Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the fringe theories noticeboard
This page is for requesting input on possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
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  • The purpose of this board is not to remove any mention of fringe theories, but rather to ensure that neutrality is maintained.
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  • To aid in promoting constructive dialogue with advocates of a fringe theory, {{talk fringe|fringe theory name}} may be added to the top of the corresponding talk page.
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Rick Strassman[edit]

Looks entirely single sourced and self promotional. Came across an article of his on "Spirit Science" and wanted to see if he was an actual doctor. Please take a look at this article. -Xcuref1endx (talk) 16:24, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

I've tagged this, but I think it would be a pretty sure-thang for an AFD. --Salimfadhley (talk) 18:58, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I forgot the procedure to do that. Anyone else up for nominating it? If not, when I get some time, Ill look it up again on how to do it. -Xcuref1endx (talk) 19:23, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
He is listed here as a volunteer
He is definitely a doctor and his work is very signficant as he was the 1st person to undertake legal psychedelic studies for many years and his DMT studies are considered groundbreaking. Probrooks (talk) 14:10, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
He was also a professor of psychiatry for 11 years!
Probrooks (talk) 23:31, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Statistical power negatively correlates with journal rank[edit] Rhoark (talk) 18:57, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

I think they make the wrong conclusion; low-impact journals also publish unreliable science. Lots of it. So do high-impact journals. It's become a serious problem, serious enough that I think in 50 years scientists will still consider work done in the 1950s-1990s to be more reliable than that done from the 2000s to whenever they get around to fixing the problem, Science is like democracy, in a way: not perfect, but the best we've got. Unlike government, though, we know the right way to do it and choose not to. There are good scientists, lots of them, but there's a lot of bad ones now as well.
Soapboxy, yes, but it's relevant here. A peer-reviewed journal article is no longer the gold standard, even if it's in a high impact journal. There still is a mainstream scientific consensus and that is still mostly correct. Research that is at odds with that consensus is usually wrong. As far as I recall Wikipedia editors are not supposed to scrutinize sources, but we can agree that a "breakthrough", especially on the fringes, should not be discussed on here until multiple, independent researchers confirm the work. Roches (talk) 00:02, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The article focuses mainly on biomedical topics. Over the years I've come to the view that medical-related science has its own special problems that preclude any findings being generalized to "science," though people do that all the time. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:17, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Most academics these days dismiss offhand pretty much any journal article written and peer-reviewed exclusively in China, so I'm not surprised by this at all. (talk) 01:41, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
My experience is in chemistry, though I see what you mean about research in medicine. For me, the most interesting part of the article is point 5, about papers that could be objectively verified. The shape of the plot is just about what I would expect: a significant cluster of unreliable papers, and a roughly normally distributed level of quality among others. I don't know how things are in physics, but in chemistry there is a minority that cheats to win.
In medical papers, the problems are often flawed methodology, and so can be discovered by careful reading. In chemistry, it's usually necessary to repeat an experiment to see if it can be repeated. This is based on my experience, and it is by no means a generalization. It is an uncommon occurrence, less than 5% of papers, but it cannot be tolerated especially because the papers often sound very promising. Roches (talk) 02:06, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd say WP:MEDASSESS speaks more to the issue that the type of study and statistical design is not always commensurate with the prestige of the journal. Rhoark (talk) 01:28, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Ascended Master Teachings[edit]

Mainly primary sources,reads at least in large part like something they might distribute as a primer. I haven't looked at the related articles. Doug Weller talk 20:13, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Boy, you weren't kidding. I've watched the page, and made a rather comprehensive edit to the opening paragraph. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:43, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

March Against Monsanto and pseudoscience[edit]

I notice that the March Against Monsanto page doesn't seem to discuss the organization's stance on various topics, even though they are commonly brought up on the group's Facebook page and official website. They are anti-vaccine and promote belief in chemtrails. See here and here for examples of those on their Facebook page, though there are plenty more such posts. They also have an official article on their website about their anti-vaccine stance, which you can see here.

Isn't this the sort of topic that should be discussed in their article due to it being one of their primary topics of discussion (and targets, I guess one could say)? The problem is that this pseudoscience side of the group is not really discussed by secondary sources. The best you get is other pseudoscience-esque pages like Collective Evolution covering it. So, only primary sources from the group themselves exist. Is that good enough to include their stance on such things in their WP article? SilverserenC 01:20, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

If there's something from a person or source that's clearly an authorized mouthpiece, and the claim is not too self-serving, I don't see a problem with using primary sources to get their views from the horse's mouth. Rhoark (talk) 01:24, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't believe the website is based on user posts, so the article I mentioned should count as a primary authoritative source, at least for the vaccine topic. The chemtrail one will be a bit harder. SilverserenC 01:33, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
There once was a discussion of such on GMO conspiracy theories, but I think it was removed for lack of adequate sourcing. Not many are writing about the connections between conspiracy theories and anti-GMO activism, but it is undoubtably there. Good research project/journalism piece waiting to be done, actually (outside Wikipedia). jps (talk) 03:14, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
It's kinda weird that none of the skeptic writers like Steven Novella have written about MAM's connection to other conspiracy groups. I mean, they've been flaunting those connections for years at this point. SilverserenC 06:47, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm sure I read recently that MaM is now moribund, as the heat has gone out of the GM debate. Alexbrn (talk) 06:50, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Incidentally, this thread reminds me that we don't have an article on anti-GMO activism which, I think, would be useful. jps (talk) 12:32, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Society for Scientific Exploration[edit]

It is proposed that the Journal of Scientific Exploration page be merged into the Society for Scientific Exploration page. QuackGuru (talk) 02:05, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Kurukshetra War[edit]

An IP is adding their view of when this Indian mythological battle happened using a slideshow they uploaded to a random website and appears to be extremely persistent. Additional eyes and comments would be helpful. Ravensfire (talk) 12:36, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Amy L. Lansky[edit]

Came across Amy L. Lansky and thought I would bring attention to it here. Some really terrible sources are used (Mercola, Natural medicine, etc). Was originally going to trim it back, but seeing as most of the remaining sources are primary ones and not much appears in google (a few reviews of her book and more of the same dodgy sources) I was thinking it was a good candidate for deletion. Does the AAAI Classic Paper Award add any notability and is Psycology today at all reliable. I wouldn't have thought so after reading [1], but they apparently have a lot of experts [2]. AIRcorn (talk) 22:33, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

McDougall Plan, again[edit]

Some discussion[3] about whether a source's description of The McDougall Plan as a "fad diet" can be reflected in Wikipedia. More eyes welcome. Alexbrn (talk) 06:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

  • And now fresh IPs are blanking critical content.[4] Alexbrn (talk) 10:12, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Celebrity doctor[edit]

started working on this - if anybody wants to work on it too fine by me.. Jytdog (talk) 20:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Bump. More eyes would be great. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:38, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Detoxification (alternative medicine)[edit]

I've never looked closely at this article, and I'm wondering if it would be best to get some more eyes from here. The article doesn't look like it follows FRINGE in the lede or body. Rather it appears to weigh alt-med sources and pov's over others. I don't recall seeing discussed as a source for alt med topics, but looks like a fairly good introduction including the history. --Ronz (talk) 21:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Took a pass at the lead and "Criticism" section. Didn't touch the rest. Still some poor sources (and in fact many or most probably don't meet MEDRS), but the statements I'm seeing on the subject are pretty crystal clear. I only did a quick search for an additional source or two -- the rest was mainly based on what was already included. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:38, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Hey! I used a detox product, and it performed every bit as well as desired! It made me pass the drug test for my first job, despite my (then current, but now former) habit. And it didn't work by detoxifying anything, but by loading me up with enough B12 to make my urine yellow, and enough creatine to make it pass the screening, despite being diluted to the point that it was probably just water. I think my personal experience is strong enough to warrant re-writing every detox article to say that they work exactly as advertised and are the best thing for anyone, really. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:52, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Russell Targ[edit]

Heads-up: a brand new user has decided to "help" us by making the article on Targ more "neutral" (by which I mean that he casts the reality-based view as being held only by a handful of those evil science shill skeptics). Guy (Help!) 10:01, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

That guy's username might be a WP:IMPERSONATION violation, since Jim Weiner is a known advocate for paranormal stuff who has appeared on podcasts and the like. --Krelnik (talk) 19:52, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Mother's Agenda[edit]

What is this about? Doug with no PC Internet connection who hates his ipad

Not good when you look at the user's contribution, click on what you think is their name, and get their WP article instead— edited by themselves, of course. Words will be had. Mangoe (talk) 12:39, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Dan Gibson (historian)[edit]

New article about a fringe author claiming Muhammad lived in Petra. Needs work. Doug Weller talk 18:25, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Milton Wainwright[edit]

Whilst idly following some breadcrumbs, I came across this article. "Milton Wainwright (born 1950) is a British microbiologist who is known for his research into what he claims could be extraterrestrial life found in the stratosphere." (I'll note that the original text when first created was "Milton Wainwright is a british microbiologist who became world famous for his discovery of the particle of alliend and therefore proving the existence of the alien life.")

The references and support look awfully thin to me. Is he "world famous" enough for an article? --Calton | Talk 12:07, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

I didn't recognize the name (though I recognized the claim), and since I'm more than a little bit of a science and science fiction geek (my heart's fondest desire is a hard sci-fi remake of The Next Generation), I think that's a good heuristic for whether he's world famous or not. In ten seconds of google searching, I also found this source, which I think should be added (I'll get around to it soon enough). MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:59, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

RfC on Violence against men.[edit]

Category talk:Violence against men#Which version is better?.

Note that the fringe theory being pushed is the MRA proposal that domestic violence against men and domestic violence against women are categorically equivalent.

jps (talk) 18:16, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, but this sounds too much like CANVASSING to me. Also, in what ways is this a MRA proposal? Could you please explain? I do not intend to be rude or unpleasant, I merely wish to understand. I agree with you on other things, but on this issue I disagree. (talk) 17:28, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Dan Gibson (historian)[edit]

Fringe author writing on the history of Islam. Seems to be some OR here and too much dependence on his work. When I get my replacement modem/router and am off my iPad (useless for Goole Books for some reason) I'll try to find time for it. Doug Weller talk 18:25, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Oops. Posted about this yesterday, sorry. Doug Weller talk 18:25, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Nathanael Kapner what type of sourcing needed to label a conspiracy theorist?[edit]

He's a former Russian Orthodox monk, formally condemned by the church. According to the independent sources, he seems to be a promoter of anti-Jewish conspiracies and was a local street activist/preacher in Summit County, Colorado. Most of the article is sourced to primary sources, or not sourced at all. The article needs a complete rewrite from the secondary sources. --Ronz (talk) 16:13, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"Brother" Nathanael's name brings cries of Боже мой! and Господи помилуй! in every Orthodox forum I have ever frequented. He was never really a monk; he was very briefly a novice at (I would guess) the almost-as-notorious Bishop Gregory's ROAC monastery (which itself was roughly overhauled when Metropolitan Valentine visited the US and saw what was going on), but apparently even Gregory could tell that he had as many screws loose as a freshly opened Meccano/Erector set. Kapner in reply said some extremely nasty things in return.
It's questionable whether he is really notable. The hard thing is that from what I can see the only places where you will get a story which didn't come from Kapner himself is in these fora, and possibly from the ROCOR hierarchy (who object to him trying to sail under their flag). Mangoe (talk) 23:11, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree, he was never a monk. He claims to have been, but the sources indicate otherwise.
I think there's enough coverage of his street preaching/dancing to meet BIO. He also gets a great deal of attention from his conspiracy theories. --Ronz (talk) 18:26, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Бог спас нас! Agree that this article needs some revision with an emphasis on better sourcing. But in general what's in there is consistent with what I have heard about him. I am reluctant to edit the article substantively out of deference to WP:COI as I have been involved in some fairly contentious online discussions about this xenos. -Ad Orientem (talk) 19:32, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Official theme song for this thread. -Ad Orientem (talk) 19:45, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Atacama skeleton[edit]

Pgbrux (talk · contribs)' blocked before for editwarring on this, has hit 3rr, violating our sourcing policy and NPOV. But I've reverted him twice and am about to turn off my light! Doug Weller talk 21:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I can see where Pgbrux (talk · contribs) is coming from. I don't think it is appropriate of wikipedia to presume tell people the Atacama remains are human in the first line, considering the skeleton has 10 ribs, is so tiny and looks ALIEN to anyone's eyes. How many 8 inch humans are there anyway? Is it an aborted fetus? did it really live to 8 years old? Probably there are more questions here than answers. Sure the "answers", theories and science that has been carried out can be communicated, but it seems greatly assumptive to simply default to communicate that this skeleton is human, when it is such an anomaly, and surely it is worth just accepting it as a mystery, worthy of further research as to HOW it came to exist and look the way it does. If this is a mutant human, perhaps it can show us how humans mutated or evolved ala Darwinism?
Probrooks (talk) 13:09, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
No, we go with the reliable sources. Not editors' opinions. The fact that there are still questions as to what problems caused it to be as it is doesn't make it less human. Doug Weller talk 13:36, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
"Both Nolan and Lachman emphasized that their research is not complete, as they proved that the specimen is human but still cannot explain all of its unusual characteristics."
Ok, I've inserted a link to this Stanford article after the word human, as when I first read it struck me as being extremely pre-emptive, and I think that claim needs backing up and explaining to people. I certainly don't think it should rammed in people's throats in the first sentence, as it is clearly stated to be only prelimineray research and only 90% of the DNA is actually considered human.
Probrooks (talk) 23:02, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
AFAICT the researchers didn’t claim the remaining 10% was non-human. Isn’t the most likely explanation that it was degraded? I have no expertise to say how much DNA can be expected to survive intact in a partly mummified or fossilized specimen, but 100% would seem rather optimistic. I think the old saw that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence applies here. Only 90% is human and 90% is identifiably human have different connotations.—Odysseus1479 01:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
You can read Dr Nolan's analysis here (which I will link on the wikipedia article)
A quick read through this will make clear to anyone reading it that this analysis is highly inconclusive. I think to just say they are skeletal remains would be more open ended, and not shotgun bolt in the word "human" makes more sense, but it seems to me a lot of people resist uncertainty and would prefer to rush to conclusions based on one man's preliminary research.
Probrooks (talk) 05:46, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
please don't add that, it fails WP:RS. Doug Weller talk 05:50, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Climate Hustle[edit]

Could use some additional eyes on Climate Hustle, which has seen several pov additions in the past few days and a lengthy new talk page message. I've responded, but something tells me my response won't effectively assuage their concerns. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:21, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

A related article, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, could use better sources and more "fact based" content. See for example, this diff. K.e.coffman (talk) 03:42, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Wireless power transfer[edit]

The article Wireless power transfer has been a battleground for years due to extremely persistent efforts to insert an alternate theory that around 1900 Nikola Tesla transmitted electric power around the world using something called a Zenneck wave. This has been mentioned previously on this page: Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard/Archive_44#World_Wireless_System The conflict is heating up again. Would be very helpful to have editors take a good long look at the recent Talk page discussion and express their opinion. Hope to have some editors watchlist this page and participate in future discussions, as it looks to be a continuing thing. Cheers! --ChetvornoTALK 03:53, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Community reassessment[edit]

The article Joachim Helbig has been nominated for community GA reassessment as per WP:GAR.

The discussion will take place at GAR:Joachim Helbig, with the goal to reach a consensus whether the article satisfies the good article criteria. Any input would be welcome.

I believe that this GAR is within the scope of this noticeboard due to the use of what I'd describe as fringe sources, including Franz Kurowski, two works published by a German right-wing publisher, and a self-published source.

Any input would be welcome. K.e.coffman (talk) 03:17, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Whitewashing in film[edit]

Duplicate to post at WP:RSN, which seems a better forum.

Article uses American tabloid/clickbait websites as "reliable sources" to call Cleopatra a non-white (an anachronistic tag anyway). This is against general academic consensus that Cleopatra was from a heavily inbred Greek family, and also plays into the fringe Afrocentric theories of Egypt and the Jews, per the sources.

The sources to include Cleopatra are not academic, they are four American tabloids making clickbait lists.

First: Huffington Post using evidence cited from the Daily Mail, a notorious British tabloid

Second: Complex calls Cleopatra a "woman of color", a phrase which didn't exist 100 years ago never mind 2,000 years ago. Probable echoing of Afrocentric meme

Third: US News: "The British-American actress (she had dual citizenship) doesn't look even remotely Egyptian or North African. " Not an argument, Cleopatra was Greek.

Fourth: Madame Noire. An ethnocentric website claiming that both the Egyptians and Hebrews were black, both of which are discredited fringe theories. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)