Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard/Archive 14

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A discussion has come up at Talk:Mass Killings caused by Capitalism#Nazi.60s about how to interpret the last sentence of the following paragraph from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, published by Cambridge University Press (1996), pp. 113-114 (in bold):

The immense disparity in performance provoke naive witticisms about Italy from the victors, but little systematic explanation, despite the profusion of ad hoc comparisons between the two regimes and the existence of noteworthy comparative studies of their structures and of particular sectors within them. nor has comparative analysis of their dynamics - the mechanisms and forces that propelled them and the goals toward which they moved - attracted scholars to any great extent. Intentionalists and functionalists have debaed whether the Fuehrer's vision or bland bureaucratic rivalries propelled the German regime. Marxists and non-marxists have clashed over whether capitalism was the driver or merely the motor of either or both dictatorships. No satisfactory framework uniting the two and explaining their similiarities and differences has yet emerged.[1]

By "the two" in the last sentence, is the text referring to:

  • Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, or
  • capitalism and fascism
  • something else

TFD (talk) 20:00, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

After reading a few following sentences, I have to conclude that it referred to Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany. (Igny (talk) 20:16, 18 July 2010 (UTC))
Agree with Igny, "both dictatorships" in the preceding phrase sets the stage. East of Borschov 05:57, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Possible original research at Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge

A new editor (User: has been making recent edits solely to Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge. The edits are based on information not mentioned anywhere other than a blog site, and appears to be personal. I would appreciate if others could look in the discussion at Talk:Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge#Walsh's tombstone. Thank you. Jappalang (talk) 21:09, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

List of wars between democracies

In this article which is meant to be a List of wars between democracies an editor is inserting Civil Wars as wars between democracies. I am of the impression that a civil war is not a war between democracies. Does this count as OR? Or am i way of base here? mark nutley (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

  • The whole article is one pool of OR, although it clearly explains the degree of ambiguity involved. As to the Q, in case of the American Civil War, the secessionist states have formed a democratic confederate government with their own constitution. The CSA were a functioning democracy and not some ragtag junta. East of Borschov 05:45, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Report to the Joint Chiefs of staff by the supreme commander

(Moved from Talk. ElKevbo (talk) 15:44, 19 July 2010 (UTC))


We were wondering if someone could direct us to the right place to determine if the report by Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF) from SHAEF (Supreme headquarters of the same) is a Primary source or not.

If this is not the right place then I will cut and paste to the right one :¬)

The "Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force" is an account of the operations from D-Day preparations to the end of World War II in Europe.

The period in question is the Normandy campaign from D-Day, when Montgomery was the Ground Forces Commander (and so SCAEF was not in control), until Montgomery changed role to Commander in 21st Army and handed the role of Ground Commander back to SCAEF after the break through and the end of the Normandy campaign. Bernard_Law_Montgomery#Advance_to_the_Rhine. Under these circumstances is it probable, possible or definite that anything written by Eisenhower concerning the campaign, and the performance of the troops, during this period would be a secondary source rather than primary.

It contains analysis, synthesis and interpretation but also is written in a first person style. E.G. "I was summoned" and although it could be considered to be the same as, say, the DOJ [2] or ATF [3]report on WACO it is not in the same category as it is a report on its own organisation.

The report itself can be found here [4]

Thanks Chaosdruid (talk) 10:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

It depends on how it is used. It's common that what is a primary source in one context is a secondary source in another context. ElKevbo (talk) 15:42, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
More importantly, primary sources are allowed... we simply have to be very careful not to use them to support OR. So ElKevbo is correct in saying that it depends on how it is used. Blueboar (talk) 14:53, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Stone's Fall

Could someone take a glance at Stone's Fall? While personally I find it interesting, it consists mostly of original research - listing of historical references the article author has found in a novel. The intro is also authorial analysis of the book. (talk) 14:14, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes... everything after the synopsis is OR and should either be re-written (with proper citations to reliable sources) or removed. Blueboar (talk) 14:47, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Original images

Locations mentioned in the transcripts of Khirullah Khairkhwa Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

Could we have more discussion on the Your opinion please... ([5]) section above? Following is my summary of the issue which looks to be an ongoing disagreement over WP:OR in many articles. I think it is sufficiently important to start this new section.

The topic is Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Various summaries of transcripts of detainee interviews are available (examples: pdf, The New York Times) and I think User:Geo Swan has extracted information from these.

The precise issue for discussion concerns the map shown in the lead in this old version of an article on this detainee. I infer that Geo Swan has listed the locations mentioned in an interview with the detainee, and has constructed the map as a useful guide to the reader. The caption reads "Locations mentioned in the transcripts of Khirullah Khairkhwa Combatant Status Review Tribunal."

For this discussion I propose to assume that the transcript is from a reliable source, and that the locations are mentioned in the transcript, and are accurately represented on the map. The question: Is the map original research? Is it synthesis? Is it allowed by WP:OI (some original images are ok)? Please see the opinions above, and comment here.

I am somewhat divided: on the precise issue, it looks to me as if WP:OI permits the map, and the facts are verifiable and not controversial, and the sources are certainly reliable, and the map is useful. Yet, the map is constructed by extracting facts from a primary source, and (for example), there is a possibility that the name of a location in the transcript is ambiguous, so the map involves an editor's interpretation. Johnuniq (talk) 23:54, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Johnuniq, thanks for your interest in this issue. WRT the question of whether any of the locations are ambiguous, I am confident that, they should not be considered ambiguous.
Three of the five locations on the map, Herat, Kabul and Kandahar are cities that are also the capitals of provinces of the same name. But Khairkhwa held posts in each of the cities themselves, so I think it is appropriate to use their latitude and longitude on the map, even if some of the references may have referred to the Province, not the city.
Mazari Sharif is transliterated a half dozen or more different ways. Back in 2006 another contributor changed every instance of the other transliterations to "Mazari Sharif", arguing that, post-Taliban, there was an initirative of the central government, to use "Mazari Sharif" as the standard transliteration. After a discussion we agreed we would use whatever spelling was in the original, in quoted material, followed by a {{sic}} template -- and in non-quoted material we would use "Mazari Sharif". Mazari Sharif is the 4th largest city in Afghanistan, and I am confident all the transliteration refer to the same city.
Spin Boldak (alternately Spin Buldak) is not a major city, but it is one of the two main border crossings with Pakistan. I am confident all transliterations to Spin Boldak or Spin Buldak are to the same location. Geo Swan (talk) 21:02, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
More opinions would be good. Until I see a good reason to think otherwise, I would say that examples like the one discussed here are not original research, and the map is a welcome addition to the article. I believe there is a longterm dispute over this issue, but what I have seen on this page does not convince me there is an OR problem. Some kind of RFC might get more attention. Johnuniq (talk) 02:12, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I do belive that this is origional research, but it can be fixed by alterations to the image. WP:OI says: "Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy". The only argument here is the assertion that the locations on the map are in fact the locations of the same names that are mentioned in the documents. I find geo swan's logic above for Mazari Sharif and Spin Boldak to be compelling, as they are both the only locations of importance of those names. I find the probability of a document referring to someplace that no one has ever heard of, with the same name as either the fourth largest city in Afghanistan or a major border crossing, without including a clarification, to be very small indeed. However, we have no proof that all references to Herat, Kabul and Kandahar refer to the cities and not the provinces of the same names, which is the impression conveyed by the map, and the provinces are well enough known that we can't use the above reasoning. If the provinces were to be shaded in as well, perhaps using File:Afghanistan-Herat.png, File:Afghanistan-Kabul.png, and File:Afghanistan-Kandahar.png as guides, and possibly with a note in the caption saying that the location are approximate, then there would be no original assumptions built into this image. -Ubermola (talk) 05:10, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
WRT Herat, KK was the Governor of Province of Herat, and would have worked out of the Governor's official residence, which is in the city of Herat. I think this is a sufficient justification to have used the longitude and latitude of the city of Herat.
WRT Kabul, KK was a senior police official in the city of Kabul. I think this is a sufficient justification to have used the longitude and latitude of the city of Kabul.
WRT Kandahar, I would have to re-read KK's testimony to see what he wrote about official roles he had in Kandahar, that required him to work out of the Provincial capital. But, for the sake of argument, if the references only substantiated his presence in the province, not the capital city, what longitude and latitude do you think it would be appropriate to use for Kandahar? Why shouldn't we use the longitude and latitude of the capital? Geo Swan (talk) 18:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
  • WRT Kandahar, this link says: " “On one occasion at the Kandahar Airport, the detainee saw Usama bin Laden with his entourage.” I suggest we consider Kandahar airport is close enough to the capital to be considered to share the same longitude and latitude. Geo Swan (talk) 18:19, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I consider this assertion of WP:OR to have been refuted. Geo Swan (talk) 18:21, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Publicly Available Physical Locations

Resolved: Your comments have been very helpful. I understand now.Ubermola (talk) 04:18, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

If information about a publicly accessible physical location (in this case Los Angeles's 7th St./metro train station) has not been published, but can be observed by any visitor to this location, would it violate this policy to include this information in the relevant article? If so, how do I cite it? ubermolatalk

It would be helpful if you told us what you were trying to "cite." — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:46, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I am referring to going to a location and writing what you see there in the wikipedia article. Specifically, i wanted to write that the red line uses an island platform setup at the station, and the blue line uses side platforms connected by an overpass and by the red line platform, which is below and at wright angles to the blue line station. As far as i know, this information is not available in print or electronic form. however, any visitor to the location can see it with their own eyes, and and modify the wikipedia article if i got it wrong. ubermolatalk 3:46, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
It be original research but it has far worse problems. If nobody has thought it worth bothering writing about it why do you wish to stick this bit of trivia into Wikipedia? Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate dustbin of things that suddenly struck you as interesting, I'm sure that must be one of the things in WP:ISNOT. Dmcq (talk) 10:51, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I wanted to bring the articles on the Los Angeles subway system up to the standard of articles on the New York subway system like this one. however, no web sites exist that maintain the same level of detail as the ones that that article used as sources. Is there any way that i can obtain this level of detail? ubermolatalk 20:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
If people haven't written something in a reliable source then it falls below the threshold as something worth sticking into Wikipedia. I haven't checked the NY article but I must admit being surprised that a reliable source would think that sort of thing was something interesting to say. Dmcq (talk) 23:10, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Ugh. That site in NY you pointed at has a load of photos and the editors own interpretation of them. That certainly doesn't look right to me. It really needs a good going over, I'm not going to do that myself but I feel like pointing it out to someone I normally wouldn't want anywhere near an article. I won't but, yeah, don't try emulating that it'll just be taken apart eventually if the sourcing really as weak as I feel it is. Dmcq (talk) 23:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
i understand. however, i have one more question. do you know what wikipedia policy governs what i can conclude from looking at a photo? is it the same as text in that regard?(i.e. obviously shown facts only) Are there additional restrictions or leniancies that i should be aware of? a link to the relevant article would be most appreciated. ubermolatalk 6:25, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:Images#Pertinence and encyclopedic nature says about images themselves though things typically are a bit more lenient where they are obviously okay and no information got by just looking at he picture is used in the text. WP:Reliable sources applies to deducing something from a picture too. If it was made and shown in a reliable source for the very obvious purpose of illustrating something that's okay, if they described something that they noticed in the picture that's okay, if you notice something in a picture and point it out then you are the source and that is original research and not a reliable source. It doesn't matter if it is obvious to you from the picture, a reliable source should have noticed it either explicitly or by taking the picture for the obvious purpose of showing it. There should be something about this, I'm sure it comes up every so often, but I can't find any guidelines which are more specific about the use of media besides text. Straight voice commentary in a reliably sourced video or audio would just be counted like text. Dmcq (talk) 08:40, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

United Nations Security Council

User Wikifan 1234 is inserting a table in the article which is comprised of a previously unpublished synthesis of information derived from various sources. The table is located at UNSC resolutions on the Arab-Israel conflict

The table is introduced by a flagrantly biased editorial at Criticisms - Israel which says that Israel alone is "ineligible" for membership on the Security Council. In fact, Israel is eligible; has filed an application; and is waiting on the normal schedule of rotation. See Israel requests Security Council seat. The same section also presents an unopposed WP:ADVOCATE assortment of views from the United Nations Watch, the Anti-Defamation League, Alan Dershowitz, Martin Kramer, and Mitchell Bard who say that the amount of time devoted to the Israeli-Arab conflict in the UNSC is excessive. harlan (talk) 12:49, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

See talk discussion for my POV. Israel's status in the UNSC (and whether it is ineligible) is independent of the data table. Harlan misrepresents the ynet article and dismisses figures such as Mitchell Bard of the Jewish Virtual Library even they are more concrete than a half-decade old news article. If Harlan sees the opinions of UNW, ADL, being "unopposed" feel free to balance it with opposing view points. Wikifan12345 (talk) 13:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikifan 1234 has still not addressed the issue of original research that is under discussion here. The table was removed because it is an obvious and flagrant violation of WP:Synth and WP:NOR. He has restored it without any explanation. The introductory editorial is only a side issue. The Ynet article explains that Israel had never actually submitted its candidacy for a seat in the Security Council before 2005. harlan (talk) 13:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
What is your question about the original research policy or its application in the article? If you want more eyes on something a WP:RfC or something similar does that. Dmcq (talk) 13:47, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
My question is whether or not the table and accompanying narrative is an original synthesis that violates Wikipedia policy. harlan (talk) 13:53, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
You already asserted it was rather than asking. But yes a source that points something like that table or the business about Israel on the Security Council is needed rather than someone on Wikipedia doing their own analysis and coming up with the figures. I don't see a source remotely like that cited. What seems especially original opinion to me is the interpretation put on everything, that doesn't seem to be backed up by a source. One might just about get away with the bare facts from primary sources sometimes but interpretations most definitely need to be sourced. Dmcq (talk) 14:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Precisely the same issue has come up before (can't remember where or if Wikifan was involved) & it was decided it was OR. One of the more obvious problems is that it appears to show the Council has unduly focused on the issue & aside from the fact that many resolutions have been re-iterated because they were ignored the conflict has been going for significantly longer than any of the others. So yup, straight-forward misleading OR. (Random note: I seem to recall that if you average them out there were two other conflicts which scored more resolutions per year of conflict, Yugoslavia, obviously & can't remeber the other.) Misarxist (talk) 17:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, and just to add to the problems, you can't cite other Wikipedia articles as a source, as Wikifan12345 has attempted to do. I've taken it out - the section has just too many problems to be acceptable. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:06, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
The wikipedia cite was old and dated - supporting the casualty data which was agreed to be unnecessary. There is nothing misleading about the chart. the fact that are so many resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict is because the non-alignment movement has a super majority in the UNGA and can write up any resolution they please. The #resolutions and conflicts are supported by the UN. We could re-title the section to simply "UNSC resolution according to conflicts." Wikifan12345 (talk) 22:29, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I must admit the bit about Israel just saying the council has been criticized by a number of groups looks rather POV to me. It lists various Jewish pressure groups or suchlike while not mentioning the fact and mentions no non involved group. I feel myself thinking "well they would say that wouldn't they". I'm pretty certain the stuff that was removed was badly sourced and original research though so no counterpoint there. Ideas like you say about non-aligned nations needs to be backed up by reliable sources, what's the point of trying to convince a bunch of editors on the original research noticeboard of anything like that anyway? Reliable sources summarized in a reasonable way is the basis for a good article. Dmcq (talk) 22:55, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm just describing how UN resolutions are designed. It isn't relevant to the discussion - but one of you said the reason why so many resolutions have been passed compared to other conflicts is because resolutions have been ignored and the conflict has been on-going - this is simply false. Clearly Israel's status is unique in the UNSC and the graph (supported by the UN) illustrates it. UNWatch has been praised by leading UN officials including Kofi Annan and is the most popular UN-reform organization. I've included reliable sources in the section. I think the content is workable and shouldn't simply be dismissed with debatable policies. ChrisO whole-sale revert was premature IMO. Wikifan12345 (talk) 23:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikifan, as far as I can see there's unanimous agreement that your table was blatant OR. I mean, this isn't even close; it's absolutely a textbook example. If you can find a reliable source that contains such a table then go for it, but you can't simply create it yourself off the back of your own personal research. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:06, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
The resolutions are enumerated straight from the United Nations. I don't see how putting the stats in a graph somehow = original research. It's not like im inventing statistics. The previous discussion was not "unanimous." We must consider editor bias. Wikifan12345 (talk) 00:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
"Consider editor bias"? How? By considering editors who disagree with you to be three-fifths of an editor, or something? -- ChrisO (talk) 00:26, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Uh? Wikifan12345 (talk) 06:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Give it a rest. You cannot do your own count of Security Council resolutions based upon the mention of a country or region name in the title and say Note: Table is not comprehensive. Until you find a reliable published source, you need to stop restoring slip-shod WP:OR to the article. harlan (talk) 07:27, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Table is not comprehensive because not all wars are listed. I made a graph with every conflict mentioned in UCSC resolutions but I felt it was too long and unnecessary. I am not inventing statistics or twisting the math of the UNSC. It's a simple graph showing UNSC resolutions according to conflict. Why is this so outrageous? Wikifan12345 (talk) 08:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Show us a source that says something reasonably close to what you're saying. The interpretation is especially problematic without a source. If something is worth saying in Wikipedia someone will have said something close to it in a reliable source. Dmcq (talk) 10:59, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The claim that Israel is portrayed excessively in the UNSC is supported by reliable sources. It was deleted whole-sale under the rationale of OR but based on the dispute here that only applied to the graph. The graph itself comes straight from the UN. I don't see how enumerating UN resolutions according to conflict is OR. This is valid and legitimate data. Wikifan12345 (talk) 11:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Does a source say essentially what you are saying? If so point out which source or sources say that. All I saw was you getting data from around the place and putting together your own argument. That is synthesis. Making your own argument from the sources is original research. Dmcq (talk) 12:13, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Since when is graphing UN resolutions according to conflict=OR. Perhaps we could rename the conflicts to the actual UN designation. For example, the UN technically categorizes most Israel/Arab-UN resolutions up until the 1990s as the "Palestine Question." Perhaps this graph could be totally independent of Israel criticism. Listing UN resolutions straight from the UN site is far more illustrative and factual than some partisan figure claiming Arab/Israel dispute is portrayed excessively. Wikifan12345 (talk) 12:19, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
You are making up the "per conflict" list of applicable Security Council resolutions. There is no such list at the UN link that you provided. You, yourself, are not a WP:RS source. So, that graph was WP:OR. Your edit used a template to cite the List of United Nations resolutions concerning Israel article, but you made no effort to summarize its contents or harmonize your contents with that article. There are a number of reliable sources there which say the reason the Security Council has devoted so much time to the Arab-Israeli conflict is that the United States supplies Israel and the neighboring Arab states with arms and prevents the UNSC from imposing appropriate sanctions on the states for their violations of UN resolutions, the UN Charter, and international law. That article mentions that the members of the Security Council called the General Assembly into emergency session to address that very problem. See for example United Nations Security Council Resolution 500 and General Assembly resolution ES-9/1, 5 February 1982. The UN General Assembly approved a measure which 'Strongly deplores the negative vote by a permanent member of the Security Council which prevented the Council from adopting against Israel, under Chapter VII of the Charter, the "appropriate measures" referred to in resolution 497 (1981) unanimously adopted by the Council. See "Particular Cases of Decolonization and Self-Determination" in "Key resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, 1946-1996", By Dietrich Rauschning, Katja Wiesbrock, and Martin Lailach. [6] harlan (talk) 13:38, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
That's the sort of stuff that with a little copyediting could go straight in. It would be best also to find some newspaper reports about it to act as good secondary sources reporting on it from outside the UN to give the connecting narrative and interpretation. Dmcq (talk) 13:51, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Dmcq, I don't really want to add any material to a dedicated "Criticisms" subsection. That material belongs in the applicable section of the main article, and in-depth coverage of subjects in other articles should be reflected in the "See Also" section of the article. The problem here was that, taken as a whole, the narrative and table were an original POV synthesis that was supposedly based upon another Wikipedia article. But, it did not adequately summarize the content of that article. harlan (talk) 14:24, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Harlan, like the editor before you don't understand how UNGA resolutions are crafted and sent away into the UNSC. USA only vetoed ~30 UN resolutions out of the 100 filed between 1973-2003. I have provided EXPLICIT sources that the UN excessively focuses on the Israel-Arab conflict at the expense of others. This is an undisputed fact. Even Kofi Annan agreed. Why is enumerating UN resolutions according to conflict OR or synth? The original criticism has numerous sources about the UNSC. Wikifan12345 (talk) 22:01, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
What you need is a citation saying that rather than figuring it out yourself. Otherwise see WP:TRUTH. You did the enumerating bvy your criteria. That is original research. Find citations that the sort of thing you are trying to say. Otherwise don't stick it in. It is as simple as that. Dmcq (talk) 23:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
How so? I simply listed the resolutions in a graph. The info comes straight from the UN - they don't make any attempt to hide it. Do you need a citation that explicitly shows a graph? We have citations that say the UNSC devotes an excessive amount of time to Israe/Palestine - the UNSC resolutions demonstrate this. Wikifan12345 (talk) 00:05, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
If you have a citation in a reliable source saying UNSC devotes an excessive amount of time to Israel/Palestine then cite it. I'm sure they'll say how they back up their statements if they think it is worthwhile to mention. If the UN produces a chart like this then it can be put in a section about the security council, but sticking it into the Israel section is synthesis without some reliable source connecting the two. Editors should not stick their own original research into Wikipedia but should stick to the sources. If you want to go and write a paper on this go and do so and get it published elsewhere. Wikipedia is not for publishing your original thoughts. Dmcq (talk) 09:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Harlan/ChrisO removed the whole-section even though it included sources from reputable and mainstream sites. But let's forget Israel - the chart is merely a collection of the UN resolutions for conflicts. You seem to be ignoring my above post. I am not researching anything. Wikifan12345 (talk) 12:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Lets just follow the WP:Five pillars and build an encyclopaedia, of reliably sourced and verifiable information rather than editors own thoughts. I think you need to review whether you are trying to improve the encyclopaedia or to push your own ideas. Synthesis is sticking together facts which may themselves be well cited to give some new idea which isn't. Dmcq (talk) 14:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
What are my "thoughts?" Is it so controversial to enumerate UNSC resolutions according to conflict? Hundreds of articles (specifically list articles) use graphs for easy-navigation and comprehensive when compiling data. To be even more explicit, we could ditch individual conflicts and go with what the UN says officially - "Palestine Question", "Situation in Sudan" etc...etc. Do we actually need to find a secondary source that hosts a graph? Wikifan12345 (talk) 13:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
You thoughts as far as I can make out were now where can I gat a nice table to back up what I'm writing, um, I can't find one, I'll have to go and make one up myself looking around the place. People will be glad I've gone to all this work and made up such a useful table. Dmcq (talk) 17:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Since when is plugging data = original research? Do I need to link the dozens of articles on wikipedias that contain tables, but are not supported by sources that explicitly have a chart/table as reference? Wikifan12345 (talk) 23:28, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That there are other problems in Wikipedia is not an excuse for sticking in more problems. Wikipedia will not be a reliable source if people stick in whatever latest idea comes into their head. You have had your answer here. I understand that you don't like it. If you want to change it theres the talk page for the policy itself or the village pump. Dmcq (talk) 09:18, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to use mathematics as a reference to support an edit

[7] I removed some text as WP:OR, an editor speculated using mathematical theory that a land feature was just below the visible horizon - no land features are in fact visible. Ignoring the drama about a policy this editor has a problem with, I was seeking a second opinion on my removal in the first place. I considered it WP:OR as the editor was conducting original research in using mathematics, rather than reporting what a source had said. Justin talk 20:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

They should cite somebody saying that, it is original research. Why are they saying you can't see another island if nobody thought it worth mentioning? And if somebody thought it worth mentioning they don't need the calculation. Dmcq (talk) 23:29, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
While we do allow editors to perform routine calculations (using subtraction to calculate someones age when you have their birth date or using a well known formula to convert from one type of measurement into another for example) ... anything even remotely complex requires a source. This does not sound like a routine calculation. If the editor wants to note that a particular calculation proves that a specific land feature is just below the visible horizon, he must cite a source that explicitly uses the calculation to "prove" that. You were correct to remove. Blueboar (talk) 23:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
This seems like such a fine example of OR that perhaps it's even worth adding it to the WP:CALC section of the policy as an example of what not to do. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:38, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Would there be any objection if I were to replace the original reference with
"If D is set to 55, h1 is set to 46 and h2 set to 70 then the inequality D < 3.57(√h1 + √h2) does not hold, meaning that the two points cannot be seen from each other (the right hand side is 54.1)".
The proposed reference links the equation itself to another Wikipedia article.
User:Blueboar wrote "This does not sound like a routine calculation. If the editor wants to note that a particular calculation proves that a specific land feature is just below the visible horizon, he must cite a source that explicitly uses the calculation to "prove" that." I think that I have now done that.
User:Sean.hoyland wrote "This seems like such a fine example of OR that perhaps it's even worth adding it to the WP:CALC section of the policy as an example of what not to do. I suggest that by placing the formula itself into the Wikilink (rather than having a Wikilink to horizon as I had done previously) is an example of how things should be done. Martinvl (talk)
In response, let me point out a couple of things.
First, one of our sources say the highest point of Beauchene Island is at 70 metres. The other says it's at 82 metres. Assuming all the rest is accurate, the first would mean that Sea Lion Island is below the horizon when viewed from Beauchene Island, the second that it is above the horizon. Such a discrepancy in figures for the highest point is unsurprising when you consider that Beauchene Island is a wildlife refuge and is only very rarely visited.
Second, the image used on Google Maps and Google Earth for Beauchene Island is of very low resolution. In particular, on Google Maps, the location of the island is different depending on whether you're looking at it under "Map" or "Satellite". The difference is not trivial: when you're saying that a 1-kilometre difference is crucial, an uncertainty in the island's location of 2-3 kilometres is more than enough to put reasonable doubt in your measurements.
Finally, I've just entered the coordinates specified in the articles for the two islands into a Great Circle Calculator. The coordinates are 52°53′11″S 59°12′13″W for Beauchene Island and 52°26′S 59°05′W for Sea Lion Island. The distance provided is only 51 kilometres, not 55 kilometres. This tallies with the source provided in the article which gives the distance as approximately 54 kilometres to Lafonia - Lafonia being further away from Beauchene Island than Sea Lion Island is. Again, this is enough to reverse your conclusion.
In brief, I dispute the maths. I feel that the claim that Sea Lion Island is below the horizon as viewed by an observer on Beauchene Island is not demonstrated, given the uncertainties inherent in the measurements. I also feel that the question as to whether land actually is visible in theoretically ideal conditions (rare at 53°S) is probably irrelevant in any case, given the fact that practically all the inhabitants of Beauchene Island are perfectly capable of gaining whatever extra height is needed to see Sea Lion Island if they so choose and if conditions allow. Pfainuk talk 20:35, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
If there is no source on this matter then all that is irrelevant. There shouldn't be anything about it if no source think it worth mentioning anything about it. Dmcq (talk) 20:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it is irrelevant to the question as to whether it's OR or not - it is. But I think it does serve as a good example of why we don't allow this kind of thing. It wasn't particularly tricky to come up with those objections, but it's something that those checking sources might very well not bother with. Pfainuk talk 21:15, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

This is completely unacceptable as original research, and should probably be removed as an editorial decision even if it had a source. Such computations can't be done naively. If you do, you find e.g. that from one side of Lake Constance you shouldn't be able to see the coastline of the other side, while in reality you can. This was at some time a famous argument for the hollow world hypothesis (the Earth is a sphere, and we live on the inside), popular among Nazis. The reason the naive calculation gives the wrong answer is (IIRC) that the air just above the lake surface is more humid, and as a result the light doesn't travel in a straight line. Hans Adler 21:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Ray bending, Nazis, a hollow Earth where "the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel today dwell in perfect harmony", moistness, it's got all the elements of a fine example. Sean.hoyland - talk 21:50, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Mirage explains it all. I read ages ago about the Nazi's pointing their radars into space in the hope of seeing England - I don't know how much truth there was in it but they sure had some strange ideas. I don't remember anything about a place of perfect harmony. Dmcq (talk) 22:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I accept User:Phainuk's case that it is marginal whether or not the two islands are visible from each other (for the record the highest point of Beauchene Island is close to the southern extremity of the island). However I regard the discussion regarding the Nazi view of science as being a pure diversion - did the editors concerned actually read the article horizon - are they suggesting that that article is based on a "dodgy hypothesis". On account of Phainuk's observatiosn, I will not attempt to reinstate the comment, but only on account of his statements. Martinvl (talk) 05:37, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Like all mathematical models, there are some factors that this formulation simply does not take into account. That doesn't mean it's "dodgy", but it means you have to be careful with it. The model assumes that the Earth is a perfect sphere of radius 6,350 kilometres (slightly too small) with no atmosphere. It does not allow for the fact that there may be a hill or wave in the way, and does not allow for the effects of atmospheric refraction - crucial in the case of Lake Constance as noted above.
If this formula makes a prediction, we can't necessarily assume that no other factors apply that reverse that prediction but that are not accounted for in the model. This is partly why we don't allow this kind of original research on Wikipedia. Pfainuk talk 06:40, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Martinvl, to clarify, regarding the Nazi/hollow planet etc things, it's not meant as a distraction, more like comic relief on my part or possibly a potential way to make people more likely to read and enjoy an example of OR added to WP:CALC. As someone with a geophysics background I'm hardly in a position to describe a hypotheses as 'dodgy' and condemn its practical use on that basis. :) Sean.hoyland - talk 08:19, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
All this talk of accuracy of predictions is as irrelevant as the Nazis. There isn't a source saying anything about this island saying another place is or isn't visible from it. So this is original thought by the editor. If somebody measures your height in feet and inches they thought about measuring your height and that it was interesting and changing the height to centimeters doesn't introduce anything substantial in the way of original thought. Dmcq (talk) 08:07, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
An interesting comment, but in what circumstances could they use decimetres rather than centimetres in their article? Would they need to provide a verifiable source that decimetres are used to measure people? If so, when would this be acceptable? Martinvl (talk) 10:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I believe WP:Don't be a dork covers that. Dmcq (talk) 11:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies, Dmcq I'll remember that essay for the future thanks. Justin talk 12:02, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Islam and antisemitism

There a large number of quotes from various Muslim clerics, scholars, whatever, used in the article Islam and antisemitism sourced only to MEMRI, a translation service with a less than stellar reputation (see various RS/N threads about it). Is it original research to relate comments made by such figures to "Islam and antisemitism" sourced only to translations of the comments themselves? Or is it required that a reliable secondary source make such a connection? nableezy - 19:06, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

MEMRI is certainly not un-bias (few organizations are when it comes to controversial subjects) but its translation and research is reliable.

There are a grand total of two specific complaints about MEMRI mentioned in Wikipedia - the first is from (former) professor Norman Finkelstein who is hardly an un-bias source, who claims that MEMRI selectively edited an interview. The second is sourced from a blog maintained by Brian Whitaker, the Middle East editor for the Guardian newspaper (UK) who claims that one line (albeit an important one) from a show was mistranslated. While it is certainly possible that mistakes in these two MEMRI publications may have been made, this is certainly not a basis to conclude that all MEMRI research is inaccurate.

All of the other "criticisms" are not based on specifics or reasearch but are simply broad condemnations and opinions from far-left and anti-Israel (i.e. bias) figures such as Ken Livingstone and Juan Cole.

With regard to the claim of Original research, MEMRI has researched and accumlated this material and presented it for others to view. For an example of its research, I recommend viewing some of its specific studies such as Antisemitic Statements and Cartoons in Wake of Gaza War, which analysises antisemitic statements made by Muslim and arab leaders following the 2008-2009 Gaza War (the specific video clips of the quotations have been cited for convenience). MEMRI is a valid secondary source because it does its own research and analysis.

Finally, the quotes in question are not taken from random people off the street or from a chat room; they are from leading Islamic leaders and scholars (most notably Yusuf al-Qaradawi) and their comments were made on internationally broadcast television shows (i.e. they are noteworthy).(Hyperionsteel (talk) 19:39, 31 July 2010 (UTC))

That does not address any of the concerns, namely that there are no secondary sources relating these comments to the supposed topic of the article. The quotes in the article are cherry-picked from translations provided by MEMRI with no sources relating them to Islam and antisemitism. I am here to ask uninvolved users if that is original research or not. The issue with the reliability of the translations provided by MEMRI is a side issue. nableezy - 21:01, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can see MEMRI is a secondary source because it comments on the speeches by saying what they think is happening. The only problem I could see was they didn't explicitly point to the bit in a speech which was referred to by their summary. I don't see any major problems with the use made of MEMRI in the article. Dmcq (talk) 23:51, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
The clips dont make any comments on the speeches, they are simply translations. They dont have any commentary. For example this is used in the article to quote a speech by Qaradawi that we say is related to Islam and antisemitism. But the source does not say anything of the sort. Another one is thois. While the comments may certainly be antisemitic, nothing in the source relates it to Islam and antisemitism. The same is true for every quote in the article sourced only to MEMRI translations. nableezy - 00:15, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

I hate to point out the obvious (again) but here we go: Qaradawi is an Islamic religious leader and scholar who makes anti-semitic comments on international television programs (some of which have been translated and assembled by MEMRI). Please explain how that is not relevant to Islam and Anti-semitism?(Hyperionsteel (talk) 04:00, 1 August 2010 (UTC))

Because no source says it has something to do with Islam and antisemitism? Hell, you dont even have a source that says the comments are antisemitic nor do you have a source that says the comments have anything to do with Islam. nableezy - 04:05, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

So you are saying that the statements attributed to him in the article are not anti-semitic? (Hyperionsteel (talk) 15:03, 1 August 2010 (UTC))

No, I am saying you dont have a source calling them antisemitic nor do you have a source relating them to Islam. nableezy - 16:46, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Does the article reference [8]? Even though it has blog in the title it looks to me like it may qualify as not being a blog. Dmcq (talk) 19:39, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Whether the comments are antisemitic or not doesnt really concern me and is a side issue. The issue for me is that there is no source tying the comments to Islam, the religion, not just to Muslims. I am not entirely sure at what you want me to look at on that site, there are a number of blog entries there. But no, as far as I can tell the article does not reference that site. nableezy - 21:15, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

So derogatory statements by Muslim religious figures regarding Jews are not related to Islam and Antisemitism? They are. When prominent Muslim religious leaders make anti-semitic comments, they are certainly relevant to Islam and Anti-semitism. If you want, we could change the title of this section to something like "Comments on Jews by Muslim Leaders" or "Recent statements by Muslim leaders on Jews", that would be fine.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 00:14, 2 August 2010 (UTC))

That is an original interpretation that no source provided makes. How does the source make the connection to Islam and antisemitism? nableezy - 00:39, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

The source is a research institute (MEMRI) which documents anti-semitism in the Muslim world. Its not something I made up or researched myself.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 01:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC))

Primary or secondary source?

If MEMRI's purpose is to document anti-semitism in the Muslim world, we might be able to accept that such material is antisemitic without engaging in WP:OR (and I'm not certain about that), but would it not be the case that any such quotes or transcripts, absent content that directly addresses Islam and Antisemitism, would have to be considered primary sources? It seems to me that quotes or transcripts that merely contain antisemitic remarks from an islamic point of view would have to be primary sources for the topic, regardless of source, and thus best avoided entirely. Surely there are plenty of secondary sources for this topic. --Nuujinn (talk) 11:13, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

They put in a short description of how they view the speeches at the top of them. There's only a couple of places where they say 'islam' rather than muslim cleric or suchlike as far as I can see though, not that I'd dispute that the two are very closely linked. Dmcq (talk) 17:06, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Since MEMRI collects information from, and comments on, information from other sources, it is certainly a secondary source. (Whether MEMRI is reliable or not is a separate question.) Whether the information it collected is from a primary or secondary source depends on the individual piece of information. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:38, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that MEMRI comments on quote and transcripts would be secondary (reliable or otherwise), but what about the quotes themselves? Certainly one could cite them if one wanted to reproduce the quote verbatim from the MEMRI site, but does not the quote or transcript remain in and of itself a primary source? I would think the value of a secondary source is the analysis, not that it reproduces a primary source. --Nuujinn (talk) 17:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Primary sources can be used in Wikipedia, with care. Wikipedia editors should not add their own personal novel analysis about any source or topic, whether they are analyzing primary or secondary sources. The fact that a secondary source decides a primary source is worth quoting strengthens the argument that the primary source is worth quoting in a Wikipedia article.
The fact that source X is quoted in a secondary source does not change the nature of source X. If it was primary, it remains primary. If it was secondary, it remains secondary.
Makes perfect sense. So in regard to this, where there is no commentary to use, we could say "Sunni scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi claimed that 'Everything in the Torah constitutes a call for war'" and cite MEMRI as a source, I think. But could we say "Sunni scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi makes antisemitic statements" or "Sunni scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi is antisemitic" based on that quote? Personally, I think not, since I believe that passes into OR. What do others think? --Nuujinn (talk) 21:25, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I think you're right. However if it is listed by them in their antisemitism and holocaust denial project page I believe that means they consider it as antisemitic. Dmcq (talk) 22:34, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and I think that's a reasonable interpretation, but still, an interpretation. I guess my thought is I would want to avoid it since it's both a primary source and there is a judgment, even if a reasonable one. I could also see one arguing that that particular quotation is more anti-torah and anti-us. I must say, looking at Islam_and_antisemitism#Yusuf_al-Qaradawi, I am struck by the notion that the first quotation in the section is more than sufficient, and much better sourced, but that's more an issue for the article talk page. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:57, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
But what does the quote have to with Islam other than a Muslim said it? Is everything a "Muslim scholar" says related to Islam or is a source required to actually connect what was said to the religion itself? nableezy - 00:15, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
The entire section 'Antisemitic comments by Muslim Leaders and Scholars' is original research using primary sources many of them from dubious sources, MEMRI & JVL, and should go. The issue should be dealt with using secondary sources which explicitly link aspects of the religion, or practitioners, to antisemitism. As it stands it's a rather ugly piece of bigotry. If anyone can't see that I'd ask them to imagine a list of outrageous quotes from Jewish people about Arabs/Islam which purported to establish that Judaism was inherently racist/Islamophobic. Misarxist (talk) 07:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I can't see that. Citing the statements of religious leaders or scholars when performing their official duties seems perfectly acceptable to me as relating to their religion. If you want to counter that find some other religious leaders or scholars who go and speak out against what those other religious leaders say. And I notice 'Islamic' seems to be perfectly okay when related to Islamic architecture or Islamic astronomy. Dmcq (talk) 13:47, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Sources call those things "Islamic architecture" and "Islamic astronomy", and I would be opposed to including any building designed by a Muslim in an article on "Islamic architecture" without a source calling it such. That would also be original research. And what "official duty" was being performed when these quotes were made? You are inviting more original research, we dont make arguments and counter-arguments on Wikipedia. nableezy - 13:58, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what your point is. Are you trying to distinguish between Islam the religion and what its teachers say or are you trying to say that the word Islam is a different word from Muslim? Dmcq (talk) 17:27, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
My point is pretty simple. My point is that not everything a Muslim "scholar", "sheikh", "imam" or whatever says is related to Islam and to make the relation we need a reliable secondary source to do so. For example, what exactly does the following quote have to do with Islam? How is it related to the topic "Islam and antisemitism"?

"Never have I seen a single verse, paragraph, or sentence in the Torah which calls for peace. Everything in the Torah constitutes a call for war. They even call God "Lord of Hosts" – they don't call Him "Lord of the Universe" or "the Compassionate, the Merciful...[The Torah contains] the notion of annihilation. We saw it when the Europeans went to America – they tried to annihilate the Indians. When they went to Australia, they tried to annihilate the aboriginal people. Indeed, they annihilated them. This is a biblical notion – annihilate them totally, do not leave a living soul among them."

What source relates this comment to Islam? Is it related to Islam only because a Muslim preacher said it? How is it not OR to include this quote in an article on "Islam and antisemitism" without a source relating it to Islam and antisemitism? The comments here contrast quite starkly with those given in a recent thread on this noticeboard archived here where it was demanded that sources must connect the material in the article to the topic of the article. What source does that here? nableezy - 17:51, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well since you seem to be going by the actual word being different may I point out to you that "Muslim is the participle of the same verb of which Islam is the infinitive." Muslims are followers of Islam. If a Muslim preacher says it then it related to Islam. There is no original research in connecting Muslim and Islam, it is part of common knowledge. Dmcq (talk) 18:03, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

That is just silly. You are effectively saying that any action committed by a Muslim is by definition related to Islam. A Muslim scholar took a piss this morning. Should I start an article on Islam and urination documenting each time a Muslim scholar has urinated? nableezy - 18:12, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Is there a source establishing notability for that topic? It sounds strange to me that such an action should be part of the professional actions of a Muslim scholar but if it is I can certainly see it becoming notable. Dmcq (talk) 19:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
So lets pretend that Islam and urination was indeed a notable topic. You would say that every instance of a Muslim scholar urinating would belong on that page? Without a source relating that specific piss to the topic of Islam and urination? Just by virtue of the person urinating being a Muslim it is by definition related to Islam? nableezy - 19:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
If they were doing it in an official capacity as Muslim scholars then yes of course. Dmcq (talk) 20:44, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
What does "official capacity as Muslim scholars" mean? And how do we know that they are doing it in such a capacity? nableezy - 20:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should step back from this particular example for a bit, I'm not sure we're really getting anywhere at the moment. Regarding Islam_and_antisemitism#Yusuf_al-Qaradawi, can we agree that the first and second quotes are not OR and well sourced? If we can agree on that, perhaps we can refine things a bit and return to the other quotation. --Nuujinn (talk) 21:03, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I am only talking about the quotes that are sourced only to a translation by MEMRI. Both of those have other sources discussing them. Whether or not they are OR in the context of including them in that article is another question, but not one I was attempting to address now. nableezy - 21:30, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
The MEMRI source says prominent Sunni scholar as well as acting as a primary source. That makes it obvious it is related to Islam. The quote and its heading would not be reasonable as being antisemitic on its own even though it seems so because that aspect comes under WP:BLP and so the alternative citation is also needed. Dmcq (talk) 22:08, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I think Dmcq's last point is very important, Al-Qaradhawi is a living person and thus we have to take extreme care in any characterization of him. My own feeling at this point is that regarding the third quote, while the comments are clearly anti-torah and anti-US, making even a reasonable interpretation that this primary source represents anti-semitism crosses the line of OR. Given the parallel issue of BLP, I would argue that we should eliminate that particular quote. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:28, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Dmcq, I can not wrap my head around that reasoning. An article on "Islam and antisemitism" should discuss Islam, the religion itself, and antisemitism. How X verse or Y hadith is antisemitic or whether or not the religion itself causes antisemtic tendencies or beliefs among its followers. By opening it up to such an extent that anything a "Muslim scholar" says that may be antisemitic, whether or not it is at all related to the religion itself, you allow for all sorts of nonsense into the article. This is like saying in an article on Christianity and racism that X preacher at Y church in Alabama said the n-word and quoting every time a seminary graduate said a racist thing, no matter if what was said had anything to do with the Christian religion. I cannot understand how it is not original research to say that anything a Muslim scholar says is related to the religion of Islam without a source relating that quote to the religion of Islam. nableezy - 00:03, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Obviously, I'm not speaking for Dmcq, and you have my opinion above regarding the issue of OR and BLP for the third quote in the relevant section. That being said, in Al-Qaradhawi's case, I think the fact that his speeches and sermons are being covered in the press put him in somewhat of a different situation than the typical seminary graduate. This is a very prominent person we're discussing, whose opinion as a religious leader and scholar carries considerable weight, and whose opinions about various groups are well documented. I think a better comparison would be the types of anti-islamic comments made by some prominent christian leaders here in the US. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:21, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

As to some preacher in Alabama talking about the curse of Ham or whatever, Christian churches have a bit in their gospels about it - you will know them by their fruits. And the same applies to any religion, they do not exist in a vacuum away from their adherents and their actions. If respected Islamic scholars say things that you are not happy about and think is against their religion then go and find others who have spoken out against them or said differently. Otherwise are you saying you know more about it than them? That most certainly would be original research, they are the authorities not anyone on Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 08:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I am not saying it is "against their religion". What I am saying is that unless a source says it has something to do with the religion then Wikipedia should not be saying that it does. Is there or is there not a source that connects these quotes to the topic of Islam and antisemitism? Is there or is there not a source that connects these quotes to Islam as a religion? Just saying If a Muslim preacher says it then it related to Islam does not make it so and without a source it is not so on Wikipedia. All I want is a source connecting these quotes to the topic of Islam and antisemitism. Not a random person on the internet saying that the quote is self-evidently related to the topic. Why that is such an outrageous request is not something I understand. nableezy - 15:05, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think there are sources that connect the other two quotes to islam, but I agree that there's not one for the third quote.
There is another aspect to this we have not covered, however, and that is that the quote from the MEMRI site is not presented in it's entirety in the article. The section quoted on MEMRI shows I think that Al-Qaradhawi is addressing Obama's speech in which Obama drew parallels between the Koran and Torah. As presented in the article, the stripped down version of the quote leaves that aspect of MEMRI's presentation of Al-Qaradhawi's speech (which is itself an excerpt) completely aside. I think it is arguable that this paring down of the quotation may misrepresent the original source. What do you all think? --Nuujinn (talk) 16:05, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I've had a quick look around and there seem to be a few sources with analysis that directly link a number of quotes to the explicit subject of Islam and antisemitism, I think people should put in such links and there is no need for less well cited ones when there's good sources with text. By Islam they do not of course just mean the study of the Koran, they mean the theological teaching just like the article does. Dmcq (talk) 01:32, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
That sounds promising, can you put up some links so we can take a look at those? Should we bring this up at the article's talk page? --Nuujinn (talk) 01:43, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Great, I have no problem including quotes that have such sources. If a source makes a connection it is obviously not OR. nableezy - 01:52, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Aristide Razu

The article Aristide Razu is mostly the work of the general's great grandson, Aristiderazu (talk · contribs). He hasn't understood the need to provide reliable sources, and the "sources" appear to be the names of people he's spoken to and of places he's visited while researching the details of the nationalisation of the general's property. In this recent edit he even adds his own name as a "source". I've been involved with the editor following his numerous posts at the help desk, and I've been in the article and its talk page myself trying to clean it up and find sources (the two "proper" cited sources in the first paragraph are mine). Can someone take a fresh look at it and suggest a way forwards? -- John of Reading (talk) 08:41, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

I have added an explanation to the article talk page, and will try to watch and join in. Johnuniq (talk) 03:52, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks -- John of Reading (talk) 08:00, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Shirley Sherrod

Heads-up to a posting on the RS noticeboard: A WP assertion that Charles and Shirley Sherrod were pioneers in the US's Community Land Trust movement has become controversial. Any editors wishing to comment on the factors of wp:original research that may or may not be involved in this assertion would be welcome.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 17:24, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Is there an OR issue involved? The assertion seems to be backed by a source... one which seems to be reliable at first glance. But even if it isn't reliable, the fact that there is a source would negate the idea that the claim is OR. Blueboar (talk) 20:21, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
The OP is attempting to synthesize a fact about a person in a bio from unreliable sources. Here is an example of a footnote that he added to the article in this attempt: [9]. The footnote is gone but not the synthesis. Sorry the OP decided to bug you guys with this, it should have been handled on the article talk page.Jarhed (talk) 03:45, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Yellow Springs News credits Sherrod a land trust pioneer [as does her former fellow land trust activist Chuck Collins, who reminisced recently about Sherrod in a very nice profile HuffPo, which cite I could the primary source of Sherrod's keynote speech to the Nat'l Community Land Trust org's annual convention in 2009 in Albany, etc.]. It is not me making unsupportable fringe assertions; thus the research is unoriginal, sourced to, in this case, the YSNews, not me!--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 04:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

History of Gorakhpur

Resolved: Suspected copyvio removed, editor warned. East of Borschov 07:59, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Probably posting this in entirely the wrong section but I've just noticed that the Gorakhpur article's history section was recently bolstered by a not inconsiderable 52k in one edit on July 20th. None of the added section is cited. A quick google of a few random sentences only brings up wikipedia as a match so no obvious plagiarism, but it does smack of someone copying and pasting their history essay (dissertation?) in. The editor was advised on their talk page of the unreferenced issue but they seem not to have replied or reacted to it. danno 22:32, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

  • It's lifted from [10], which is a copy of the 1978 Gazetteer of the district of Uttar Pradesh [11]. Goooglebooks returns direct copy from the 1959 gazetteer [12]. It's a state govt publication - instant copyvio or not? East of Borschov 21:22, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, there seems to be no way that the source you gave was derived from Wikipedia, so this edit is a copyvio and an instant removal is required, with a warning ({{subst:uw-copyvio|Gorakhpur}} ~~~~) on the editor's talk page. When removing the text, the edit summary should say "remove copyvio of ..." where ... is the URL of the source. Johnuniq (talk) 00:45, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

US vs SKOIEN at Second Amendment to the United States Constitution


There has been a dispute at the [[Second Amendment to the United States Constitution|2a]] article over some text regarding the recent Skoien case. Essentially User: has added a section that has two paragraphs. 71 contends that first paragraph is fully supported by the court document itself, provided as a direct quote in the 2nd paragraph. I include them both below for convenience.

A number of these case continue to use the "collective rights" interpretation in defiance of US Supreme Court rulings in Heller and McDonald that the right protected is an individual right unconnected with service in the militia. For instance in US v Skoien the following language appears in the decision.

"Skoien moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that applying this statute to him violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms. The district court denied the motion, citing this court's decision in Gillespie v. City of Indianapolis, 185 F.3d 693 (7th Cir.1999), which held that § 922(g)(9) was constitutional under a collective-rights view of the Second Amendment." <ref> UNITED STATES of America, v. Steven M. SKOIEN,</ref> 

Given that 71 has used a direct quote from a primary source and then drawn an inference of intent, such as "defiance" I'm uncomfortable using the primary source to determine such a statement. 71 says "seems like defiance to me". Secondary sources that discuss the case are certainly available - for example:

I'd prefer we rely on secondary sources since the paragraph in question looks like WP:OR to me given that it draws conclusions and states the courts intent. I have no objection to using a source that actually says the court was in defiance, but 71 has not yet provided such a source and I haven't seen one in my own searches. For those who like to read the full history feel free to check out the discussion at the talk page. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 00:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

So as not to avoid confusion the above summaries discuss the Skoien ruling that was based on the reexamination of the original ruling. My cited quote comes from the "first" and "original" Skoien ruling and not the reexamination. Both the original ruling and the reexamination were after Heller was decided.

Cut and paste from the Second talk page which pretty much covers my point -

RE: primary/secondary sourcing - wiki policy states - A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source.
If I sound mad - consider that fact that even a village idiot would be able to make the connection between my summary and the language I cited, and it is well within the means of "an educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge", to be able to verify as supported by the source.
and lastly - It is the duty of a judge to research prior case law when making a decision. The judge in Skoien was either in dereliction of duty by refusing to read up on Heller, or dereliction of duty by refusing to apply what he has read. Take your pick. With the publicity surrounding Heller that judge was 100% aware that Heller existed. (talk) 01:04, 13 August 2010 (UTC) (talk) 01:09, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
It appears from reading the appeals court decision that the district court decided twice, before and after Heller. It appears the first time, the trial court relied on the right to bear arms being a collective right, and the second time they abandoned that reasoning and decided that conviction of misdemeanor domestic violence was a good enough reason to deprive a person of the right to bear arms. So it does not look like defiance to me.
Of course, I could be wrong, but that's really the point. The appeals court decision does not give the sort of detailed timeline I would need to be sure I'm right (or to discover my error); to support 71's claim of defiance, the defiance should be much more apparent in the appeals court decision. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
There were two different cases a year apart. Both were after Heller. In the first the judge used the collective right interpretation to justify his actions. In Heller the collective rights interpretation was said to be "worthy of the mad hatter" i.e. straight out of the loony bin! I'm fairly sure everyone here can agree that using a legal theory that the highest court in the land has stated is straight out of the loony bin is NOT the proper use of precedent. In the second case the judge "avoided" Heller because Skoien stated that he used the guns for hunting. The judge then said, that since the guns were for hunting and not self defense, that Heller did not enter into the equation. The second case is borderline weaselly. The first is DEFIANT! (talk) 03:04, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

I know that 71 thinks it's defiant. But since the court case itself doesn't mention defiance, we really can't decide for ourselves that it's defiance. Wouldn't we need a reliable secondary source to make such speculation? One could just as easily say they "ruled in contradiction" or even "ruled in line with precedence" or any of dozens of other personal theories. Such analysis is beyond the scope of wikipedia. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 05:30, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Background for those unfamiliar with the case at hand I have provided a brief timeline:

  • 1999 Gillespie v City of Indianapolis District court rules that 19 U.S.C 922(g)(9) is constitutional per a collective rights view
  • 2006 Steven Skoien convicted. He moves to dismiss, arguing the law violates his 2A rights. Court denies the motion citing Gillespie
  • 2008 DC v Heller makes it to SCOTUS, who rules that 2A protects individual right (at least for the feds)
  • 2009 Skoien's conviction vacated by the 7th circuit citing Heller and a standard of "intermediate scrutiny"
  • 2010 McDonald v Chicago reaches SCOTUS who incorporates the 2A (nothing to do with Skoien)
  • 2010 7th rules en banc (10-1) that while Heller applies, the level of scrutiny is incorrect and reinstates Skoien's conviction.

Note that the "collective view" decision mentioned in the court document is referring to an event that occurred pre-Heller and therefore is not in defiance. This is the case of an individual having read the court transcript and seen the mention of the earlier collective right ruling, and drawing an incorrect conclusion. Actually this lays out the case of not using primary court documents if at all possible, except in very limited careful ways. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 06:03, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

As presented here, this seems like an open and shut case. Unless reliable legal sources have stated that it is "in defiance",such an assessment has no place in Wikipedia.-Even a single source claiming "defiance" would have to be very reliable and would only justify stating it as an opinion, not as an encyclopedic fact. -Boson (talk) 06:38, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, no SCOTUS opinion has ever included a "collective rights" view of the 2A. However, we still cannot say "in defiance of SCOTUS decisions" in spite of the clear evidence that it was <d>in contrary to all relevant SCOTUS decisions, without a reliable source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:50, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Based on the timeline, I don't think it was even contrary to SCOTUS. The original decision was pre-Heller, the 7th circuit ruled based on Heller, and then reversed itself based on Heller. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 07:03, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Even Miller rejected a "collective rights" view of the 2A, although it required some connection to a "militia". But I'm agreeing that, although contrary to SCOTUS rulings, we cannot say even that without a reliable source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:08, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
The timeline above is wrong. Skoien was convicted of a domestic violence charge in 2006, found in possession of a gun in 2007 while on parole, was tried and found guilty **in 2009** for that possession, and retried in 2010 to conform to Heller. He was retried because the first trial was defective, and the obvious defect is that the judge used the "collective rights" model to reach "at least one" of his decisions. See above language I quoted. (talk) 12:24, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
The level of scrutiny in the later case, was also "intermediate" because Skoien stated that the gun he was caught with was used for hunting. Based on that statement by Skoien, the court decided that Heller did not apply as the right to self defense was not an issue. The second case was also tried on "intermediate" scrutiny and not the "high" scrutiny required by the use of an individual right. In the first the judge plainly used the collective rights model described as "worthy of the mad hatter" by the US Supreme Court and in the second the court by the clever (weaselly) use of Skoien's comment to avoid having to deal with Heller requirements. Let this be a lesson to all, if you are charged with a gun possession offense, always always always say that the gun is for self defense. (talk) 12:34, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Prahlad Jani redux

Can anyone offer advice/comments at Talk:Prahlad_Jani#New_RFC. It is a long story but a quick review of the latest RFC as well as the one above from last month should provide some background. I didn't have much luck with my request on the same topic on this noticeboard more than a month ago. The old RFC didn't yield any comments either. Hopefully this time someone who sees this message and wants to help will try to bring some much needed fresh perspective on the synthesis and original research problems this article faces. Thank you. BTW User:Science Apologist advised me to go to WP:FTN last time I talked to them. Would that be a better venue perhaps? (In the sense that it may be more frequented, since I still think this is an original research and synthesis problem primarily). But unfortunately it seems that this noticeboard is not as lively as ANI where once you post there at least you get an answer. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 20:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I guess this is either a not very popular subject or this noticeboard is nowhere near as lively as ANI. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 19:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you could summarize what you feel the core issue is? The RFC is very long and painful to read. Nuujinn (talk) 21:26, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. It is nice to get a response for a change. The core issue is that a user wants to insert their personal analysis/observations about a video which was used by Edamaruku of the Indian Rationalist Association to criticise Prahlad Jani. The user thinks that adding the video alone is not balanced criticism. S/he wants to add their personal analysis/observations in the form of the following paragraph in order to criticise/critique the video itself:

The video clip linked as a proof to that statement is overlaid with Polish subtitles saying: ""Prahlad Jani “Bathing” 2003 -- nie podawano mu żadnego jedzenia, ani wody; nawet kiedy pozwalano mu na kąpiel, ilość wody była mierzona przed i po kąpieli", which says in Polish 'he wasn't given any food neither water; even when he was allowed to bath, the quantity of water was measured before and after the bathing'. The dates in Hindi comments to the episodes of alleged 'obstruction by devotees' are indicating 2003 as well, and the age of Prahlad Jani in overlaid Hindi text is shown as "65 साल से प्यासा", which means "...65 years fasting without water..." (in 2010 he has been fasting already over 71 years).<ref name="rationalistinternational1">{{cite web|last=Edamaruku |first=Sanal |url= |title=Prahlad Jani and his powerful protectors | |date=2010-05-18 |accessdate=2010-06-14}}</ref>

S/he wants to highlight the fact that the video criticises Prahlad Jani for things he did in 2010, but the contents of the video appear to be from 2003. So s/he wants to point out this discrepancy. Trouble is, there is no reliable source making such analysis so we have WP:SYNTH and WP:OR issues. There are also WP:BLP issues involved because without reliable and verifiable sources we should not synthesize our own rebuttal of Edamaruku's video to try to discredit him. S/he even calculates Prahlad Jani's age: (in 2010 he was over 71) to make the discrepancy between 2003 and 2010 clearer. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 21:53, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the commentary added in this edit is original research and should be removed from the Prahlad Jani article. My suggestion would be to maintain the current wording which shows that Sanal Edamaruku made certain claims (i.e. the claims are attributed to the person who made them), and to use the Guardian article as the source (it is given as the original of what appears at rationalistinternational). I watched a bit of the youtube video and it is far too confusing and jumbled for anything to be clear. A kind of inverse WP:REDFLAG applies: commonsense tells us that a gigantic con is being staged, and that the tests conducted by 35 doctors and researchers which confirmed the subject's powers are bogus (the subject claims to have lived without food or water since 1940). Anyone wanting to demonstrate flaws in a criticism of the test is going to need good reliable sources. The issue is quite simple: for unexplained reasons, various people in India claim that a person has not eaten or drank since 1940; an article in the Guardian contains an opposing view. A very reliable source is required for any text in the article which supports the concept that is is possible to live for many years without food or water, or which counters claims made in the Guardian. Johnuniq (talk) 00:30, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Johnuniq. The Guardian is a good reliable source. In addition, aside from the OR issues, youtube is generally not a reliable source. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:36, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I corrected the Hindi translation above. Sorry, it was a technical mistake on my part. Regarding the removal of allegedly OR-influenced information, let's leave it be. I still believe the readers should be made aware of the discrepancy in dating (without analyzing any implications of this discrepancy in the article), but I guess time will bring more information on this subject. Subsequent DIPAS reports should be enough to clarify the doubts... Thanks everyone. -- Nazar (talk) 10:32, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I think DIPAS itself should be investigated if it is a reliable source or not. I do not think it is. But this is just my opinion at the moment. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:29, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
hmmm. start a new RFC, ask the consensus. if it says that DIPAS is not a reliable source, we may remove all the info taken from DIPAS site. you might as well even nominate the Prahlad Jani article for deletion, as we have practically no verifiable academic sources to use in that article. and, to be honest, the reliability of all the other sources used (like the official site of Sudhir Shah, and all the press references) is very questionable too. best you just delete it all :) or, no, leave the information from "The Skeptic's Dictionary". this one is reliable 100% and must be preserved and protected :)))-- Nazar (talk) 17:23, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

After some consideration I'd add, that I do not believe that dating of the material or direct text citation from it can be considered an original research. I might agree that youtube is not considered a reliable source, but in the mentioned case it's used together with the Guardian article and is a constituent part of it, which makes it a special case. A definition of 'inverse WP:REDFLAG' is probably Johnuniq's own original research, and it's really hard to see any common sense in not believing a team of 35 medical experts, supervised by governmental agencies and possessing all possible accreditations, just because 1 showman (Sanal Edamaruku) says they are all cheating. It's very noteworthy to point in this situation that this 1 man is definitely cheating and staging a con himself. I'll cite Johnuniq's own words: "video ... is far too confusing and jumbled for anything to be clear". And these are the words of an editor who seems to vigorously support Sanal Edamaruku's claims. I'll say the following: this video proves none of the points mentioned in Sanal Edamaruku's criticism. It is manipulated and cleverly used to mislead the readers. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 14:36, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The first paragraph of WP:OR says that original research "also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources". You are advancing the position (however obliquely) that Edamaruku is using inadequate or manipulated footage to present his argument, yet no sources back you up on this analysis. There are many ways in which you could be wrong in your interpretation of the video (maybe Edamaruku misspoke when introducing the clip, maybe you misheard him, maybe the footage was wrongly captioned, maybe the television station inadvertently broadcast the wrong video), which is why Wikipedia avoids using original research. If a journalist writing for a reliable source analyses the video and decides Edamaruku is a fraud, we can quote them - but we can't quote you. --McGeddon (talk) 16:26, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, whatever we believe as individuals, we have to report what the sources actually say. Also, although I recognize that this forum is oriented to OR issues, I'd also like to point out that this youtube video can't be considered a reliable source according to WP:Reliable_source_examples#Are_IRC.2C_MySpace.2C_and_YouTube_reliable_sources.3F. It's not just a posting of a newscast or documentary--it has been edited, apparently more than once, so it is completely unverifiable at this point. It may also be a copyright violation, and we're not supposed to link to those either. With this many issues clouding the picture (pun intended), it seems to me that use of the youtube clip at all is out of the question. But if that is disputed by anyone, we can take it to the other noticeboards for further discussion. --Nuujinn (talk) 16:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I said I might agree that youtube is not a reliable source. Therefore I'm not pushing my position at this very moment (to restore the citations from this very video) given the current set of references and not trying to edit-war the article. However, I do not agree with McGeddon that my attempts to include the citation (leave out the youtube issue) constitute an original research. I might have my own views as an editor (which are not necessarily 100% in support of all the extraordinary claims about PJ's 70 years of fasting). But when I provide direct citations from the references, this is not an original research. There are too many "maybe"s in McGeddon's logic (which are his own personal analysis, btw), and it's not up to the Wikipedia editors to remove referenced content based on these "maybe"s. It's up to the readers to decide how to interpret the facts, which we provide. And if we try to conceal some facts based on such "maybe"s, then it's our own WP:Synthesis first of all. -- Nazar (talk) 17:10, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, the Policy says: "in some cases, video clips published on YouTube may be acceptable as primary sources if their authenticity can be confirmed, or as a secondary source if they can be traced to a reliable publisher". And the authenticity of the clip in question is confirmed by the direct link to it from both the Guardian article and multiple other places where Edamaruku published his criticism. The link is everywhere to the same clip (same URL), which is published by the Rationalists Web TV, and the identification of the publisher links back to the official site of RATIONALIST INTERNATIONAL. I'll, however, not try to restore the citation based on that logic for the meanwhile, and wait for more references to come. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 18:26, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Leaving the RS issues aside for the moment, and with all due respect, I think even in the proposed link between the article in the guardian and the video clip, you're engaged in OR. The guardian article says" "While the test was running, I exposed some of those loopholes in a live programme on India TV: an official video clip revealed that Jani would sometimes move out of the CCTV camera's field of view; he was allowed to receive devotees and could even leave the sealed test room for a sun bath; his regular gargling and bathing activities were not sufficiently monitored and so on." And from what I can see in the video, after the section with the polish subtitles, there is section of video apparently from 2010 (starting about 4:48 in the timeline) showing him stepping out of frame and with apparent visitors. Thus there is footage apparently from 2010 in the video that correlates with the text in the guardian article. So to mention the 2003 footage in the article only is OR in one respect since that mention selectively ignores the footage from 2010.
But most importantly, we're not talking about a single clip here--it appears that there is CC footage from 2003 that has been overlaid with polish subtitles and CC footage from 2010, both of which are shown in a clip of a news report and interview segment, which itself may have been substantially edited and augmented with slides in English. Who did what is not clear. The guardian article does not go into detail regarding the video, so it cannot "validate" (for want of a better word) what that video portrays. Hence anything we say about what it shows or fails to show falls, I think, into OR. --Nuujinn (talk) 21:25, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
A cogent and precise analysis. Exactly what I was thinking and then some. Thank you for taking the time Nuujinn to explain all these non-sequiturs of this WP:SYNTH edit so well and with so much detail. Unfortunately it seems no amount of explaining has had any effect so far. Thanks again and take care. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 22:48, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Ditto for McGeddon's comments. I just happened to notice them. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 22:57, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
@Nazar: Your suggestion above that my statement regarding WP:REDFLAG might be original research is incorrect because WP:OR only applies to article content. If you believe that I mistated the WP:REDFLAG requirement, just say so. However, my statements are correct because WP:REDFLAG mandates that exceptional claims require high-quality sources, and my statement that "A very reliable source is required for any text in the article which supports the concept that is is possible to live for many years without food or water" is completely compatible with the verifiability policy, not to mention commonsense. Johnuniq (talk) 03:27, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

@Nuujinn:regarding the supposed 2010 footage, there's a permanent Hindi comment overlaid saying "65 साल से प्यासा", which means "...65 years fasting without water..." (in 2010 he has been fasting already over 71 years), which speaks for the footage to be from 2003, and not from 2010. The date 2003 also appears in the running Hindi text commenting the same episodes. Besides, no official footage from 2010 has been released by the researchers as of yet. Moreover, there could not be such a footage available while the tests were still running. I might agree that Edamaruku was using 2003 footage to show that he thinks that in 2010 PJ was allowed to move out of CC Camera view in the same way, but such a thinking does not prove or reveal anything. Regarding the supposed WP:OR on my side, my rendering has been amended to take that into account, and now it does not include any description of the failures of the video, or any analysis of what it shows or not shows. My latest idea was just to include the direct citations from the overlaid subtitles in the video, without any comments. If that makes you think that the video fails to show something, then it's your own interpretations. Other readers may think differently. But the dating of the footage and text comments overlaid for the whole duration of the video are important for the reader to understand the context of Edamaruku's claims. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 11:27, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Johnuniq is correct that the exceptional claim requires exceptional sources. Nazar, while it may be that all of the footage is from 2010 (and I am perfectly willing for the sake of discussion to accept your interpretation), it's still a primary source that we are interpreting. I think the only way this footage could be used at all would be to treat it in its entirely and provide a neutral synopsis of all of it, and that could only happen if it were considered a reliable source (and youtube generally isn't considered an RS) and verifiable (which, I think, the footage is not, since it consists of modified clips of footage from the tests, overlaid with subtitles in two different languages shown as part of a news/talk show that appears to have been further edited prior to being uploaded to youtube). To choose a small section of the video and comment only upon that is selective and interpretive. That being said, I also think Johnuniq is correct that the Guardian article should be used as a source rather than rationalist international's website. Nuujinn (talk) 12:59, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
"all of the footage is from 2010" -- you mean, from 2003? I generally agree that there are many complicated issues with that video, therefore I'm waiting for more references to amend the article. As to the "exceptional claim requires exceptional sources", we are not speaking here about the genuine verification or truth of the claims about PJ's 70 years of fasting. We are speaking about Edamaruku's criticism, which seems very unreliable and uses manipulated evidence material. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 15:51, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, my bad, 2003. Nazar, you said "We are speaking about Edamaruku's criticism, which seems very unreliable and uses manipulated evidence material." That makes it seem as if you're trying to insert your evaluation of Edamaruku into an article, and that's OR. If the youtube video were a decent source, it might be worth discussion, but it's not. --Nuujinn (talk) 17:38, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. I'm just expressing my dispute-related POV on the discussion page, not trying to hide it. I think every editor has some kind of personal POV. But I'm doing my best to avoid including this POV into the article. I also appreciate Edamaruku's POV and his criticism and try and include it into the article as much as possible, but in a holistic and neutral manner. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 17:46, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Just a head's up, I posted to the RS noticeboard to get others opinions regarding the youtube video's status as a reliable source. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:20, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


I also reverted this edit on the article of Prahlad Jani under WP:CRYSTAL and WP:RECENTISM. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:45, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Look at the DIPAS site before pushing WP:CRYSTAL etc. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 16:48, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Since you are such an expert on *pushing* SYNTH I will comment no further. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:52, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
This is going too far, Dr.K.. Why have you reverted my fully referenced info for the second time? I used an official source, which was directly involved into the tests. If you think that 'opinions are just opinions', please start removing the totally unsubstantiated opinions of Edamaruku. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 17:02, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
DIPAS is advertising their results without scrutiny from scientific publications or anyone external to them from the wider scientific community. There is no need for a reader to be exposed to such propaganda. Since they assert that they are going to silence the critics who claim it is not posible for a man to live for 70 years without food or water, they effectively say that Prahlad Jani is superhuman and can defy the laws of Physics. Do we really need to push such propaganda on the readers? Dr.K. λogosπraxis 17:10, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
All above logic is your own personal interpretation. It's up to the readers to decide how to interpret the facts. I could give you a bunch of reasons why the results haven't yet been published in scientific journals. Confidential military research is just one of the many possible options. Thanks. -- Nazar (talk) 17:15, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

SYNTH spilling over to Inedia

Can anyone also watch the Inedia article because we have over the past few day POV and SYNTH edits, which I reverted, calling the members of IRA "young" and Edamaruku's criticism "popular" so as to discredit them? Thanks. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:33, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh, man. This is really becoming ridiculous :) your corrections to Inedia edits are fine, I support them 100%. I used 'young' because that is what Edamaruku says in his claims (he says that ‘young members of IRA’ did allegedly expose some frauds. And ‘popular’ just because Edamaruku is so popular amongst the rationalists, who want to advance their POV. But your corrections are OK. Relax! :) -- Nazar (talk) 16:39, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
You cannot do without personal comments can't you Nazar. And if my edits by reverting you are "OK" (to quote you) and they are SYNTH and WEASEL why did you make them in the first place? No need to answer. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:50, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
They are SYNTH and WEASEL from your personal point of view. My point of view is different. But once you amended them I may agree that the corrections your made are not seriously damaging to the article, and maybe make it better in certain aspects. If you're happy with these corrections, that's fine on my side. :) And you're welcome to answer. lol. -- Nazar (talk) 16:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Please, everyone, focus on content and not the contributor. Nuujinn (talk) 21:22, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

List of wars between democracies again

I wonder if anyone who customarily frequents this board would give an opinion on this discussion [13]. The question is - is it sufficient to populate a list of democracies that fought each other in wars from three statements

  • "X is a democracy" (source A)
  • "Y is a democracy" (source B) and
  • X and Y fought a war" (one normally finds that both source A and source B support this, but usually A says nothing about the government of Y and vice versa),

Or does the scenario described constitute synthesis or Original research. A number of reasons have been advanced as to why this would be original research, but I think the central one is: "a war between democracies are not three separate statements, it is one statement, because of it's controversy and connection to democratic peace theory."[14], ie it is necessary to have one source confirm that both sides in the war were democracies.

Be grateful for more views of all kinds on this. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:34, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it's evidently not an easy question to answer. :-) --OpenFuture (talk) 19:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
It wouldn't be reasonable in a normal article, but these 'list of' articles tend to be a bit freer about OR once the notability of the subject itself has been established and the criteria for inclusion established. I'd leave it to consensus on the talk page. Dmcq (talk) 10:58, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
The problem I have with this list is that different sources may use contradictory definitions of "democracy". I am sure that we could find a source that claims Nazi Germany was a democracy (Hitler was elected to office after all). I am also sure that we can find sources that state it was not. So should WWII be included in this list? Blueboar (talk) 12:54, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
That one is easy, by 1934 Germany was a one party state so no longer a democracy. For a list (and the fact this is a list is important), if reliable sources say the two states were democracies AND there is no conflict in the sources as to that definition it should be enough. --Snowded TALK 13:59, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
WWII is mentioned; but I haven't seen anyone actually make that claim - as opposed to using it as a strawman to beat up on other arguments. (And since Hitler held single-party elections between 1934 and 1939, the claim would have to be quite sweeping.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:37, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, my point wasn't really to argue that Nazi Germany was a democracy, or that WWII should be included in the list. I was trying to highlight the fact that different sources often use differing (and even contradictory) definitions of what constitutes a democracy. And because of this difference, I think we do end up with an improper synthesis in the article when we use separate sources to cite the fact that each of the nations in a war were democracies ... I think we need one single source to say that both nations were democracies (although I might be argued into allow two sources that clearly use the exact same definition of democracy). Blueboar (talk) 20:16, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I've already said it and will repear it here: in the world of abstract, purely academic concepts like the Democratic peace theory the article must stick to each competing theory, never mixing them up. So there will be "list of wars..." according to Groucho, followed by "list of wars" according to Harpo, etc. East of Borschov 15:16, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
This is *exactly* what I have been saying, but nobody listened. I don't think they even understood what I said. :-) --OpenFuture (talk) 16:25, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
It would help if actual problems were brought up instead of theoretical things about Nazis. Is there a specific OR problem the talk page is unable to resolve or are people just writing to exercise the muscles in their arms? The OR talk page is for the theoretical stuff and test cases, this is a noticeboard for actual problems. Dmcq (talk) 19:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I tend to think the very existence and name of the article constitute synthesis and also violate NPOV. There seems little rationale for the article unless it tacitly alludes to democratic peace theory or statements of a similar nature. So the list, by implication, basically means something like "examples refuting the theory that democracies are less belligerent than other forms of government" (the fact that what is being refuted is not clearly stated does not make it better). It looks to me as if the implied synthesis is: A is a democracy. B is a democracy. There was a war between A and B. Therefore the statement that democracies never wage war against each other is false (without qualification, this would imply that peaceful relations are not furthered by the spread of democratic forms of government). That seem to be the main motivation for having such an article at all. It looks to me as if the article falls into a class of articles or potential articles where the very existence of a non-empty list (or even an empty list) is intended to support an unstated but implied judgement, and inclusion of any particular item in that list reinforces one side of the argument, the other side of the argument being excluded by the title of the article. If this article is justified, how does it differ in principle from the following?
  • List of wars between countries that both possess nuclear weapons
  • List of wars between countries with capitalist economies
  • List of professed Christians who have had sex with each other outside their marriages to other people
  • List of Muslims who have killed Muslims
  • List of countries with a lower infant mortality than the United States
To maintain a neutral point of view and avoid an implied conclusion not stated by the sources, the list would have to be of all countries involved in wars, possibly with a table that includes the form of government of the belligerents. In that way the reader would not be pushed toward one conclusion implied by the inclusion criteria.
--Boson (talk) 20:39, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
The more I think about this, the more I have to agree that there is a fundamental flaw with the topic of this list. That flaw is the idea that "wars between democracies" are in some way different from wars between countries with other forms of government (or wars between democracies and counties with some other form of government). And that goes directly to the question of whether the topic of this list is Notable enough for a stand alone article. It seems to me that the list arbitrarily carves out a subset from a notable topic ("wars") based on a POV (and Original?) set of criteria... resulting in a non-notable sub-topic. I would suggest that this be sent to AfD. Blueboar (talk) 14:32, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Drawing up a list of wars where both parties were democracies is synthesis, unless the sources specifically state that they were wars between democracies. However, as noted in this abstract, there is literature that could support this article: "It is often asserted that democratic states never fight wars against each other, but there is a rather lengthy list of exceptions to that rule that are consistently or prominently mentioned in the literature on the democratic peace phenomenon" (my emphasis). If such sources can be used it would overcome the issue of synthesis. I would hold off on an AfD to allow editors to find these sources. TFD (talk) 14:59, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm.... If such sources do exist, I could see the list being merged (back?) into Democratic peace theory... to give it context. Or perhaps as a sub-article tied in the lede to that theory... Apparently the list started as List of exceptions to the democratic peace theory which I think is more workable title if given the clear inclusion criteria (stated in the lede) that it is limited to wars noted in reliable sources as being exceptions to that theory. My concerns are with the article as it currently stands. I have raised those concerns at the article talk page, and am certainly not in any rush to send it to AfD. But sending it to AfD remains an option. Blueboar (talk) 17:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm slightly chocked and very happy to see TFD issue one of my long standing arguments against PMA+2. Indeed, it is in my opinion synthesis to have separate sources for the democracy of the countries, because the sources can have different definitions. I showed that by giving sources that claim Cuba is a democracy, for example. These sources tend to claim Cuba is a democracy and USA not, hence nobody agrees that it's a conflict between two democracies, but we could claim it in the list. But the problems with the article doesn't end with the synthesis, but with the interpretation of the sources that is then used to make the synthesis. See this for an example. --OpenFuture (talk) 18:18, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
For G-d's sake, can you discuss this in some coherent manner, not just snipe at PMA. Incidentally, visitors to the talk page might note that OF recently proposed and supported the notion that the list remain at its current title and not be reconnected to DPT. No particular idea why - it wasn't connected at that point to anything else. Elen of the Roads (talk) 18:57, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
How is that a snipe at PMA? Is it now a snipe to say that PMA is incorrect? Can you keep to discussing the topic for once, or does everything you write have to be a discussion of my conduct? not be reconnected to DPT. - More lies, I never said that anything like that. Your behavior is dishonest and despicable. Stop it. --OpenFuture (talk) 19:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
It is in any case a snipe against me. I have consistently supported following WP policies. TFD (talk) 15:53, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Not at all, I'm just surprised that you agree with me. It's the first time we agree on anything, I think. --OpenFuture (talk) 16:25, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this violates any community policies on original research. BigK HeX (talk) 07:13, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

WP:SYN says, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. This would be a synthesis of published material to advance a new position, which is original research. "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article." It seems to me we are using separate sources to conclude that various wars were wars between democracies. How is this an exception? TFD (talk) 07:45, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
It looks to me that the only reason for the list is to support the Democratic peace theory and the list has no separate intrinsic interest. At best the list is a subsection of the the article and I think it should be treated as such rather than as a notable list in itself. Personally I support merging the list back applying criteria about established link to the article topic and then deleting the list. Dmcq (talk) 08:52, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
It's rather there as an argument against it. :-) But that's another question, which we just have discussed on the talk page, the consensus seems to be that the list should exist separately. --OpenFuture (talk) 11:23, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Prem Rawat intro

Editors are revising the intro to Prem Rawat, a controversial article that has inspired a couple of ArbCom cases. Here is part of the proposed text:

  • He also received media attention for living "more like a king than a messiah", with luxury automobiles and multiple residences.

An editor objects to this text on account of it being, in his words, "a feast of WIKI:SYN". Here is the text in the article that it directly summarizes:

  • Rawat's affluent lifestyle was a source of controversy in the early 1970s.[65] Some media reports said that Rawat "lived more like a king than a Messiah".[27] Critics said that his lifestyle was supported by the donations of followers and that the movement appeared to exist only to support Rawat's "opulent existence".[8][66] Supporters said there is no conflict between worldly and spiritual riches. That Rawat did not advise anyone to "abandon the material world", but said it is our attachment to it that is wrong.[67] Press reports listed expensive automobiles such as Rolls Royces, Mercedes Benz limousines[38] and sports cars, some of them gifts.[68][69] Rawat said, "I have something far more precious to give them than money and material things – I give peace".[70] "Maharaj Ji's luxuries are gifts from a Western culture whose fruits are watches and Cadillacs," a spokesman said.[67] Some premies said that he did not want the gifts, but that people gave them out of their love for him.[71] They saw Rawat's lifestyle as an example of a lila, or divine play, which held a mirror to the "money-crazed and contraption-collecting society" of the West.[60]

Here are excerpts from seven reliable news sources:

  • He has a sprawling $80,000 split-level house here, plus homes in Los Angeles and India. There are two Mercedes- Benz automobiles for use in the U.S. and two airplanes. In London, his followers have given him a Rolls-Royce. Queried about this opulence, he asks whether he is supposed lo throw away gifts the mission accepts in his name. 11/4/73
  • The guru's "Divine Residence" in London is worth $125,000 and is only one of his many homes around the world. February, 1974.
  • Reporter: It's hard for some people to understand how you personally can live so luxuriously in your several homes and your Rolls Royces. March 14, 1974 (reporting on a November 1973 press conference)
  • Sources close to Rajeshwari Devi said she was upset because of her son's materialistic lifestyle, including a fondness for expensive homes and sports cars, and because of his marriage last year to his secretary. April 9, 1975
  • In his first three years in the United States, new converts were common and their contributions led to the Maharaj Ji's homes in three states, a fleet of cars, a wardrobe of flashy clothes and two airplanes. Followers are encouraged to live in ashrams, communal houses where the virtures of celibacy, poverty and meditation are practiced. "If I gave poor people my Rolls-Royce, they would need more tomorrow and I don't have any more Rolls-Royces to give them," the guru once said in defense of his worldly goods. July 13,1975
  • The young holy man owned a green Rolls Royce, a Mercedes 600, a Lotus sportscar, several motorcycles, homes in London, New York, Denver and the palatial Anacapa View Estate (complete with tennis courts and swimming pool) overlooking the sea on 4 acres in Malibu, California. 1983
  • Things haven't gone so well for the guru in the last 20 years, though success is relative. He didn't bring the world peace, as he promised, but at last report he was living in a Malibu mansion valued at $15 million, with other homes in England, New Delhi, Rome, Madrid and who knows where else; driving his choice of a Rolls-Royce, a Maserati, a Ferrari or a garageful of other expensive cars; jetting around the planet on a $25 million Lear jet; or sailing on his $3 million yacht. 1998

Here is what sociologist James Downton wrote, which we quote in the article and the proposed intro:

  • Reports in the media were unfavorable, repeating often that he seemed to live more like a king than a messiah." 1979

Does the proposed text violate WP:NOR?   Will Beback  talk  08:33, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

No, but it violates other policies, because you are seeking to use Wikipedia as a soapbox, cherry-picking quotes and sources to malign individuals or organizations that you dislike. A more straightforward and factual approach is to be preferred for encyclopedia articles. Peg Woffington (talk) 14:44, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
First, I don't dislike this individual. I don't have any opinion of him. Second, we have scholarly sources (not just Downton) that say this was a significant part of the subject's public image. Third, I notice this is only your second edit to Wikipedia, and I'm not sure how you found this page or why you're responding here. In any case, thanks for your input on the main question.   Will Beback  talk  21:05, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I think the main purpose of the lead is to establish notability and summarize the article. This sounds to me like starting to do the article in the lead. It already summarizes this sort of stuff saying basically his thoughts are shallow and he lives the good life. Dmcq (talk) 21:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
The proposed text would replace some text already in the intro: Rawat has been criticized for ... leading an opulent lifestyle.
We're revising the intro to make it a bit longer and to cover more material from the article. I should have linked to the discussions. Talk:Prem Rawat#Millennium, and other '70s material, Talk:Prem Rawat#Lead proposal, Talk:Prem Rawat#Two proposals, please choose. It's been a difficult process.   Will Beback  talk  22:05, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Rawat has been criticized for ... leading an opulent lifestyle is the sort of straightforward and prosaic wording that one would expect from an encyclopedia. At Wikipedia, editors with an agenda are always attracted to more flamboyant and provocative formulations like living "more like a king than a messiah", because it is more propagandistic, which is exactly the sort of thing that we should be avoiding. Peg Woffington (talk) 05:53, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Be that as it may, we're just here to discuss NOR issues.   Will Beback  talk  05:57, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
The first thing you'll notice is that nowhere in the section Will Beback says he's summarising are "residences (single or multiple)" mentioned. The second thing is that Will Beback has provided quotes for his opinion that Rawat had "multiple residences" in 1973 but hasn't supplied the sources or importantly the dates of the quotes. New people to the topic may not be aware that the Malibu property which WB has told you was one of the "multiple residences" used by Rawat in 1973, wasn't bought until "November 1974 and served as the DLM's West Coast headquarters" (as per the article). Another source says "in the last 20 years" so it can hardly be about 1973. And several of the other quotes also contain material that dates it to the late 70s, even 80s. In short there is no justification for Will Beback to insert "in 1973 Rawat had multiple residences" into the lead.Momento (talk) 23:12, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I've added dates to the excerpts, though I don't understand the issue with the timing of these comments since we're not saying that the home owner occurred in a certain period. The proposed text does not include "1973". The issue we're discussing here is original research and I don't see anyone suggesting that the proposal would be a policy violation.   Will Beback  talk  23:39, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
"We're not saying that the home owner occurred in a certain period"?!?! Really? You are summarising the period 1970-1973 for the lead and in it you want to claim something happened and provide quotes about what was happening in the years '74, '75, '79, '83 and '98 to justify it. Apart from the fact that at 15 he couldn't legally own anything the only quote about 1973 you offer says "Guru Maharaj Ji lives comfortably with the other members of the "Holy Family" - his three older brothers ranging up to 22 years of age and his mother".Momento (talk) 01:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
No, we're summarizing the whole article. We're just attacking the problem section by section. As for the legal ownership of the homes, we don't get into that and neither do the sources.   Will Beback  talk  01:37, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
That's right Will but it was you who brought up "the home owner" in your previous post. And yes we are doing it "section by section" and the section you want to insert "multiple residences" into is the 1970-73" section. Could someone please take over explaining to Will that just because someone said something happened in 1975 or 1983 or 1998 that you can't claim it happened in 1973. Momento (talk) 02:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
A) We're not claiming it happened in 1973. B) It did happen in 1973, as well as subsequent years.
We're not discussing ownership in the intro, so let's avoid red herrings. The reason for this noticeboard request is to see if uninvolved editors think there is a violation of NOR. So far, we've gotten two responses and neither one has said that the proposed text has that problem. Let's not fill up the page with more of our arguing - there is enough info already for an outside editor to form an opinion.   Will Beback  talk  02:08, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say it was OR, I said it was WP:SYNTH. Taking a comment about one year and saying it applies to another as per "do not imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources".Momento (talk) 02:43, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
WP:SYNTH is a section of WP:NOR. See for yourself. The proposed text doesn't include any specific year year. Maybe you should re-read it. He also received media attention for living "more like a king than a messiah", with luxury automobiles and multiple residences. Nowhere does it say "1973".   Will Beback  talk  03:14, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I have been involved with this article in the past. The line in question does not appear to be a violation of NOR or SYN. As far as including it in the intro, I think there could be arguments made for either inclusion or exclusion. A content RfC, with separate sections for "involved" and "uninvolved" opinions, would probably resolve it. Cla68 (talk) 20:06, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Will Beback wants to put the line is question into the "1970-73" section of the lead which covers the period from Rawat's arrival in the west until the Millennium event of 1973. There is no supporting sources for "multiple residences" prior to Millennium. But it's academic anyway since it has, quite rightly, been removed from the proposal.Momento (talk) 00:44, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
There is no 1970-1973 section of the intro. Intros don't have sections. Thanks for pointing out that the "multiple homes" were accidentally omitted.   Will Beback  talk  00:55, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
The intro and the article, like the majority of literature, are written in chronological order so putting material that happened in 1974 before material that occurred in 1973 is confusing as in "Paint the walls and prepare them for painting".Momento (talk) 23:28, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Can we start this again

Start again, and NO-ONE argue about whether this guy is the bees knees or a dirty dog. Someone please explain in words of one syllable what sentence or paragraph is supposed to be OR or SYN and why. As far as I can see, summarising multiple newspaper reports that say he has been criticised for owning multiple accommodations into a sentence that says "he was criticised for owning multiple homes" is neither OR nor SYN. Quoting the king vs messiah line would be WP:UNDUE (it can't be OR because the quote exists) except that there are multiple sources which criticise him for living in a palatial manner rather than in the manner his teachings led one to expect. In which case, the editor was just picking the best summary text, as he is entitled to do. If you don't like it, I suggest you need the WP:BLP/N BLP noticeboard, as this seems to be a dispute about how to represent this person's character, not anything to do with original research.Elen of the Roads (talk) 11:44, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

This issue has been blown out of all proportion. We were engaged in summarising for the lead the section in the article that covers what Rawat was doing between the time he left India in1971 and December 1973 when he turned 16 and took control of DLM US. Will Beback wants to insert -

"Rawat also attracted media attention, being ridiculed in the US for his youth and his supposed divine status, with journalists noting luxury automobiles and multiple residences made available to him by his followers.

I prefer -

"At the same time, Rawat attracted controversy, being ridiculed by the US media for his youth, his supposed divine status and for living "more like a king than a messiah".

In order to bolster the need to include "multiple residences" in the summary Will Beback has provided several sources that include "multiple residences", and here's where the WP:SYN comes in. Only one source is from 1973, the period we are summarising, and it refers to homes in LA and India. All the rest are from and about 1974, '75, '83 and 1998. It is clearly WP:SYN "to imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources", and the conclusion Will Beback is implying is that is that there are multiple sources that support his claim that "multiple residences" existed in 1973. They do not. When I pointed out that the sources don't refer to 1973 Will brought the discussion here. I haven't suggested OR.Momento (talk) 23:43, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. At least the issue is clear now. In my opinion you are correct to say that text about the view of this guy in the US in 1973 must be supported by references from 1973. If the text was a general statement of the US view, it would be OK to say that 'multiple residences' was a criticism frequently levelled at him. On the other hand, the king vs messiah quote may be WP:UNDUE, unless there are other comments from 1973 criticising his flashy lifestyle. Elen of the Roads (talk) 08:36, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The quotes Will provided come from the media. The "king/messiah" quote comes from the sociologist James V. Downton's "Sacred journeys: the conversion of young Americans to Division Light Mission". New York: Columbia University Press. He is the most authoritative scholar for this period.Momento (talk) 11:32, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Could still be undue if he was the only one saying it. However, given that there are also more lightweight criticisms in the media, I think it more likely he's just saying it elegantly :) Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:45, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually Downton is referring to the media, he writes - "Reports in the media were unfavorable, repeating often that he seemed to live more like a king than a messiah". That's why I want to use it, a scholar's summary rather than an editors version of events.Momento (talk) 00:58, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't know wht Momento keeps saying that the proposed sentence is limited to 1973.
  • Rawat also attracted media attention, being ridiculed in the US for his youth and his supposed divine status, with journalists noting luxury automobiles and multiple residences.
There's nothing about 1973 there. The media attention covered about a decade, from the early 1970s to the early 1980s.   Will Beback  talk  03:37, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


I am not sure if this is more appropriate on the Fringe noticeboard or here. But this entire article seem to be nothing but a homemade unsourced essay, which claims that a sociological school of thought called "unbelief" has been in continous existence since the 18th century until the present times, where some fringe groups apparently adheres to a belief system of this name. The task of turning it into something encyclopedic seems enormous, and I wonder if it wouldn't be better just to delete it altogether until someone comes along to write a scholarly article on the subject? --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:14, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Looks like bunk to me, I've AFD'd it. --Cameron Scott (talk) 13:19, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Good call. I will head over and support. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:41, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Popular monarchy

This article is presenting an argument based on an essay by a journalist. The only reference is that essay. As the article is not 'Kingsley Martin's essay' but instead purports to be a general article using that essay as a reference it would seem to be original research. --Utinomen (talk) 21:49, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Note that this article was AFD'd by Utinomen on July 1st and closed as keep. (really should have included that in your post) Ravensfire (talk) 03:03, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Mathematical calculation

I have a question: is it original research to do a mathematical calculation on sourced numbers in order to provide perspective? Here is what I did, with letters instead of the original names of the things:

Up to $100,000 per year is raised by Y. However, only $300 of this total is given to each of 12 P each month (or about $43,000 yearly for all 12 P combined)

The bolded part is my calculation, and someone told me it is OR. 300 x 12P x 12 months so the calculation is 300 x 12 x 12 or 43,200.

Thanks for your help. BECritical__Talk 23:38, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The multiplication itself is basic and not OR... however, if you draw any conclusions from the multiplication it could be. Blueboar (talk) 23:55, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Right. No conclusions were drawn. Thanks (: Anyone else want to weigh in? BECritical__Talk 00:38, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
In theory it's ok - keeping in mind that there are lots of ways to make it not ok. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 01:14, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Right, there are many ways to POV push, and practically anything can be used to do so. BECritical__Talk 01:58, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

This question seems to come up quite often. Perhaps it's worth thrashing out a guideline to clarify WP:OR on this? (My personal view is similar to AFH's; routine calculations are OK, but people aren't always able to recognise when their calculations are non-routine.) --GenericBob (talk) 03:11, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

It's been done..., which I didn't see before asking here but might be expanded into deductive reasoning. Like if the first source says that A and B both have the same father and the second source says A's father is C we can say B's father is C. BECritical__Talk 04:36, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
I would be very unhappy about anything that encourages synthesis. Two different sources will often have different contexts and different shades of meaning; taken individually they're both reasonable, but trying to squeeze more meaning out of the combination gets us into trouble.
For instance, one of my family members A was adopted at birth by C, but is in contact with his biological mother D and her other child B. He refers to both C and D as 'mother' on different occasions - so you can find a source that says A and B have the same mother, and another that says that A's mother is C, but it would be wrong to conclude that B's mother is C. I've seen issues like this trip people up quite often, on and off WP.
Obligatory syllogism:
Source A: "Nothing is better than eternal happiness."
Source B: "A ham sandwich is better than nothing."
Synthesis: "A ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness."
--GenericBob (talk) 02:37, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Lol... that's cool, playing on contexts of the word "nothing." You may be right but it's a sad comment on common sense. BECritical__Talk 02:56, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd translate the policy as suggesting simple math is okay, while conclusions formed from syllogisms are not. Professor marginalia (talk) 03:26, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Even sensible people get tripped up sometimes when they don't know enough about the field. Some of the problem areas I've seen:
  • Epidemiology: Source A says "In 2005 the rate of HIV infection in West Fenwick was 600 cases per 100,000." Source B says "For East Fenwick, rate of HIV infection in 2005 was 120 cases per 100,000." It appears reasonable to say that in 2005 the rate of HIV infection for West Fenwick was 5x greater than that for East Fenwick... but 'rate of infection' can refer to several different things. It could refer to the prevalence (what proportion of people are HIV-positive?) or it could report to the incidence (what proportion of people become infected each year?) Within those, there's also the question of whether we're looking at reported rates, or estimates that attempt to compensate for underreporting.
  • Demography: The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in the 2006 Census, 6.3 million people indicated English ancestry, 1.8 million Irish, and 1.5 million Scottish (plus some smaller number Welsh, not going to go digging for it just now). If we don't want to include every single nation in the article on Australia, it looks reasonable to add these numbers up into a "British Isles" category. The catch is that the survey allowed people to give multiple answers, so simple addition gives the wrong answer. (We had a long and tedious argument about this a while back over on Talk:Australia.) --GenericBob (talk) 04:24, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Renoir (surname)

(Unsure if this belongs here or BLP noticeboard; will post on both for now.) Article Renoir (surname) addresses origin of name Renoir and lists prominent members of the artist's family. In Feb 2010, IP user introduced a "Gabrielle A. Renoir" to the article, including a spam link to a page advertising a novel in progress. In June, this edit was noticed and challenged. Since then, IP user and user WikiEditorandWriter have persistently introduced edits and comments that appear to directly and indirectly associate this "Gabrielle A. Renoir" with the artist's family without providing supporting references. Rather than continue an edit war, would ask a more experienced editor or an admin to take a look at the page and ensure that material meets Wiki standards on verifiability, COI, and NPOV.Hiernonymous (talk) 14:17, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Resolved: Hiernonymous (talk) 20:51, 24 August 2010 (UTC)


Can somebody have a look at this?
There is a controversy/edit-war at Spitsbergen#Etymology, and this section seems to be the sticking point:
"The Arctic explorer WM Conway, in 1906, was of the opinion this was incorrect [1] though this had little effect on British practice[2] [3]"
The part in italics has been deleted as OR. Is this statement original research? And if so, how should it be fixed?


  1. ^ "Spitsbergen is the only correct spelling; Spitzbergen is a relatively modern blunder. The name is Dutch, not German. The second S asserts and commemorates the nationality of the discoverer." – Sir Martin Conway, No Man’s Land, 1906.
  2. ^ Lockyer, N The Conway expedition to Spitzbergen Nature (1896)
  3. ^ British documents onforeign affairs British Foreign Office (1908)

Background:Just to be in the clear, this is the latest chapter in a wrangle which has lasted a couple of months. It started here (my talk page), and continued on talk pages here (User:Jonas Poole, now deleted), here (PQ 18 OOB), here (Spitsbergen) and is currently here (Spitsbergen, new section). Xyl 54 (talk) 10:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Jägala concentration camp

Can I ask for some eyes at Jägala concentration camp? Editors there apparently dissagree with a few of the sources listed in the article and are adding their personal analysis , using other sources, to "explain" why the sources are incorrect. I have tried to explain the talk page that this violates WP:SYNTH, but am not getting anywhere. There may be some nationalistic pov's in the mix there. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:51, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Sofia Rotaru

The main body of the article is OR. At least the editor who has inserted it has refused to produce any references to the text despite of a year of requests to her on the talk page. A fortiori, the material is rather contentious, featuring unverified claims of Rotaru being the first or the best in a number of things. It is difficult to verify the claims for a non-Russian editor as a lion's share of the material published on the topic is in Cyrillic. Advice on how to proceed would be most appreciated. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 08:51, 27 August 2010 (UTC)


IP edited this referenced sentence in the self-medication article to have an opposite meaning to before. Looking at his/her previous edits, this appears to be something of a trend. I could simply revert this last edit (though how do I know the user isn't correcting a mistake?), but there seems to be an ongoing attitude problem here: frustrated with feedback about uncited edits, the user has taken to sneaking in OR by editing cited sections. I can't find any policy in WP:CS regarding editing previously cited content. Is there something we can point the user to to clarify citation requirements? --pmj (talk) 23:41, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Related to Topic Above, is using a Great Circle Calculator to calculate distances OR?

RE: Opening paragraph to the Falkland Islands article. The lede was edited to include a number of distances calculated using a Great Circle Calculator. I opposed the edit at the time as WP:OR but walked away when the proposers got needlessly personal. I see they went ahead and did it anyway despite the fact I questioned whether it was OR. Opinions as to its removal before I do so? The article previously said approximately 300 miles from the SA mainland, so I would propose changing the text to something close to that. Justin talk 11:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

See the previous discussion. Practically the same thing applies here though it might be acceptable to give an approximate distance as general geographical common knowledge. It would be far better to give a citation where someone said some figure even if not exactly accurate rather than calculating anything. Dmcq (talk) 12:46, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that we should take a step backwards and ask what Wikipedia is all about. It is about cataloguing information that is available elsewhere. Every Wikipedia article [should] consist of information extracted, often in summary form, from one or more documents. Documents do not have to consist of text, they can also be maps or diagrams.
Now back to Justin’s questions. If I can go to Stanfords (London’s premier map shop), buy a map and using the scale on that map, extract a particular piece of information, then I should be able to publish that finding in Wikipedia. It is, after all, no different to extracting a piece of information from any other source document.
If by using Google Earth and a Great Circle Calculator I reproduce the exercise of buying a map and making measurements, then this is fully in line with my earlier arguments – moreover if I publish the coordinates used then the exercise is fully verifiable. Martinvl (talk) 12:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Do you have some actual real query or are you just here to argue points? Wikipedia is not a forum., please see WP:ISNOT which I believe also answers your point. Dmcq (talk) 13:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I intend to remove the WP:OR later and return to the previous lede. Justin talk 13:41, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned. the Falklands Island Government website says about the islands location that it is about 400 miles whereas the current text says 290 miles, I thought I read somewhere before about it being about 300 miles so why does the Falklands Island Government website says something so very different? Dmcq (talk) 19:01, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
There's a bit of a POV thing around the exact distance concerned. The Argentines argue that the Falklands should be Argentine because they are geographically close to Argentina. Argentine estimates of the distance thus tend to be a tad low. The British argue that it's irrelevant, but their estimates (apparently) tend to be a bit high. This is why Google Earth was used: to get a distance that is independent of the two sides, to avoid claims of POV.
Saying that the FI are 400 miles from South America is a bit like saying Cuba is 500 miles from the United States. Sure, there are parts of the FI that are 400 miles from parts of mainland South America - in the same way that there are parts of Cuba that are 500 miles from parts of the United States. But it's not a coast-to-coast distance: that's 290 or so miles to mainland South America. Pfainuk talk 21:05, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like something for a consensus decision for the articles talk page. I'm certainly not happy with the 400 miles figure even if their government endorses it. I'm sure there must be some reliable citation that gives a closer figure to the coast to coast figure and doesn't suffer from a POV problem. Otherwise you'd be setting up OR in opposition to a 'reliable source'. Dmcq (talk) 21:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
FIG tends to be somewhat Stanley centric and the 400 miles figure is the distance to Stanley, rather than a POV issue. You could argue for a mid-point of the islands group, a coast to coast figure is fraught as the Jason Islands to the West of the group are used as the basis for the Argentine figure; these are closer to Argentina but although under FIG control they're usually considered a separate group of islands. I suggest the discussion moves to the talk page. Justin talk 07:57, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
A quick look at the map suggests to me that this is the distance between the Mount Pleasant Airport and the closest international airport on the South American mainland. This raises the general case of whether a Wikipeida editor should do some basic research in order to qualify the original statement, and if so, to what extent. Martinvl (talk) 11:18, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Not the place for this dicussion. Justin talk 11:28, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
The point that I raised is a genenal point of which the Falkland Islands is a specific instance. That is why I raised it here. Martinvl (talk) 11:53, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
And this is a fine example of one reason original research is problematic. It may be acceptable in this case as a general knowledge sort of thing that people are interested in but it is still original research. Your definition of 'distance' is completely different from the Falklands Island government one. But even without that in general you can't just stick in figures you calculate yourself just because they seem interesting to you. Now it needs to be discussed on the article's talk page. Dmcq (talk) 12:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
WP policy specifically excludes basic calculations from being original research. A Great Circle calculation would certainly seem to qualify there. The real issue here isn't the calculation itself, but from which two points you choose to calculate. The distance between two points has a precise definition; the definition of the distance between objects such as nations is, at times, open to interpretation. Many times two nations quibble over borders, especially islands, which can change the "distance" between them by hundreds of miles. I would say to avoid any political issues, the article should include language such as "as measured from the nearest point on the coast" or "from the international airfield", etc, to make the situation clear to the reader. Fell Gleamingtalk 03:00, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
IMHO that's stretching the bounds of "simple calculation". The examples given are "adding numbers, converting units, or calculating a person's age". A great circle calculation is a fair bit more complex than that (not least because it doesn't give the exact distance between two points, and judgement is involved in deciding where it is and isn't accurate enough). --GenericBob (talk) 07:13, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Eh? A Great Circle calculation *is* a simple calculation. It's repeatable, deterministic, accurate, and not open to dispute or interpretation -- the very spirit the "calculations" exclusion exists for. It also does give the exact distance between two points -- when those points are on the surface of a sphere such as the Earth. There are no "accuracy concerns" or disputes with the calculation itself. The only issue is when you're calculating based on regions (such as nations) rather than between two points -- you must obviously select what those points are. However, it should be painfully obvious that this isn't a unique concern to a Great Circle calculation; it exists no matter what method you use to determine distance between noncontiguous polygonal regions. Fell Gleamingtalk 15:54, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
The Earth is not a sphere. The diameter at the equator is roughly 40km more than the pole-to-pole measurement, which means that great-circle formulae do not give the exact distance between two points. Depending on which great-circle formula you use, you can also run into calculation problems - the most straightforward derivation leads to a formula that is exact in theory for spheres, but susceptible to floating-point errors, especially when the points are close together.
Do those errors matter? In most cases, probably not. But there is more of a judgement call involved here than in the examples listed for "simple calculation". If I use a textbook formula to convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit on my calculator, or add two numbers together, I can expect that the answer is accurate pretty much to the limits of the display; that is not the case with a great-circle calculation. --GenericBob (talk) 06:29, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Using FRUs to make claims in Wikipedia's neutral voice

The question relates to this article - Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan. A primary document - United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa pg. 921 - is being used to support a claim that 'The United States Department of State also recognized this extension of Jordanian sovereignty.'. The relevant paragraph from the primary document says "I explained the Department's position, stating that it was not the custom of this country to issue formal statements of recognition every time a foreign country changed its territorial area. The union of Arab Palestine and Jordan had been brought about as a result of the will of the people and the US accepted the fact that Jordanian sovereignty had been extended to the new area. Mr. Rifai said he had not realized this and that he was very pleased to learn-that the US did in fact recognize the union."
My opinion is that using this ambiguous (at best) statement from a primary source, which says on the one hand that the State dept does not issue formal recognition, but on the other that the the US "accpets" the action, to claim this constitutes recognition is not permissible, since it involves interpretation of a primary source. There are numerous secondary sources that state the opposite - e.g: this}, which says only the UK recognized the annexation. Other editors disagree see the Talk page discussion here: [ - input is needed. HupHollandHup (talk) 00:54, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

George Burton Drake

the sources mentioned in the article are two phonecalls and a family tree (altought provided by a library). I may be wrong, but to me this sound like original research to me --Melaen (talk) 17:08, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

The Golden Rule

Per Talk:The_Golden_Rule#.22Four_forms.22_WP:Original_Research.3F, this editor just doesn't get the point that he can't just personally synthesize a new way of categorizing the differing types of rules - including in a snazzy table. I told him he needs a WP:RS that describes this or any other categorization scheme and he says he understands. He says he's complying with WP:OR - which he evidently didn't realize existed before - by adding a couple of refs, but he's not. He needs more than one person telling him before I start editing out his WP:OR and an edit war ensues. Thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 15:38, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure I see what the problem is. the creation of a table in and of itself is not OR, unless that table is being used to create a novel understanding of the topic. what's the novel understanding here? --Ludwigs2 16:32, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
In the lead he create his own way of organizing 4 different versions of what is called "the golden rule" and then uses typology of positive/prohibitive and passive/active forms. There are no refs for any WP:RS creating those 4 versions or those 4 forms. The table is just a latter expression of that WP:OR. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:41, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I had a look at the references and I couldn't see any justification for the passive/active split and have said so in its talk page. In some societies they seem to have great problems saying to do things in the active voice but it is still a command and one can't guarantee what happens when they translate to English. Dmcq (talk) 10:42, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, it's an interesting categorization, but not supported by the sources as far as I can see. --Nuujinn (talk) 13:55, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think there has been an unfortunate misunderstanding:

  • I'm not the editor who first created the "four forms" of The Golden Rule in the article on The Golden Rule. Nor am I the editor who created the two forms (done even before the four forms). I am simply the editor who formatted the four forms into a table. I did this after the "four forms" were already created into a numbered list by a different editor.
  • The only reason I formatted these forms into a table was stated in my "Edit summary": It states, "created section to help those who are visual learners." My goal was to help, not to hurt.
  • Since my goal has always been to help, and not to hurt, I would never start anything that comes close to an "edit war" over this type of issue.
  • The description of the Golden Rule has gone through the hands of many, many editors. Here is a brief history:
    • July 6, 2010 this edit created a numbered list of two forms (done by an editor other than myself)
    • July 6, 2010 - this edit created a numbered list of four forms. (done by an editor other than myself)
    • July 9, 2010 - With this edit, I created a new section (much less prominent than the lead section) which formatted the existing list of four items into a table "to help those who are visual learners."

I want to stress that since my goal has always been to help, and not to hurt, I would never start anything that comes close to an editing war over this type of issue. Feel free to edit the article without that fear. (I'm not sure where that fear began. I didn't mean to frighten anyone with my long-winded discussions. Long-windedness and thoroughness is just my style.) - Boyd Reimer (talk) 17:46, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure we're all assuming good faith, and I appreciate your clarification. Seems not so long winded to me, but then, I'm a pedant who goes on a bit myself. Regardless of whoever first put this classification in place, it should go unless reliable sources for it can be found. --Nuujinn (talk) 19:05, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Glad to see you do see the policy problems, no matter who created it originally. CarolMooreDC (talk) 19:06, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy

There's a long-running dispute[15][16][17] on the talk page of this article about if the following passage in the article is original synthesis:

Sociologists such as Irving Horowitz and Peter Conrad have made comments on the role of the media. Writing partly in his capacity as managing editor of the publishing company, Transaction Publishers, that had published the Snyderman-Rothman book and more recently a controversial book by hereditarian researcher J. Philippe Rushton, Horowitz (1995) pointed out that researchers into heredity and intelligence like Rothman "sought media attention as a mechanism for making their policy views known."

The supposed source for this passage is Horowitz, Irving Louis (1995), "The Rushton File: Racial Comparisons and Media Passions" (PDF), Society 32: 7–17 , while the subject of the Wiki article is a book called The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy by Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman, published by Horowitz's Transaction Publishers in 1988. Horowitz's article is about the psychologist J. Philippe Rushton, but Rothman and Snyderman are mentioned in it in passing, and the article begins with a disclaimer saying that "This statement reflects the views of its author, not only as an academic concerned with policy-making and social sciences, but also as a publisher of academic and scholarly books". However, The IQ Controversy book is not mentioned in Horowitz's article, nor is it said in it that Horowitz has ever published anything by Rothman or Snyderman; Rothman and Snyderman are not even mentioned in the same sentence. Horowitz's 10-page article contains only the following two passages about Rothman and Snyderman:

To be sure, in a thoughtful and sympathetic early review of the Rushton book in The National Review (September 12, 1994), Mark Snyderman wamed of the barrage to come. "Philippe Rushton has written his own epitaph. Any genetic predisposition toward the defense of one's race only adds to the near impossibility of rational response to the scientific study of race in a world that has seen the Holocaust and racial subjugation...Rushton's work may be ignored by the fearful, damned by the liberals, and misused by the racists. It is unlikely to be truly understood by anyone." Subsequent events have proved Snyderman prophetic; although Malcom Brown's review in The New York Times Sunday Book Review made a valiant effort at understanding and empathy.
In the 1960s there was the work of the late William Shockley, in the seventies that of Arthur Jensen, and in the 1980s that of a group of people much closer to media studies, such as Stanley Rothman. These individuals sought media attention as a mechanism for making their policy views known.

The question is if Horowitz's article can be used as a source in an article about IQ Controversy book. More specifically, firstly, is it correct to say that Horowitz writes in the capacity of Snyderman and Rothman's publisher, even though he does not say in his article that he has published anything by Snyderman or Rothman, and, secondly, is it correct to imply that Horowitz talks about The IQ Controversy book when he says that Rothman has sought media attention as a mechanism for making his policy views known, even though the book is not mentioned at all by Horowitz? In other words, is Horowitz's article directly related to the IQ Controversy book and does it directly support the material in the article?

This is, as such, a very minor issue, but it has been hotly debated, because The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy is one of the articles related to the Race and intelligence controversy, which was recently the subject of arbitration, leading to, among other things, the topic-banning of several users involved in this original synthesis dispute. I'd appreciate if some experienced users who are not involved in this dispute commented on this, as it might also help resolve similar disputes in related articles.--Victor Chmara (talk) 17:40, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I would point out, for editing this article in question (which is about a book) that there is no doubt that Horowitz was the publisher of the book, and there is no doubt (from the overall context of his article, which I have in a full-length copy) that his article is about the practices of his publishing house over a long span of time, including when it published the book by Snyderman and Rothman. I am not the author of the disputed paragraph, and I am not particularly invested in how it is worded, but my interpretation of the Wikipedia sourcing rules is that it is excellent editorial practice to find a reliable secondary source by a book's publisher when editing a Wikipedia article about a book. P.S. Thanks to Victor for bringing this issue to the attention of this noticeboard, which will offer some uninvolved editors a chance to ponder the issue. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 19:18, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

No takers?--Victor Chmara (talk) 18:51, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Potentially libelous original research in Elie Wiesel entry

A single user has repeatedly inserted original research claims in the entry for Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel that he has no Auschwitz tattoo, notwithstanding that Wiesel has written extensively about his tattoo. The only evidence of this claim is a link to a YouTube video with selective edits, out of context, from a documentary about Wiesel revisiting his hometown. The sound is removed from the clip and someone has re-edited with a biased point of view. To use this as a "source" clearly seems to violate the original research policy, and I wrote on the Elie Wiesel talk page as to why. It might help if some seasoned editors took a look at this article. The user inserting the original research is "Someone ua" and he/she has only ever edited this single article and only added the claims about the tattoo. As another user wrote on the talk page, it is potentially defamatory to make such a claim about Wiesel in his Wikipedia article. I agree this could be libelous because it questions Wiesel's honesty and the accuracy of his published books. (talk) 17:50, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Since youtube is generally not considered a reliable source, I'm not sure if we need to decide the question of OR in the first place. --Nuujinn (talk) 17:52, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a link for that particular policy? It would help if I could add that in the talk page. I was not aware of that policy. Thanks. (talk) 17:54, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
it's WP:OR and novel synthesis and should be removed on sight. --Cameron Scott (talk) 18:03, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Cameron Scott, looks like someone else out in the net agrees, the url is dead now., see Wikipedia:Reliable_source_examples#Are_IRC.2C_MySpace.2C_and_YouTube_reliable_sources.3F this, short version is such videos are self-published and cannot be verified. --Nuujinn (talk) 19:24, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Quotes from the Bible being used without a RS and claimed as references for Israelites being white

An IP address added this [18] this morning. As I thought and still do that it a list of quotes with the introduction " There are quite a lot of Bible references to the Israelites being white. For example : " is original research, I removed the section, leaving an edit summary saying it was OR. It was replaced with the edit summary "Quoting from the Bible is no more O.R. than is quoting from the New York Times". This isn't the only OR in the article. Dougweller (talk) 07:03, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

"Quoting from the Bible is no more O.R. than is quoting from the New York Times".... Classic. That's going on my wall of fame. Sean.hoyland - talk 07:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, merely quoting from a source (any source) isn't automatically OR. The potential for OR happens when we attempt to tie the quote into the article's topic... when an editor analyzes or interprets the quote and says that the quote has any baring on a particular topic. That is what is happening here. An editor is interpreting passages from the bible as meaning that the Israelites were white.
That said, I am not sure that this is completely OR... I have a feeling that it is just POV writing and a lack of proper sourcing. After all, the bible has been used and misused to "prove" various racial (and racist) theories for centuries... I would expect to find lots of sources that use the bible to "prove" the Israelites were white (and, given the nature of antisemitism, I would also expect to find sources that use the bible to "prove" they were not).
Given the likelihood of this, what is needed is attribution... instead of going right to the primary source (the bible itself), the article needs to tell the reader who uses the bible to make the claim... what is needed is attribution to a secondary source: "According to Rev. Ima Bigot, dean of Biblical Studies at State University (1903), the bible makes several references to the Israelites being white, including... " Blueboar (talk) 18:13, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I've read the entire Bible in its original languages after quite a few reads of it in various translations into other languages (both Indo-European and non-Indo-European), and it is completely anachronistic to claim that the Bible follows the "race" categories sometimes mentioned in modern Western culture. That's a misreading of the Bible. Anyway, on that issue the Bible would not be a reliable source. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 18:43, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Blueboar, I agree - on the talk page of the editor who I quoted above, I said " Using the Bible in this way is classic original research. It would be ok to say 'notable person x says that this quote and this quote show the Israelites are white', but you need a WP:RS to do it. Some editor saying that is original research.. Dougweller (talk) 18:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
While I agree with Dougweller here that the editor is engaging in OR, I have to take exception to Weiji's statement that the Christian bible isn't a reliable source for an article entitled "The Race of Jesus". Unless God himself rides down on a flaming chariot to edit the article, what more reliable source could there be? The historical record is pretty much mute on the personage of Christ. (and I'm an atheist btw). Fell Gleamingtalk 19:05, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with the proposition that there isn't a more reliable source about Jesus as a historical personage, but sticking with my proposition that the Bible is not a Wikipedia reliable source on an issue of "race" of the Israelite people (an issue actually not addressed at all by the Bible in modern terms). -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 19:10, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Given the only source that implies Jesus was a Semite is the Bible itself, I think you'd have difficulty arguing against a Biblical passage that called him white....assuming such a passage existed, of course. Fell Gleamingtalk 19:15, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The Bible is a primary source as we use the phrase, and our policy says "Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source." Dougweller (talk) 20:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
That's what I said, isn't it? If a biblical passage existed that said Jesus was a blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian, that would certainly qualify as a reliable source. The problem here is that the IP editor is interpreting adjectives like "fair" (handsome or comely) or "lily white" (assumed poetic hyperbole) as relating to race. Fell Gleamingtalk 20:43, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't disagreeing with you. Just thought it would be useful to cite policy. Dougweller (talk) 20:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Treaties of Bautzen and Merseburg

Please join the discussion at Talk:Treaties of Bautzen and Merseburg#Synthesis, continued at

Talk:Treaties of Bautzen and Merseburg#RfC: Keep as one article or split

Skäpperöd (talk) 09:36, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Claiming to contact the Author of an RS, then using the purported email as a source in discussions on the talk page about the content of the article.

In a series of edits beginning here and ending here User: Wishes that we consider a email she received from the author of one paper as a source. They want to use it to argue about what should be in the article on the talk page.

My reading of WP:OR and WP:RS WP:V has such a email as not being a reliable source for Wikipedia, not verifiable by the average reader in any reasonable way, and in particular Original research.

I have no way of knowing weather or not that supposed email is authentic, none what so ever. In fact even if I emailed the author in question it would still be OR because the next editor to come along could not verify it, unless we expect the author to answer emails ad infinitum.

What say the rest of you?--Hfarmer (talk) 00:10, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It should be noted that this is the second time today a conflict with Hfarmer has gone to a noticeboard[19]. Please let me give you the actual background of this subject, with cites.
Hfarmer has been trying to oppose, against the wishes of most of the people discussing the subject[20], the merger of the article Homosexual transsexual, an article which she considers "her baby"[21].
The proposal is to merge the three separate, highly redundant, confusing articles on Ray Blanchard's theories of transsexuality (Autogynephilia, Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory, and Homosexual transsexual) into one. "Homosexual transsexual" is a term that, due to its confusing (since transsexuals change gender) and oft-insulting nature (it assumes the birth gender), is almost completely unused outside of the context of discussion of Blanchard's theories. Blanchard's mentor, Freund, used the term as well; Blanchard's theories are derived from Freund's.
To argue against the merger, Hfarmer has been trying to come up with "independent support" for the term in other papers. First, she tried proof by ghost reference with Zucker et al (2003)[22], insisting that a term was used in papers that didn't discuss it at all. When it was exposed that the paper didn't say at all what she said it was about, she switched focus to papers from Vasey about the fa'afafine. This was always an odd choice, since she even admitted that Vasey didn't use the term, but insisted that "androphilia" (love of men) means the same thing as "homosexual transsexual" (it doesn't; a straight woman is androphilic). It's even an odder choice because the Fa'afafine aren't transsexuals. Yet she kept insisting that the papers proved independent confirmation of "homosexual transsexual" being a valid topic outside of Blanchard's theories.
Rather that insist that the sky is blue over and over, I decided to simply email Vasey. No surprise -- just like the last time, when I had to do this with Moser[23], Vasey staunchly disagreed with how Hfarmer was representing his papers.[24]. Rather than accept that she is misrepresenting his paper (in a way that I still can't comprehend how she could possibly think it's about "homosexual transsexuals" without using the term or being about transsexuals), she instead accuses me of WP:OR. Yes, that's original research on a talk page, not the article, for quoting the author of a paper about how someone is grossly misinterpreting his paper.
I obviously welcome any outside input.
As a final note: if anyone wants to verify with Vasey himself, his email address is [email redacted] which you can find on his webpage -- (talk) 00:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Whoa, wait a minute: Hfarmer, are you canvassing this? WP:CANVAS In particular, votestacking? You posted private messages to at least one person who you've worked with several times before. -- (talk) 01:41, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with contacting someone and noting what they say on the talk page... the information gathered by e-mail, however, can not go in the article and the e-mail be used as a source. Blueboar (talk) 01:58, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I concur, personal correspondence such as this is clearly OR, and should not be used. That it's being used for talk discussions is slightly different than using for an article, but nonetheless, I think it's not a good approach. Also, it is probably best to not post people's email here. --Nuujinn (talk) 02:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Jack Cuozzo

I think there is OR in this article in two places. The first is the comment in the lead "A recent analysis of a first draft of the Neanderthal genome by a team in May 2010 indicates interbreeding may have occurred, thus lending weight to Cuozzo's theory.[2][3]" where the sources don't mention Cuozzo, The second is similar, "An SEM micrograph has since revealed what appears to be a blood vessel in the bone/rock previously identified as the mastoid.[9]". However here the link it to Cuozzo's website, and I'm not clear (too early in the AM) about its use here. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 05:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Somali Piracy - use of picture

Hi there, on the Piracy in Somalia page there is an image being used that I don't think is appropriate, but others claim is. In my view, its use is inappropriate because it is unnecessary (doesn't add information to the article) and presents the matter with some bias (ie endorses the notion that Somali piracy is justified by illegal nuclear dumping). I don't know the rules on image use very well and was hoping someone here could give some guidance... Thanks a lot, TastyCakes (talk) 19:04, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

It seems appropriate in context - the section is largely about the relationship between piracy and dumping of that sort. why would you think this image constitutes original research? It might be that the section as a whole is OR (I haven't read carefully enough to render an opinion), but the picture seems useable for the section. --Ludwigs2 19:55, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't really think it is original research, it's more like synthesis or inappropriate use I suppose, I posted here because someone at the main help desk suggested so. My concern is mostly that the picture is included just because it looks neat and is freely available, while not actually adding to the article. I think there is also an element of it suggesting that these are pirates defined entirely by the issue of nuclear dumping - that they are pirates solely to protect their shores against nuclear dumping - when in reality it is at most a small part of their motivation. TastyCakes (talk) 17:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Ludwigs2 asks a pretty good question - whether or not the section itself is appropriate. I did a brief check, and many of the sources currently used there are somewhat questionable. However, a quick check also reveals that better sources are available on this topic. I added one [25] to the article as an example. Re the image itself, I'm undecided. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 20:23, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Air Rhodesia Flight 825

A certain "Keith Nell", former member of the Rodhesian SAS[26], is being quoted as the source of unpublished comments on this incident. I am tempted to be bold and remove them altogether. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:03, 13 September 2010

Ask on the talk page, or check the history and see who added it so you can discuss the source. If no response, delete the material after a certain period. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:24, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

British Empire - 15 million Indian famine deaths

I am claiming a WP:SYN violation in the following statement of the featured article "British Empire ":

Pages 132, 133, 134 from the cited source are being used - [27]. My reasoning is that the editor has juxtaposed two sentences in a way that attempts to shift the blame of the famine deaths from the British government to British East India Company (EIC). The source records (and it is universal knowledge) that power transfer of governing of India from the EIC to the British government happened in 1858. The source clearly states that all of the relevant famines happened after the British government assumed power. Yet User:The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick denies that this is WP:SYN. The discussion is found on the talk page of the British Empire - [28].

Please provide an outside third opinion to eliminate any misunderstanding. Thanks. Zuggernaut (talk) 04:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Per the cited source, all the article says is that there was a change in policy - from the East India Company having no coordinated policy re droughts etc, to the British Crown setting up investigative commissions after famines. It is not assigning blame (famines weren't invented by the British - they occurred under the Mughals too you know) and there is no synthesis here at all - the text faithfully conveys the meaning of the cited text. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 07:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
The passage seems fine to me. I don't see any 'blame' being assigned. Paul B (talk) 08:51, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
If it did not have "which took until the early 1900s to have an effect." then i could see how it may mislead people but the paragraph looks neutral, covers the main points and is backed up by the source. This is not Synthesis. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:21, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Zuggernaut is adding POV stuff to articles as well. This edit clearly lacks neutrality and needs some attention. [29] BritishWatcher (talk) 10:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It sounds a bit wrong to me. The major famines during the East India Company' rule were in the eighteenth century, just taken on its own mentioning the nineteenth century one might ask why would they put in widespread measures about famine. It sounds like there is a little bit of synthesis but it should be easy enough to fix. Dmcq (talk) 16:59, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Synthesis is combining multiple sources to reach a conclusion none of the sources reach by themselves. Given that this is all from one source, and given that the conclusion stated in the text is the same as the one in the source, can you please explain in what way it is synthesis, even "a little bit" of synthesis? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
The two sentences require careful reading. It took me three goes to pick up "during its period of rule" - I was too confused by the mention of the 19th century followed by 1900. I think a change in wording would make it clearer, but there is no synthesis present. The source clearly states that there were famines in India from time immemorial but during EIC control the EIC opted to do nothing about it. When the British Crown took over, they started work investigating famines and started to put relief efforts in place, but this did not prevent some major famines in the second half of the nineteenth century, and it wasn't until around 1900 that they started to get a handle on things.Elen of the Roads (talk) 23:26, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Similar to my feeling about it as being confusing. And the table on the talk page talks about the company starting in 1818, what on earth is that date about? The really big famines under the East India company as far as I'm aware happened in the eighteenth century and they're the ones that should have prompted it to do something and they certainly had time to actually do something between them and handing over control to the crown. Dmcq (talk) 00:00, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
This is the NOR board, so seeing as we have established that there is no synthesis here, I suggest anyone interested in matters of confusion continues the discussion on the article talk page. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 01:08, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Let's give this some more time than a mere day. Here's some simplification for readers who are feeling confused. Let's start with some background knowledge/vocabulary:

  • British Raj (BR) is another term for British government.
  • India was governed by EIC until 1858. In 1858 power was formally transferred to BR.
  • Let's assume "late 19th century" is defined as the period between January 1, 1851 to December 31, 1900. This is our time period of interest.

There are three sentences involved here.

  1. Sentence 1 says: A series of famines happened during this period leading to roughly 15 million deaths.
  2. Sentence 2 says: EIC had screwed up because of inaction. No time frame/context is given.
  3. Sentence 3 says: The BR fixed things - again no time context given. It then goes on to say that the fixes of the BR took until 1900 to have any impact.

Juxtaposing these three sentences together gives the reader the following impression (IMO):

This misleads the reader by suggesting that the EIC continued to screw up things even after it had given up power in 1858 (oxymoron). It also misleads the reader even by suggesting that the causes of deaths between 1858 and 1900 are to be blamed on EIC and not the BR. The reality is the BR was to blame for the deaths between 1858 and 1900, not the EIC. Classic WP:SYN. Zuggernaut (talk) 01:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the real reality is that famine was to blame for the deaths... and it is an opinion that either the EIC (or BR or whoever) should have been able to prevent the famines. We need to be careful here. We should not state (or even imply) this opinion as fact. If the author holds the opinion, we should directly attribute it to the author. Blueboar (talk) 01:25, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
There is no such suggestion. The sentence clearly states that the EIC had (past tense) done very little, but the BR instituted investigations. We all know that EIC rule ended in 1858, and nothing in the passage contradicts that. Your attempt to imply that this distorts the facts is wholly unwarranted. BTW, the passage says nothing about the EIC "screwing up", just that they just that they didn't do anything much, for whatever reason. Whether the BR is "to blame" for later famines is a matter of interpretation, not "reality", but there is nothing in the passage that suggests that such famines did not occur under the Imperial government. Paul B (talk) 01:42, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
The author states that the cause of deaths was starvation, not the famine. Zuggernaut (talk) 01:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Same difference. My point is that to conform to WP:NOR (and WP:NPOV) we should neither state nor imply any governmental responsibility for the deaths (or responsibility for preventing the deaths) unless the source does so... and if the source does so, then we should word what we say in the article as being the author's opinion. Blueboar (talk) 01:48, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
The way I see it, this is not synthesis. It is possible, though unlikely, that the wording gives the incorrect impression that the EIC was unable to handle famines but that the Raj was. That is easily taken care of by changing the last two sentences to "After the end of the EIC in 1858, the British government in India set up commissions after each famine to investigate causes and implement new policies. However, it was not until the early 1900 that the results of these investigations had an effect." I don't think that would be a mis-stating of the citation. --RegentsPark (talk) 01:56, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Id support that change, although i think its already clear enough. BritishWatcher (talk) 02:00, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

It seems confusing to me. It is not clear that any famines occurred under East India Company rule, since the famines in the "late 19th century" may all have occurred after 1858. There would then have been no need for the Company to investigate. However, I do not see this as a POV problem. Whether India was ruled by a Company under a royal charter or by a viceroy, the ultimate responsibility would lie in the same place. TFD (talk) 16:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Aspartame: OR/Synthesis Dispute

I would like to resolve a dispute regarding my additions to aspartame. It appears there are a few bulldog-like editors patrolling it constantly, biting anyone who challenges their article. They keep undoing my edits, accusing me of all sorts, this time- original research and synthesis, wheras I beg to differ: I stuck to what the numerous reliable sources I cited say exactly. There is nothing original, I have not synthesized anything, and every single statement is verifiable - yet they keep deleting it all - every single word is deemed unworthy of their article!

Please can an administrator or two have a look through the aspartame page to assess this and make a decision on the content of my latest addition or my suggestions on the discussion, which I done to clarify a biased statement (explained in the discussion), or advise where to go from here? I don't even mind if it is all deleted, the only position I want to advance is a NPOV. It is quite a complex, controversial subject, and for a full picture, edits, sources and discussions of the aspartame page will need to be checked (which are quite lengthy). Thank you.КĐ 03:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

It certainly looks to me like you were putting in material that didn't refer even indirectly to aspartame, and that you were joining together sentences to come to a conclusion rather than summarizing somebody else's conclusion. So yes what your citations were verifiable, but they weren't reasonably closely connected to the topic and they were joined together in a synthesis which is what original research is about. I'm not saying the conclusion is right or wrong, what I'm saying is Wikipedia doesn't publish original research - it needs to be published somewhere else first. Dmcq (talk) 08:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
What would be your suggestion for improvement? It was not my intention to join it together to form an assumed conclusion, so could it not be re-written in a way that avoids this? You're right that they didn't refer to aspartame directly, but it was in the section for metabolized products of aspartame, (I.e. methanol), and the edits only pertain to methanol, a notable product of metabolization of aspartame (expanding the previous statement about methanol in fruit juice, which only gives half the story). Thanks for the input.КĐ 09:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
You clearly feel it is important to include something like this. However the policy is quite clear. The reason for this is to stop Wikipedia getting filled with things that people think are important but are not verifiably so, where verifiably means some reliable source has said something very similar about the topic. And the topic here is aspartame. There's an article about methanol which the references you provided seem appropriate to. You might be able to link to an appropriate section of the methanol article or other article that says what you wanted to say, but you can't branch into an inline essay about the problem unless that discussion is linked to aspartame in the literature. Dmcq (talk) 11:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thank you for the clarification. And also, thank you for being civil about it.КĐ 19:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The article reports that the levels of methanol are lower in diet sodas than in fruit juices and are therefore safe. You have provided evidence that fruit juices are safe because they contain an antidote which aspartame does not. However you would need to find a source that makes that argument, rather than making it yourself. Of course there are other issues in presenting that information, but they do not relate to OR. TFD (talk) 16:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


Can we use the website of Libertarianz as a source for Libertarianism? An editor wishes to use the principles listed on the website as evidence of the "predominant use of the term "Libertarian" in New Zealand's politics".[30] TFD (talk) 15:57, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Using maps to determine locations


As per Talk:ENSCO,_Inc. some editors have expressed concerns about using U.S. census bureau maps to determine whether places are located within a government-defined census-designated place.

As an example:

Falls Church, Virginia 22042-4501" - Even though the postal address says "Falls Church, Virginia," put the address in a map and one will see it is well outside of the city limits.

Also, ENSCO is within an unincorporated area in Fairfax County, Virginia. In Virginia cities are independent of and not within county governments, so it is not possible for ENSCO to be within Fairfax County and Falls Church City at the same time.

Annandale, Virginia is about the census-designated place as defined by the U.S. government, not about any local understandings of the place. There have been no references supplied stating what the local understandings of Annandale, VA are. So the US government map is the only definition we have of "Annandale, Virginia."

Secondary sources in the United States have a habit of approximating place names based on USPS addresses. I.E. a newspaper may say a place is in "Somewheresville, XT" even though the place is outside of the city limits, so in my view it is problematic to say that secondary sources always have supremacy over primary sources in this instance. WhisperToMe (talk) 12:01, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Census maps are reliable secondary sources, and so are valid references. However, secondary sources can disagree... and WP:NPOV states that we have to account for all significant viewpoints. A map does not "prove" that a place is located within a designated area... it merely verifies that according to the map maker it does so. So... it is fine to state what the US Census says about the location (and cite the Census map)... but you also need to mention what the USGS (Geological survey) says, what the USPS (Post office) says, and what other sources say. Blueboar (talk) 13:46, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
How I handle this is that I say...
XXX place is located in YYY city/census designated place/town/whatever, near ZZZ.
What "ZZZ" is can be:
Nearest major/large city
City which some secondary sources may imprecisely say (such as the Herrington Chronicle may say XXX place is in WWW, even though WWW is 2 miles away)
USPS city name, if it does not reflect where the place is physically located.
For instance the Dar Al-Hijrah article says "The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center (Arabic: مركز دار الهجرة الاسلامي‎, English: Land of Migration) is a mosque in Northern Virginia. It is located in Seven Corners, unincorporated Fairfax County, in the Falls Church area." - We agreed to that after discussion of things.
The actual location is Seven Corners, so that needs to be posted. But the USPS postal address and many media articles refer to it as being in Falls Church, so that also has to be mentioned.
This format satisfies both the physical location (US Census Bureau) and the nearest major city/USPS city name.
As for "it merely verifies that according to the map maker it does so." - The US Government itself creates the census designated places, so I believe that any map from a US government agency would be authoritative on this matter.
However if other agencies all prepare different maps of the same CDPs, it would be good to know as it may be better to have a high quality map than a low quality map, for instance.
WhisperToMe (talk) 14:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Unless anyone has anything to add to this issue, I think we may have managed to resolve the specific issue on the article talk page, and this can probably be marked as resolved. Thanks for the help, --Nuujinn (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

OR to state that some sources refer to an organization a certain way when the sources are provided?


An editor has said that he believes that it is OR to state in the Democracy Now! article that it "is sometimes referred to as left-wing." The statement is to be sourced with 3 newspaper news articles and 1 non-opinion book that describe the organization as "left-wing." Drrll (talk) 18:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I think he obviously doesn't understand OR. He may or may not have a RS or notability issue, but there certainly isn't any OR involved in this case. Fell Gleamingtalk 18:54, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It is OR to make conclusions about the acceptance and use of a description. Through Google mining it is possible to say "is sometimes referred to" about anything. You need a source that explains the usage of the term. Also, see WP:WEASEL and WP:NPOV. "Some" is a word to avoid and neutrality requires that only mainstream views are presented. The fact that you found so few references and are supplying quotes from old, provincial newspapers about a national program shows that this is just POV-pushing. TFD (talk) 19:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
The mainstream view is not determined like you count bushels of peas. There certainly aren't any sources calling Democracy Now! a "right wing" or even a nonpartisan organization. If it's labelled at all, its usually labelled liberal or left-wing. Fell Gleamingtalk 19:18, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Then you should have no problem finding a reliable source that says, "its usually labelled liberal or left-wing". If you cannot find this statement in reliable sources then it is original research. TFD (talk) 19:22, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
You're confusing WP:OR with potential WP:RS and WP:NPOV issues. If a source labels an organization liberal, then its not OR to provide that description -- though the source's description can still be shown to be inaccurate or non neutral. Fell Gleamingtalk 19:29, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. From what Drrll, it appears that the editor in question may be particularly fond of WP:NOR. That doesn't make it applicable. Every policy can be used to argue almost everything if you are prepared to interpret it in a fundamentalist way. E.g. one could try to deal with an editor who copied an article from the New York Times verbatim, except for a few slight rephrasings that didn't change the meaning at all, as if their main crime had been original research. After all, it seems unlikely they can provide reliable sources with which they can explain why they chose that particular article, and why they had to rephrase precisely what they did rephrase. Hans Adler 19:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is not a WP:NOR situation. It might be a WP:NPOV situation, but that is a different matter entirely. Blueboar (talk) 19:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Challenger Deep


I need some help in the Challenger Deep article. An editor has the frankly hilarious claim that a Berkeley Law article [31] on the international law of nuclear waste dumping at sea can't be used as a source, because it doesn't mention this specific location (deep in the Marianas Trench) on the ocean. I point out the article makes it clear that any such dumping at sea is banned by treaty, according to the article, and that the article further states who has and hasn't ratified the treaty. He still continues to claim that, unless the law article has the specific text "Challenger Deep" in it, it can't be used in this article. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:22, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

You also need some help with your civility and attention to fairness. Starting this thread with a "Hijinks" label is contemptuous and prejudicial. Mistating another editor's position and then describing it as "frankly hilarious" is more of the same. These kinds of rhetorical devices belong to the propagandist; editors of an encyclopedia should never resort to them. Further, you greatly underestimate the intelligence of people here if you think the use of belittling characterizations to frame the debate will win you any points. Please don't initiate a thread in this way again.  – OhioStandard (talk) 02:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
As he notes below, this section was retitled by 2/0 for npov. It was FellGleaming's original title that I objected to above.. – Ohiostandard 14:58, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
How do you believe I have mistated his position? In fact, he confirms it here again, in the statements below: "If FellGleaming wishes to write about Challenger Deep, he needs to stick to that topic, both in the article and from the sources." In other words, no matter what point the source is verifying, he believes it can't be used unless the source also specifically has the words "Challenger Deep" in it. after his blanking an entire article section based on such spurious reasoning -- then filling the article's talk page with threats and accusations, I feel quite justified in both my tone and my use of the word "hijinks" to describe his behavior. I notice you lack all outrage at his own lack of civility and fairness. For anyone else reading this, I point out OhioStandard is an editor who has regularly conflicted with me on previous articles. Take it as you will. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:08, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
FellGleaming is asking for his edits to be personally exempted from WP:OR, WP:SYN, WP:COAT, WP:V, and WP:RS so he can push his POV on Challenger Deep. The long and the short of it is that we have at least one good source, a textbook by David W. Hafemeister[32] that discusses how nuclear waste could be placed in the Challenger Deep ocean trench, but that doing so violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty. However, paraphrasing from the sources is not good enough for Fell. He wants the article to advance the position that the United States and Russia don't have to follow the treaty. I pointed out to Fell that this is not in the Hafemeister source. Fell believes he can use any source on any topic to advance his position, which tells me, that even though he's been here since 2008, he still doesn't get the sourcing policy and guidelines. It isn't even clear how he proposes to use this off-topic source. Although it is difficult to understand his motivation, according to the page history, Fell previously deleted content that stated dumping was banned by treaty,[33] making it seem like dumping nuclear waste in the trench was not only possible, but a good idea. When I showed him that the Hafemeister source said it was banned, he then said that U.S. and Russia don't have to follow it and demanded to add that to the article. As one can tell from the full background thread on the talk page, it is extremely difficult to communicate in simple language with Fell, so help is greatly appreciated. Viriditas (talk) 13:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, I am fine with both sources being usd. The fact remains that the point in question is on international law. The Hafemeister source is by a physics professor, and it merely states vaguely that dumping "violates the treaty" without naming the specific treaty or who is signatory to it. The Berkeley Law source is actually written by experts in the field of international law. It further specifies the treaties in question, and gives additional information on who is signatory to them. It's clearly a more authoritative and complete source. Viriditas appears simply to not like the source, because it states that not every nation is bound by that treaty. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:59, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, the only reason I chose the Hafemeister source was because you were having trouble finding reliable sources. You're welcome, by the way. In any case, could you please take a moment to talk about the material in the Law of the Sea Institute (LOSI) source you propose to use? Please quote it, as I don't see the relevance to Challenger Deep. Viriditas (talk) 14:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
(ec)This kind of thing is generally tricky. There are often situations where research by Wikipedia editors can prove certain things beyond reasonable doubt, but in so doing go beyond what is covered by reliable sources. It sounds as if this might be the case here, although I haven't checked the details. We are often not able to publish the results because technically they are original research. Even adding well sourced information to an article can be problematic if that is intended to make the reader draw novel conclusions. Since this has sometimes led to problems in the past, it's now explicitly forbidden by WP:SYN. There are two ways to get such information into an article anyway:
  • If the topic is not contentious, just ignore WP:OR and WP:SYN. If nobody sees a problem with the novel information, then there is none. Wikipedia is full of such good, novel information, but fortunately it's not so easy to find. Otherwise some editors would insist on deleting it for purely formal reasons.
  • If it's not possible to put anything into an article explicitly, our own original research can be used to inform our editorial judgement. Within the bounds of WP:V we have a lot of freedom how we present things, and it is a matter of local consensus (plus some other policies) how to use it. We can make the reader draw the right conclusions, or prevent that they draw the wrong conclusions, without saying something explicitly. But for this it's necessary to convince one's co-editors. Hans Adler 14:12, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Can you figure out what Fell is trying to say? If you do, let me know. Viriditas (talk) 14:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The Berkeley Law-hosted organization is, to quote:

How in the world do you believe a physics professor is a more authoritative source on international oceanic law than LOSI itself? Please explain. Further, there is no room for disagreement on exactly what the source claims. To quote again:

Not only is the material authoritative and clearly stated, but it cites additional primary sources for verification. Please explain your rationale for disregarding this source, on the theory that "it hs nothing to do with Challenger Deep". Fell Gleamingtalk 14:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fell, can you please describe in your own words exactly which content you want to add to Challenger Deep and what this has to do with the article on Challenger Deep and why it needs to be added to that article? None of what you posted above makes any sense to me. Please understand, we write articles based on sources about topics. We don't cherry pick words and phrases from sources that aren't connected to the topic. Again, and I'm repeating myself over and over because you don't seem to be able to give me a straight answer, exactly what do you intend to use the Law of the Sea Institute (LOSI) source for here? Is it to advance a position? Please be specific. Also, please take a moment to actually look at the source you want to use. It appears to be out of date and may contradict your own position or the current state of affairs, nevermind the fact that it has nothing to do with Challenger Deep. Fell, as I said before, if you want to write an article about Challenger Deep, please find sources about Challenger Deep. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 14:36, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Why are you dodging the question? Why do you believe an authoritative source on international oceanic law -- in fact, quite probably the most authoritative source in the world -- cannot be used in this article? The rationale you gave earlier was that it "doesn't specifically mention Challenger Deep". Surely you must see by now how spurious that is. Using this to support the statement that nuclear dumping is banned under the UNCLOSIII treaty, but that the US has not ratified that treaty, is neither synthesis, nor original research, nor anything but well-sourced, proper, editing. Fell Gleamingtalk 17:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, I don't see how this source even supports what you are trying to say. Please compose the text below using this source that you want to see added to the article. Otherwise, there is no way to answer any question related to its use. So, please show below, what you propose to add. I read the source and don't see how it is applicable. I would like to also add that I've looked into this issue, beginning with the article on the United States non-ratification of the UNCLOS, and I'm now convinced that FellGleaming is pushing and promoting a POV that has nothing to do with Challenger Deep, and everything to do with a minority political agenda. As of 2010, the United States honors the provisions of the treaty and overwhelmingly supports ratification. Fell's attempt to use Wikipedia to promote an external agenda that believes the treaty will lead to a weakening of U.S. sovereignty and the enforcement of international climate change legislation is at the root of this discussion, a discussion that has nothing to do with Challenger Deep. This is not only original research, it is agenda-driven editing, an obvious attempt to promote a POV above and beyond the sources in use. In any case, this behavior has been ongoing for some time and has not changed. FellGleaming's poor use of sources has been brought to the attention of the community in at least two separate climate change sanction requests for enforcement one on 13 April and the other on 21 April of 2010. On 18 April, User:MastCell closed the latter enforcement request and served FellGleaming with a final warning:

FellGleaming is warned to exercise basic due diligence in reviewing the content of sources before making assertions about them. He is warned to be scrupulous in his representation of sources and his use of purported quotes from them. He is further required to respond directly to the substance of future concerns about his use of sources and quotations and avoid aggressive posturing. These are final warnings and further violations may result in sanctions.[34]

Because this pattern of source misrepresentation has been ongoing for a long time now, this report should now be escalated. Viriditas (talk) 22:11, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As you well know, this isn't material I "wish to add" to the article. It was there already, before my first edit. You removed it. As for your belief that the US is bound by the treaty, there's even an entire Wikipedia article proving this isn't correct: United_States_non-ratification_of_the_UNCLOS. Your continued refusal to state exactly why you believe the Berkeley Law source isn't reliable is becoming farcical. Your original complaint was that it "wasn't about Challenger Deep". No, of course it isn't. It's about international law as it relates to the world's oceans...which is exactly the point it's being used to support. Fell Gleamingtalk 22:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

@Viriditas. What misrepresentation? The source supports what it cites, and the United States is not a signatory nation that I can find, so it is not bound by the treaty. This seems to be a good source and there is no WP:OR etc involved. GregJackP Boomer! 23:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
That source says "Currently, dumping of nuclear waste is forbidden by international law." And that agrees exactly with what Hafemeister says: "Pu in glass or ceramic logs can be placed into a geological could be deposited in very deep ocean trenches, such as the Challenger Deep...This is technically sound but it violates the treaty that bans ocean dumping." Neither source speaks to whether a certain nation chooses to honor the ban in relation to the Challenger Deep. FellGleaming is personally choosing to advance this position by combining two different sources, one of which is about the topic of Challenger Deep and one of which is not. FellGleaming is doing this to promote a political agenda rather than to write a about the topic as discussed by the sources. He is welcome to find a source that discusses the proposed dumping of nuclear waste in the Challenger Deep by nations who feel the international ban doesn't apply to them. I don't believe such a reliable source exists, however, because this is a position advanced only by FellGleaming, not by any one source. We have sources that state that dumping at Challenger Deep is banned by international law. That's it. We also know that the U.S. overwhelmingly favors ratification and honors the current law. If FellGleaming wishes to write about Challenger Deep, he needs to stick to that topic, both in the article and from the sources. He cannot continue to use Wikipedia as a soapbox for political commentary not connected to the topic. Finally, FellGleaming has not proposed an actual edit in relation to the source in question, and he has been asked to do so here. Until he does, there's no way to discuss this issue, and further discussion on this matter without such examples, serves only as a distraction. Viriditas (talk) 00:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
"...two different sources, one of which is about the topic of Challenger Deep and one of which is not." Lol, I rest my case. The statement is that the US has not ratified UNCLOS. The source verifies this statement. The fact that this particular source doesn't mention Challenger Deep is irrelevant. This seems a clear case of I just don't like it, as Viriditas has twice removed not just that particular statement, but the entire section on nuclear dumping, and admitted he has a strong aversion to the subject. Fell Gleamingtalk 01:08, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, that's not how we use sources, and previous material was removed because you didn't use RS. The material you are now proposing to use has nothing to do with the topic. Again, please focus only on the subject. The U.S. overwhelmingly supports ratification and honors the international treaty. But, this has nothing to do with the topic of Challenger Deep. Do you understand? Viriditas (talk) 01:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry but this couldn't be more wrong. WP:V requires that material be verified by a reliable source. It doesn't require every source to specifically mention the article subject. It merely needs to verify the text in question. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid you are mistaken. WP:V says sources "must clearly support the material as presented in the article" while WP:IRS says that "sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article, and should be appropriate to the claims made." Per WP:NOR, articles "may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources", and WP:SYN says, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources". NOR also says, "Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intent of the source, such as using material out of context. In short, stick to the sources." So, which source about Challenger Deep, talks about the failure of the U.S. to ratify the treaty banning dumping in that specific ocean trench? Is there one? And how is it relevant to the topic? Also, please explain why it is important to add it to the article. By your argument for inclusion, you appear to be parroting the fringe views of certain groups and politicians who argue that the U.S. should not support or honor the treaty, which is contrary to what the U.S. actually does. Your proposal also implies, by inclusion, that ocean dumping is somehow acceptable because the U.S. has not ratified the treaty, which is not true, nor is it found in the actual sources on the topic. In other words, you are purposefully introducing an off-topic ambiguity and interpretation that does not exist in the original sources. Viriditas (talk) 02:54, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The issue here is not WP:V. All the sources in the paragraph qualify as reliable sources, and from a quick look directly support the material they cite. The problem is WP:SYNTH; FellGleaming would like to take material from two reliable sources and put them together to imply a new point - which in this case appears to be that putting radioactivity material into Challenger Deep would be perfectly legal for the US to do. It is a clear example of synthesis. --Slp1 (talk) 02:58, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Please explain how the text "As of September 2010, the US has not ratified the treaty" implies the US should begin dumping nuclear waste into Challenger Deep. There is no "new point" implied. The original source is clear: [35]. Dumping is banned by international treaty; a treaty the US has not ratified. The article is specifically about the legality of nuclear waste dumping at sea, and is written by a group of Berkeley law scholars who specialize in oceanic international law. I think some people are so blinded by even the thought of nuclear waste dumping that they cannot see reason. Fell Gleamingtalk 03:03, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
But there is a new point implied! It's interesting that both Viriditas and I, typing independently at the same time, came up with more or less exactly the same "implied point". The thing is, having information about who has or has not ratified the treaty is irrelevant in the article about Challenger Deep, when no other source writing about the megahole has thought to mention it. It would be a different matter in the article about the treaty or about nuclear wasting dumping at sea, of course. In this article, the only way it becomes relevant is if someone is trying to make a point, similar to the one this guy makes Slp1 (talk) 03:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
There is no new point implied. The treaty exists; the US has not signed it. What's difficult to understand about that? The issue here is what's a more authoritative source for international sea law...a physics professor, or a group of Berkeley law scholars who specialize in...yes, you guessed it! International sea law! There seems to be a lot of WP:IDONTLIKEIT in regards to this fact. Dumping is banned because of a treaty. The US has not ratified that treaty. I realize that fact upsets many people, even horrifies you. But that is no reason to whitewash it out of articles. As for you and Viriditas "independently" reaching the same conclusion, since he's already posted his belief hours earlier, I'm not sure how you believe that, or even what its relevancy is. Fell Gleamingtalk 03:41, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Mmm. A few corrections and a piece of advice. The US has signed the treaty; it has not ratified it. Apparently Bush, Obama, McCain, the Pentagon, the Navy all favour ratifification"[36][37], which has been "has repeatedly been blocked by a small group of Republican senators".
Please stop ascribing opinions and motivations to other editors, such as the erroneous straw man that I am somehow so horrified by this information that am trying to whitewash it out. I actually have no dog in this race, unlike you, it appears, based on your editing history. I am merely responding to your request for editors to help resolve this dispute about whether this is WP:OR or not. It is. --Slp1 (talk) 12:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Administrators should note that FellGleaming has taken this up a notch with his latest WP:POINT edits to Mariana Trench, duplicating the material under discussion here in another article.[38] This is very disruptive, and shows that FellGleaming is not interested in consensus or discussion. Viriditas (talk) 05:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Would FallGleaming tell how the UNCLOSIII treaty is relevant to Challenger Deep? N6n (talk) 09:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Certainly. The text previously in the article [39] prior to my edits stated that Challenger Deep had been considered as a potential site for nuclear waste dumping. It also stated that this practice was banned by UNCLOSIII. The problem was that, while the fact was correct, the cite was incorrect -- it did not verify it. I have since replaced the cite with an authoritative source on the international law of nuclear waste dumping. (Berkeley University's Law of the Sea Institute). Viriditas doesn't like the source because he believes it "promotes dumping". His initial edit blanked the entire section on nuclear dumping.

When I protested, Viritidas allowed restoration of the section -- but only if it contains the blunt statement that the practice "is banned", without allowing explanation of what specific treaty bans it. Worse, his cite for this point of law is a book by a physics professor, which he claims is a more authoritative source on international law than the LOSI article, written by a group of Berkeley international law scholars. His statements about how "wrong" dumping is, and how a bunch of "Republican Senators" held up ratification of UNCLOSIII leads me to believe he's viewing this as a political issue, and merely trying to hide a fact that he just doesn't like. Fell Gleamingtalk 12:47, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

I was going to susgest why not say that he US has not ratified it, whn I go to the page I find that is what is not being contested, saying wjhat the sources say with out adding new imterpritation.Slatersteven (talk) 12:41, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
No. Viriditas is claiming that the exact statement you yourself suggest "that the US has not ratified the treaty" by itself "implies" that nuclear waste dumping is a good idea, and is thus some sort of SYN violation. Fell Gleamingtalk 12:51, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
NO. it says that the US has not ratified the treaty it is up the reader to imply its meaning.Slatersteven (talk) 13:04, 18 September 2010 (UTC)}
And leading people to imply that meaning by combining different sources is precisely what is forbidden by WP:SYNTH.--Slp1 (talk) 13:17, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Except it does not lead people to that conclusion it says what tghe situatuion is (and there are RS to confiorm this) that the US has not ratfifed the treaty specificaly becasue of the very clasuse that would ban dumping in the deep which the US has susgested as a solution to dispolsal of nuclear waste. Its up to the reader to determine any actual link, we just report what RS have said.Slatersteven (talk) 13:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Let's see these reliable sources, then, and use them by preference. Still not sure how relevant it would be in the Challenger Deep article, but once we see the sources, that can be determined. --Slp1 (talk) 14:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC) page 2 and others.
Some of these Sources also say that the reason for non ratification is clause XI, the clause that would stop the dumping. We already have sources in the article for the US plans to dump in the deep.Slatersteven (talk) 14:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
None of these mention support the notion that "which the US has susgested as a solution to dispolsal of nuclear waste which the US has susgested as a solution to dispolsal of nuclear waste". There is not one mention of dumping, or nuclear waste in any of them. In fact the reported concern about Clause XI is specifically stated to be "deep sea mining", not "deep sea dumping". And where are "the sources in the article for the US plans to dump in the deep?" This is a huge claim that appears totally unsourced.--Slp1 (talk) 14:51, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
The best cite for the text is the original one I gave, Slp: [40]. It specifically mentions nuclear waste dumping, the fact that it is barred by the UNCLOSIII treaty, and that the US has not ratified that treaty. All in one source-- no possibly SYN objection. I'm giving you the Google cache link to the Berkeley site, as it apparently went down a couple hours ago. As for the statement that "the US plans to dump", the article has never stated that. What it did state was that Challenger Deep has been proposed as a potential dumping site. That (separate and independent) fact is supported by the source that Viriditas himself found (as well as many others). Fell Gleamingtalk 15:05, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
My mistake I mis read Deep boreholes[[41]] as applying toi thjis (as they are dug at sea) this source make sit clear that this and Sub seabed disposal (I assume that this is about deep sea trenches, but it not that clear) are not the same thing.Slatersteven (talk) 15:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I will take a look at it soon. I know the article never said that the US plans to dump, but Slatersteven has been stating this repeatedly here and elsewhere, and it appears to be completely wrong and inaccurate.Slp1 (talk) 15:11, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Sln, WP:SYN is stating or implying a specific conclusion not stated in any source. Allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions from a simple statement of fact is what all articles should strive to do. Fell Gleamingtalk 14:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
In fact, no forbids WP editors "to imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources"; combining "simple statement of facts" to this end is prohibited by policy. --Slp1 (talk) 15:08, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Nothing is being implied to the reader that isn't stated in the source. The article states exactly what the source does -- that the practice is banned by treaty, and the US has not ratified this treaty. There is no "combining of sources" -- there is only one source for this text. SYN isn't possible. Fell Gleamingtalk 15:12, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Slp, I suggest you take a moment and actually read the source and the article. There are no sources being combined to support the statement, so SYN isn't possible. The single Berkeley law source states both that dumping is banned according to the UNCLOSIII, and that the US has not ratified that treaty. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Once again, please stop with the insinuations about what I have or have not read. For whatever reason, the article at Berkeley doesn't seem to be available currently, so I can't check it again. But rest assured, I did last night, and will again when it becomes available again. In the meantime, let's see Slatersteven's sources, which from what I recall might be much more to the point. --Slp1 (talk) 14:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
As it would read wiht vthis material removed it would imply that dumping in the deep has been banned and all nations accept this, this is not the case.Slatersteven (talk) 14:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
UPDATE: The Berkeley Law of the Sea site is now back up. It makes clear there is no SYN; this one source clearly states that nuclear waste dumping is prohibited due to the UNCLOSIII treaty, and that the US has not ratified the treaty: [42]. Fell Gleamingtalk 16:11, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for providing the cached link, Fell Gleaming. It appears the site is now back up.[43] Unfortunately, my concerns about are now increased, because on closer reading it seems that there are verifiability problems here too. The Berkeley law article states that Deep sea dumping "is forbidden by international law", based principally on the legally binding nature on the London Convention, which the US has ratified [44][45]. The 1990 Spanish resolution not withstanding, an 1993 amendment to the convention specifically banned the dumping of nuclear waste[46] and has been accepted by all parties. According to the Berkeley article, UNCLOSIII only "has some provisions that can be interpreted as applying to subseabed disposal. However, they are less specific than the LDC, are more targeted at the mining of the seabed than at disposal, and are more precatory statements of stewardship than binding resolutions." The principal legal concern is by the article's own analysis, is the London Convention. It is even clearer, to me, that the mention of UNCLOSII US non-ratification is inappropriate per WP:UNDUE, WP:POV, and WP:SYNT.Slp1 (talk) 16:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Bit of cherry picking here. The full section on the Spanish reso9lution also says that "The United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union voted against the proposal and have indicated that while they consider the Spanish Resolution non-binding, they will comply voluntarily for the time being.". Also it does not say the USA has ratfied the treaty, its says they abide by it (but at one time voted aginat it) and that they might retfiy it. it also says that "but several authors think that it is likely that the United States will resort to SSD in the not too distant future. ". Its a pite we don't know who these are. So yes there is a source for the claim the USA would like to dump waste in teh deeps (it may nbe this I saw that lead me to bleive the USA wanted to).Slatersteven (talk) 16:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Check the other links. They show that the US has ratified the treaty and accepted the amendment. Note the "Spanish resolution" that the US voted against was in 1990, and was superceded by the 1993 amendment, which the US supported right from the start, following a reversal of direction by the Clinton administration. See the NYT for the details.--Slp1 (talk) 16:37, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh and there is a source for the "but several authors think that it is likely that the United States will resort to SSD in the not too distant future." The article references articles written in 1991 and 1999. I also notice that the website doesn't seem to have been updated since early 2006, and that the articles are undated. Makes me wonder how current it is, actually.--Slp1 (talk) 16:41, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
You NTY source does not say the USA has ratified the ban, it says they support it (to be ratified the legligesture has to ratify it). I suggest you find a source that says the USA has actuality ratified it (RS means we can only say that RS actually say). If you check who the 38 Parties to the Protocol. you will find the USA is not listed (as of March 2004). Also there is no satute of limitations i RS, if a source says it unless it can be shown to have been contradcited by later material its RS, no matter how old it is.Slatersteven (talk) 16:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Check the other links. They show that the US has ratified the treaty and accepted the amendment. Note the "Spanish resolution" that the US voted against was in 1990, and was superceded by the 1993 amendment, which the US supported right from the start, following a reversal of direction by the Clinton administration. See the NYT for the details.--Slp1 (talk) 16:37, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Slater is correct. The United States is not party to the London Convention. See here [47] for a list of all signatory states. United States Law (MPRSA) prohibits dumping of nuclear wastes -- but only in US Territorial Waters. Fell Gleamingtalk 16:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Really?--Slp1 (talk) 17:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, according to the official London Convention and Protocol site [48], the US is listed as signatory to the earlier London Convention, but not the later London Protocol. I'm trying to establish exactly what the differences are. However, the Berkeley Law of the Sea institute states, "As was allowed by the LDC, Russia filed an objection to the resolution, legally permitting it to continue dumping LLW into the oceans", which certainly seems to suggest that even a signatory can legally dump waste in some cases. Fell Gleamingtalk 17:20, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Much like the internation Criminal Court the USA supports an international agreement it is self is not subject to.Slatersteven (talk) 17:02, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
That's called "having your cake and eating it too"  :-0 Fell Gleamingtalk 17:07, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Good God. The EPA says that the US have ratified the treaty and so does the International Maritime Organization, the very source you link to above, and you still want to argue that it isn't true?? Slp1 (talk) 17:13, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
See post above for the difference in the London Convention and the London Protocol, and whether or not the Convention bars all dumping. As an aside, I find it amusing that, after raising a SYN objection because you believed multiple sources were being combined to conclude that the US wasn't legally barred from dumping nuclear waste, you're desperately combining sources to conclude that it is illegal. As Huxley says, consistency is apparently contradictory to life. Fell Gleamingtalk 17:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Your first source refers to the 1972 treaty, this does not cover nuclear dumping (covered in the Spanish convention of 1990) as to the second source which is not full ratification but only ARTICLES XVII OR XVIII OF THE CONVENTION, this does not represent full ratification or acceptance of the convention. Also it says Date of ratification, accession or succession, it does not make it clear wjhuch of these applies to the USA. If the USA has ratfied the full treaty it will be coverd by RS, so find an RS that says the USA has ratfied the trearty (when multiple RS say its still under discusion by the US governemtn.Slatersteven (talk) 17:37, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
We've only ever been talking about the London Convention. Since I have found it and to satisfy Slatersteven here is yet another reliable source that the US has ratified the Convention in 1975. I've already provided multiple sources that they also accepted (and in fact promoted) the 1993 amendment. They had a chance then claim an exemption then, as Russia did, but they evidently didn't, for the obvious reason that they wanted nuclear dumping to stop.Even Russia has agreed to the ban now.
As for your claim of Synth, not at all. Firstly, we are on a project page, not article space where SYNT applies. Secondly, the information all comes from the very source you provided. I used other sources merely to support the contentions that you had misread (to put the best possible spin on it) your Berkeley source and where it places the legal focus.--Slp1 (talk) 17:51, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── my purpose for posting here was to get more eyes onto the article. I think that's happened, and some good is arising from it, and I think its now best to carry the discussion on only at the article's talk page, to avoid more forking. Fell Gleamingtalk 18:55, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I don't see any "good" arising from this, as FellGleaming is still ignoring the points raised here and on the talk page. Again, FellGleaming feels he doesn't have to follow any policies and guidelines when it comes to writing articles, and that's fine, but he can't expect us to follow him. I therefore request that this report remain open until the problem is solved or it is escalated. I have been unable to convince FellGleaming that we need to use reliable sources about the topic in order to add significant content to our articles. I'm going to start at the beginning once again, and do the research FellGleaming has not done. I'm going to try and find the most significant sources on the subject and see what they say. I would appreciate help from experienced editors in this regard. In other words, using the best sources on the topic of oceanic trenches, what do they say about dumping nuclear waste, if anything at all? There are many sources that discuss waste disposal, from launching waste into the Moon, the Sun, and even into space. But, we need to show good judgment when addressing these claims, and we need to stick closely to the sources, paying attention to their significance and their appropriate representation in the correct articles. I think we can all agree that the basic thesis of Fell's edits (putting aside the errors and POV for the moment) belongs in our article on radioactive waste. However, even that article takes a conservative approach, reducing the plan to shoot waste into the Sun to a footnote reference, with the content reading: "Governments around the world are considering a range of waste management and disposal options, though there has been limited progress toward long-term waste management solutions." That's it. I think it is clear that the material FellGleaming is proposing properly belongs as subset of the radioactive waste article as the above implies. Otherwise, you have editors like Fell adding this kind of material to Sun, Moon, Antarctica, Seabed, etc.[49] That's not a workable solution. Viriditas (talk) 00:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I began my research, and found that the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument was created on January 6, 2009. This makes it extremely unlikely that FellGleaming's thesis is even reasonable, namely that Marianas or Challenger is considered a "possible nuclear waste disposal site". It's not. There may be speculation in the literature about storing radioactive waste in oceanic trenches, but a National Monument cannot be even portrayed as a "possible nuclear waste disposal site" in 2010. FellGleaming is arguing above and beyond the currency of our sources or the significance of this information outside of the topic of radioactive waste, and per WP:SPECULATION I cannot see an argument for inclusion at this time. Yes, oceanic trenches have been considered as nuclear waste dump sites, so have many other places around the world and in the Solar System. Looking at this problem again, it appears we already have an appropriate topic for related material, High-level radioactive waste management That article currently states:

Sea-based options for disposal of radioactive waste[50] include burial beneath a stable abyssal plain and burial in a subduction zone that would slowly carry waste downward into the Earth's mantle. These approaches are currently not being seriously considered because of technical considerations, legal barriers in the Law of the Sea, and because in North America and Europe sea-based burial has become taboo from fear that such a repository could leak and cause widespread contamination.

I believe this puts the issue to rest. FellGleaming needs to stop adding speculation that advances a position, and is at odds with reliable sources on the subject. Viriditas (talk) 00:56, 20 September 2010 (UTC)