by claiming "Hey, I already said the following might not be real." As an aside, since you mentioned it above, reality vs fiction is important because they are 'governed' differently on Wikipedia. This doesn't really matter here since the sentence has already been removed. Antelan talk 06:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see your point :). -Verdatum (talk) 00:07, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It looks fine to me kept short without an additional line. We may need space in the article in the future for any developments in the field. 5Q5 (talk) 22:11, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Spoons/PK and other photo ideas for article

Martin, do you have a source for your edit at all? Because your edit summary you gave Dean Radin as an example, but spoon bending is PK in the Dean Radin article also, and the cite to his site doesn't contradict that. thanks - KillerChihuahua?!? 12:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

One of the problems here is that "spoon bending" covers a lot of effects and is the media's and skeptical community's popular culture term. In parapsychology, the correct term is "psychokinetic metal bending (PKMB)" for the very reason that not just spoons are involved, but strips and bars of metal. From the book The PK Zone pg 159: "It should be noted that at least some of the PKMB at these [PK] parties derives from the use of ordinary physical force. Thus, some or all of the respondents [to a survey] may have falsely thought that they were performing PK when, in fact, they were not." Pg 159 text of The PK Zone at See a Google of psychokinetic metal bending. Maybe the caption could be revised to this more correct term? Just an idea. 5Q5 (talk) 22:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
More correct by whose standards? Note that neologisms are to be avoided. Commonly-known terms should be used in preference to obscure jargon or acronyms. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:10, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh Really? Go fix the heart attack article, then. "Heart attack" by far is the more popular term than myocardial infarction. The spoon bending article should at least mention the PKMB term, but then it is heavily biased toward the magic trick. By the way, the creator of the bent spoon in the photo doesn't claim he used PK. He just says, quote: "I did this at a spoonbending party." He could have manually bent it. He could be a skeptic and having a good chuckle on us. The photo therefore is just of a bent spoon, not a claim of PK evidence. 5Q5 (talk) 22:16, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
You can go ahead and fix heart attack. We aren't talking about medicine here which is an absolutely enormous field, we're talking about a small closed-off segment of pseudoscientists and fringe academics trying to cobble together terms to make spoonbending sound less silly. Sure, the photo is a bent spoon. However, there is no material difference between one bent spoon and another. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I seem to have lost everyone's point here. Is someone saying that they don't want a bent spoon photo unless it's a genuine PK bent spoon? I don't think anyone is, and such a claim would seems kinda silly to me. I just wanna say I sorta like the picture in itself, and barring anything better think it's perfectly appropriate here. -Verdatum (talk) 00:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm with ya, Veradatum. I just don't want to see the picture get labeled with neologistic parapsychology jargon. ScienceApologist (talk) 00:17, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

<- Pop culture everyone. Trust me, I am very familiar with parapsychological terms. I wrote a great deal of the parapsychology article myself. This isn't parapsychology, it's psychokinesis. Psychokinesis is more notable outside of parapsychology than it ever was in parapsychology. The Parapsychological Association lists some 300 members. Millions of ordinary people tuned in to watch spoon bending on television in the 70s. Pop culture always trumps niche research groups. In the very least it does so at Wikipedia (WP:NAME calls for common names to be used). You can mention in the article that in parapsychology it's called PKMB if you'd like, but to the rest of the world it is "spoon bending" (this is why I added the extra line to the caption explaining it's notability and background). All that said, I'm going to go ahead and remove the image since it's causing so much grief, and since I added it in the first place. If someone wants to add it back in, go for it. But, seriously, some consideration needs to be given to WP:WEIGHT here. I don't have any problem with parapsychology, but psychokinesis is a heck of a lot more notable outside parapsychology than it is inside it. The article shouldn't be parapsychology-centric, even going so far as to change "spoon bending" into "Psychokinetic Metal Bending". --Nealparr (talk to me) 03:06, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The photo is already on the spoon bending and anomalous operation articles, so it is accessible through links on the PK page. If either Michael Crichton or Dean Radin could be coaxed to donate to Wikipedia an image of their PK-claimed bowl-bent spoon, that would be great. Sure the article could use a photo, but it should be relevant as per WP:Images, meaning for this topic it should depict an alleged or proven instance of psychokinesis, not merely a spoon somehow bent at a PK party. At PK parties, they practice manual kindergarten bending first and then proceed to "high school" bending where PK effects are observed allegedly. If someone wants to query the creator of the photo and get them to clarify their description on the photo page and if the claim is that it was bent by PK influence and not totally manually, then the photo would be relevant to this mental effect article and I'd vote for its return. As it is now, inadequately described, it is more relevant to the spoon bending article where manual effects are discussed. I manually bent a fork into a spiral once; much more impressive, but not PK. 5Q5 (talk) 22:22, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It'd be nice if someone could track down a Public Domain or Creative Commons version of this image, the cascading balls at Princeton. What they'd do is drop the balls into these 19 collecting bins, and ask participants to try and PK the balls away from the center (normally the balls form a bell shape with more in the center than on the outsides). They'd then measure for a statistically significant deviation of the balls from the baseline (bell shape). I've wanted that image for the parapsychology article for some time but can't find one. --Nealparr (talk to me) 00:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, that sounds like a perfectly appropriate image. I take it most people would be opposed to merely recreating the subject of the photo artificially, otherwise we could do that. -Verdatum (talk) 22:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I myself would not be opposed to creating it artificially - this article could use some images, and it doesn't look like we're going to find many that are available for our use. Perhaps a bell curve showing statistical probabilities as used in the online PK "tests" might be used also? KillerChihuahua?!? 22:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The photo for the intro should in some way reflect PK in action or as a result. Photos for other sections can correspond similarly. The PEAR lab photo with the cascading balls is probably owned by Robert G. Jahn or Brenda J. Dunne, whoever operated the camera that day. Good luck trying to get them to donate, though who knows, one of them might, now that the lab is closed and the glory days are over. One other option is ask for a PK claimant on one of these psi forums if anyone has a photo or video still of one of their claims. You might get a large choice to choose from, but they have to be willing to make the claim in the Wiki photo page description and the image has to look good. Yet another option is that photos over 100 years old are in the public domain, right? Maybe there's some pre-1907/8 seance photo out there that has a PK effect in it. The seance aspect of PK is mentioned in the article in early history. Maybe there's an ancient painting or drawing. Early history is a fitting place for an image like these. 5Q5 (talk) 22:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Rracecarr's edits

Rracecarr, I'm sorry to revert you. Here are the reasons:

Skeptics do acknowledge it appears to exist, due to the reasons stated- and certainly due to magic tricks, like spoon bending.

The rigor of the scientific studies has been very rigorous- this is a matter of debate, of course, but it is very dubious to say the experiments lack rigor, and certainly is a matter of skeptical claim.

Not only does mainstream science not say it is pseudoscience, there are often no such claims, as general statements at least, from skeptics such as James Randi. For example, Randi actually defends parapsychology as a science, saying he does not think it is a pseudoscience.

So, please don't be angry with my revert. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 06:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Claiming that anything paranormal believers do and then classify as "research" or "rigorous" is POV-pushing. Stating that their research is not rigorous is NPOV. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:18, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
At any rate, you'd have to source such absolute statements, and you didn't. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 03:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You're both right. To suggest that something is rigorous, you'd need an independent source. To call people researchers, you'd also need a source. Antelan talk 07:00, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Wrong article. You're talking about EVP (: ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 07:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Not sure why you think this is funny. Antelan talk 07:32, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it was funny, I said you had the wrong article and smiled at you. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 09:26, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, but I don't have the wrong article. This is the article that I meant to comment on. Now, can we get back to my comment? Antelan talk 21:44, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Getting back to your comment, I agree. In controvertial articles such as this, the less interpretation of facts the better. It's better instead to merely represent the facts and cite them with a reference; not to decide independently if something is rigorous or not. -Verdatum (talk) 22:04, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

"Researcher" in the context of this article, seems pretty tame- this is parapsychology and pop culture. Along with "investigator," it is the usual word. Even the skeptical sources use the term. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:16, 16 January 2008 (UTC)