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WikiProject Alternative Views (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Alternative Views, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of significant alternative views in every field, from the sciences to the humanities. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
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Great Zimbabwe - Two rival theories?[edit]

Main article: Great Zimbabwe

It could perhaps be argued that there are two 'rival' theories for the origin of the Ancient Zimbabwean Civilization (with its drystone temples and fortresses, and its extensive network of gold mines) - namely, the "Shona" theory, and the "Semitic" theory. The overwhelming majority of modern-day academics support the "Shona" theory - but if we include laymen, then the difference in numbers becomes much less.

During the 40 years since the publication of Robert Gayre's 1972 book supporting the "Semitic" theory, almost every article on the subject which has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, subscribes to the "Shona" theory.

Despite that, it is still not clear (at least, not to me) how exactly the "Shona" theory can be regarded as proven beyond all doubt - which is what most of its adherents claim. As far as I can make out, their principal arguments are based on oral traditions, and on the fact that Shona-style dwellings and artefacts were found in and around the various stone ruins.

However, there is an alternative possible scenario - whereby the original civilization was created by people of Semitic stock, but was later conquered and overrun by the Shona. Some of the original Semitic inhabitants could well have been absorbed into the Shona population, such that not all the Semitic skills and knowledge were lost. Thus, the archaeological evidence really needs to be re-examined to see whether or not it could still be consistent with that alternative hypothesis. --DLMcN (talk) 19:26, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Looking at this with no understanding of the details, it sounds like what you describe as "rival" theories are not being treated by mainstream scholarship as "rivals"; but as one generally accepted theory and an alternative theory which causes controversy. So I'm supposing your concern is that the article allows coverage of the alternative? According to the polices on "fringe subjects" WP:FRINGE:
"an idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea... [the page] should not make it appear more notable than it is... and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner.
These are policies that constrain all of us. I would interpret that to mean that some coverage can be given to the idea you describe as the "alternative possible scenario"; but it cannot be presented as an equally viable one. The article would need to be clear that Gayre's work has established the mainstream academic position, and give the alternative view as a minority opinion. That is, of course, if it is shown to have enough notability to have been discussed in reliable sources. Here's the policy that determines a 'reliable source'. -- Zac Δ talk! 20:03, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
See also WP:VALID. If being in the article unduly legitimized the fringe theory, it can be omitted from the main article. When you say "the overwhelming majority" it sounds like omission applies here. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:34, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
New evidence has recently emerged (namely, the Lemba genetic analyses) - which may now justify taking a fresh look at the topic. --DLMcN (talk) 19:48, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

Hi there! I came across this page while poking around on the discussion page for the New religious movements article and thought that maybe this would be a good place to ask for help with a project I'm working on. I am working on behalf of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, which has been described as a new religious movement, to improve the entry about the school.

This page currently has some issues, including problems with how information about the school's beliefs and teaching methods is presented. I have now finished writing a new version that addresses these, and some other issues, that I would like other editors to consider.

On the discussion page you will find more information about what I suggest changing and why. You will also find a link to what I have written. Though I have written this on behalf of the school, I am not personally a member, however because of my "conflict of interest" I will not edit the entry myself. If what I have written is an improvement I hope that other editors will be able to make the changes to the entry for me.

If this discussion page wasn't a good place to leave this message could someone please point me to a Wikiproject where I might find someone to help? So far I've left messages at Wikiproject Religion and the subgroup Wikiproject Religion/New religious movements. Calstarry (talk) 15:37, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Fresh start: Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

I posted on this page about six weeks ago looking for editors to help review a new draft of the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment article. Over the past few weeks the conversation has gotten very long and complicated so now, at the suggestion of several other editors, I would like to try and look at the article section by section.

I am looking for editors who can help review the page's current Research section and compare it to my suggested revision which I have named Research into Ramtha.

On the Ramtha's discussion page I've shared my concerns with the current section and some detailed notes that explain the changes I would like to make with my revision. If you can help you can see the message on the Ramtha's discussion page about this here. Calstarry (talk) 21:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:56, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Lately I have removed[edit]

several pages from Category:Pseudoscience; on the grounds that ‘pseudoscience’ is a judgmental epithet; also it is, IMO, a very stigmatizing label, so it should be used sparingly. Spanish Wikipedia says it eloquently: “No olvide que para utilizar esta categoría debe de haber una referencia verificable, fiable en la materia y sólida que especifique que la disciplina categorizada es una pseudociencia.” Rough translation: “In order for a page to be placed in this category, there must be reliable sources specifying that said subject is pseudoscience.” I strongly support this policy; subjects should only be categorized as pseudoscience if a preponderance of reliable sources (as I pointed out on my User page, a source with a conflict of interest is not reliable) say they are such. In other words, the burden of proof should be on those who claim a subject is pseudoscience, not on those who claim it is not.

Some of the pages I removed: Continental drip, Steatopygia.

Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:34, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

No. Not okay. :: Solomonfromfinland, not so fast. You're removing the meta-category for many things which are obvious pseudoscience (like astrology), and which are in subcategories of Pseudoscience (like Alternative medicine). It's best to leave them as they are. You risk being seen as a vandal. I suggest you do some fast backpedaling and undo a lot of what you're doing. Keep in mind that we don't care whether something is a pejorative or judgmental epithet, although with BLPs were are more careful. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:53, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I left Category:Astrology as well as the article Astrology itself in the ‘metacategory’ pseudoscience. However, a number of pages in the various subcategories of Category:Pseudoscience are placed in said category directly. To what extent should this be done? (Same applies to any other category; e.g. should New Horizons be placed directly in Category:Pluto? [Probably not, IMO].) Indeed, the heading of Category:Pseudoscience says, “Pages in this category should be moved to subcategories where applicable. This category may require frequent maintenance to avoid becoming too large. It should directly contain very few, if any, articles and should mainly contain subcategories.”
As a particular case, do you approve of the removal of articles Continental drip, Steatopygia, Meme and Macrobiotic diet from Category:Pseudoscience? Other Wikipedians, any opinions on the matter?
Words to watch says, “With regard to the term "pseudoscience": per the policy Neutral point of view, pseudoscientific views "should be clearly described as such". Per the content guideline, fringe theories, the term "pseudoscience" may be used to distinguish fringe theories from mainstream science, supported by reliable sources.” A reasonable interpretation of this passage is that subjects should only be categorized as pseudoscience if (a) they are "clearly described as such" by said article; (b) such a description is supported by (a preponderance of) reliable sources. (Some sources consider psychoanalysis a pseudoscience, but this may be a minority view.)
A slight mistake, for which I’ll forgive you, is that you apparently said Category:Alternative medicine is a subcategory of Pseudoscience. As of now, it is not, though the article Alternative medicine is placed in Category:Pseudoscience.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 08:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I see that Obiwan removed it some time ago. Odd. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:20, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Btw, BullRangifer, not so fast about calling me a vandal. Cutting the number of articles included directly in a specific category, which I’ve done before, isn’t necessarily vandalism; especially when the category page requests it. For a highly contentious label like “pseudo-”, articles that don’t belong should be speedily removed. Btw, I am not angry at you. Wikitalk pages (say nothing of Arbitration cases, Noticeboards, and RfC) are full of disputes; and I barely consider this a dispute, even.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 01:28, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry. I know you're not a vandal. You definitely mean well. I just wouldn't want you to be "seen as a vandal" by someone not familiar with the situation or with you.
I just feel that in some situations you're being hasty and also putting your efforts in the wrong place. Better to actually add the sources, or put a {{cn}} tag, or request that the needed refs are provided when the subject is obviously pseudoscientific. Most of these aren't BLPs, so there is no rush. BLPs are obviously handled differently. Otherwise I do understand your concerns. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:21, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Scope of project?[edit]

There's been a bit of ambiguity as to what the scope of your Wikiproject is over at [1]. I explained what I was seeing as the scope you all state focusing on significant minority views rather than fringe views. If my read is correct, I'm not seeing where the scope for this project would be in that article, so it would be nice for folks involved in this project to give insight as to what the intent would be while tagging articles. Thanks. Kingofaces43 (talk) 16:06, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I answered this already on Talk:Vani Hari - relevant for notable advocacy of highly non-mainstream scientific views, and that the tag on the talk page was useful for project purposes, e.g. article alerts. Apparently this isn't sufficient - David Gerard (talk) 22:18, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Holocaust denial[edit]

I added the “Contentious label” template to a number of Holocaust denial -related categories. This template was removed; a removal to which I do not object and which I currently do not intend to revert. I am by no means a Holocaust denier. I agree, the Holocaust is a fact in the same sense as any number of other historical events. However I enjoy editing Wikipedia, and I thought the “contentious label” template would be appropriate, given that the term “denialist” is listed as a contentious label.

I apologize for my potentially inappropriate edit.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:06, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Category rename[edit]

I created Category:Anti-conspiracy theorists. It is about “Persons who have criticized or tried to debunk conspiracy theories.” It should be re-titled “Critics of conspiracy theories”. Btw, I placed it in Category:Criticisms, which I changed to Category:Critics. (When I created Category:Anti-conspiracy theorists, I didn’t know that Category:Critics existed.)--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:20, 10 August 2015 (UTC)


Need some editors to have an eye out on this article. It is new and was created as part of a compromise between two users on the NPOV noticeboard. Dr Crazy 102 (talk) 13:33, 10 September 2015 (UTC)