This page is for requesting input on possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
Questions related to articles on fringe theories may also be posted here.
The purpose of this board is not to remove any mention of fringe theories, but rather to ensure that neutrality is maintained.
"Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately."
"What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of 'true scientific discourse'. It isn’t."
Good idea. I will write the essay. Does anyone else have any good "biased towards X], biased against Y" topics I can add? Any of the above that I should nuke? --Guy Macon (talk) 11:02, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Any essay explaining this has to note that we should not simply ignore the things we are biased against. We do (and should) discuss such topics. It’s just that we must present them appropriately... as being opinion and not as being fact. Blueboar (talk) 14:13, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
WP:MAINSTREAM was the last time I tried to write something like that. An update might be a good idea. jps (talk) 15:34, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Good comments so far. Lots of stuff that will ghelp with the essay I am writing. Thanks! --Guy Macon (talk) 18:50, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
The only big question the "bias" is what it entails in terms of article coverage, references, and the like. There must be some parameters that sort of give us editors some leeway in terms of how much we can expand said articles. For example: We should at least mention the alternate sciences and their views (pseudo-science, religious science, and other alternate "sciences"). Not as an argument, but as a brief acknowledgement of the alternate viewpoint. We have a whole bunch of science articles that include theories proven and unproven as well as non science articles with theories as well. What I'm trying to say, and what I have been trying to say all along is this, does a brief mentioning of the "biased" works/theories fit within Wikipiedia's guideline parameters? It feels like we should at the very least mention in a brief paragraph (with criticism by scientists) the alternate works/theories.--Paleface Jack (talk) 16:19, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Not sure I understand what you are suggesting. We don't just mention Astrology, we have a whole article on it. Are you saying that our Astronomy article should talk about astrology? Note that we already have an Astrology and astronomy article. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:50, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
I think it should end by stating that we are biased towards reality (or possibly "demonstrable truth" or an equivalent term), and against anyone or anything that rejects reality. As a conclusion, because all of the above really boils down to that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPantsTell me all about it. 19:00, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
No, not reality. We are biased towards current scientific (for example) consensus (maybe, best knowledge), but scientific consensus has been wrong in the past. In some areas we can say "reality" but not in all.Slatersteven (talk) 19:36, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, reality. The scientific consensus is reality. If you disagree, then please show me the difference in a way I can put stock in. You know, a methodological, reproducible, empirical way. Good luck. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPantsTell me all about it. 22:34, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
What do you mean methodological, reproducible, empirical way? I seem to recall that every so often "science" has to refine how it views the universe based upon new evidence, that is certainly empirical, but you cannot reproduce (unless of course you mean repeat it (such as what about piltdown man?))m As to methodological, well I suppose I could always list (does that count as reproduce) all the times science has had to refine "reality"? \this is why we need to be carefull "ohh well you call it reality, so was it reality when...after all reality cannot change?). Using terms like reality plays into the hands of pseudoscience advocates.10:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)Slatersteven (talk)
There is also the the problem of begging the question. Tell an antivax proponent that we are biased towards reality and he will reply "of course! and I can show you that the reality is that vaccines cause autism!" Tell the same antivax proponent that we are biased towards the current scientific consensus and he will reply "of course! and I can show you that the current scientific consensus is that vaccines cause autism!" For the purposes of my essay, it would be better to just say "We are biased towards vaccination, and biased against antivax" (with the links). It is the seeing your pet hobbyhorse listed among all the other things that you don't believe that is so effective. anything that requires to reader to not be completely wrong about what the sources say just dilutes the message. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:18, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't really buy the whole 'the scientific consensus has been wrong in the past' thing, which is a favorite amongst the lunatic charlatan brigade. It's kind of true up to a point, but it's used far too often to add an element of doubt to whatever glaringly obvious fact someone is try to call 'just another theory'. The scientific consensus is not going to change about the world being round, about vaccines saving lives, about life forms evolving gradually over time - actually, about anything on Guy's list.GirthSummit (blether) 20:39, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
The problem becomes when we expand the list. Sure when we are talking about flat earth or round earth we are talking about a well established and clear irrefutable fact. But is it true to say that Ancient astronauts are clearly and irrefutable not real (after all Shklovski and Sagan both stated it was a possibility all but a slim one (and one by the way I happen to disagree with, physics and reality et all making it impossible). We need to ensure that the kind of "but science if sometimes wrong" argument cannot be used by a choice of language that does not elevate science to "infallibility", leave that to religion.Slatersteven (talk) 10:22, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Great idea for an essay. However, we are no more biased against Cargo Cults than we are against Christians. Other than that, good list. Mathglot (talk) 02:45, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I have been very happy with my user page for all this time, but the meat of the "towards and against" may well appear there before too long. -Roxy, in the middle.wooF 11:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
ADDENDUM : Laundry balls facilitate better washing when used with a commercial detergent. They also promote fluffier results when used in tumble dryers. Regards, an Expert. -Roxy, in the middle.wooF 11:04, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
That's a rather expensive replacement for the traditional tennis ball in the dryer. The pros use these:
As far as the claim "Laundry balls facilitate better washing when used with a commercial detergent", no they don't. I have done a fair amount of engineering on commercial watchers, including running many test loads to get the timing and amount of detergent that the computer I designed adds to the water just right. I have installed these systems in a couple of dozen commercial laundries. I have seen tennis balls and wool balls used in in the dryers but never any sort of ball on the washer. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:28, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Amateur Laundry Engineers eh? One step up from janitors. Cant live with em, cant manage without. Did I actually say how much better the results were? Hmmm? -Roxy, the Expert.wooF 12:26, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Stupid question: What exactly makes him notable? David Kaiser talking about him? Anything else? --mfb (talk) 00:58, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, he knows a lot of famous people, and he believed Uri Geller was real, and a lot of other irrelevant reasons...
He wrote books?
Martin Gardner made fun of him? --Hob Gadling (talk) 04:47, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Self-published books according to the article. --mfb (talk) 17:18, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
We have a dispute about  (forget the part with the Romanian Academy, that's not being disputed).
Namely going by JSTOR and EBSCO (Academic Search Alumni Edition and Business Source Alumni Edition) his Magnum Opus (Prehistoric Dacia) is not even considered for rejection, let alone approval. Therefore WP:PARITY applies and the rub is about some sources, one of which says that ND's book is "mystical delirium". Example: ND has stated that Orăștie is the place where lies buried Orestes. How does he know? Well, they sound similarly (which is a symptom of delirium, Alexe's claim is not rocket science). Other examples: "Atlas=Alutus=Olt=Muntii Oltului; Pharanx=Paring; Colchis=Colti (Buzau); Phasis=Buzau; Terrigenae=Tirighina; Ardalos=Ardeal; Zalmoxis=Zeul Mos; Latona=Letea; Selene=Sulina; Saturn-Noe-Novac etc. etc." (Mircea Babeș, ).
Alexe's book has been published by the prestigious Romanian publishing house Humanitas and it is corroborated by a source published by the reputable scholarly publisher Brill. Other luminaries of Romanian historiography consider ND's book as fantasy genre, fantasy ruling out delirium (but not because it would be reality-based). The statements are properly attributed to their authors. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:15, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
That's not what the dispute is about. You keep misunderstanding, which is why I asked for a third-opinion. Good luck though.Iovaniorgovan (talk) 07:23, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@Iovaniorgovan: Who wrote this: You again misunderstand or purposely misstate the nature of this debate. The argument is not over whether Densusianu is fringe, but rather if we should allow REDUNDANT AND NON FACTUAL comments (see Wiki guidelines above) from a blogger/filmmaker into an article that already violates WP:PARITY ("Inclusion and exclusion of content related to fringe theories and criticism of fringe theories may be done by means of a rough parity of sources.)? And this: You may want to read my last comment again. My main contention is that Alexe's "comments" are REDUNDANT AND NON FACTUAL (as per Wiki guidelines). My secondary contention is that his comments are redundant and non factual in an article that already violates WP:PARITY. Since I've gotten to a point where I have to repeat my statements, I think it's time for 3O (feel free to list for 3O, since you started this, or your edit will be removed).? Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:27, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
My reply to these statements was that local consensus cannot trump a content guideline. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:39, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
That's why I mentioned the Wiki content guidelines.Iovaniorgovan (talk) 07:45, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Why is it so critical that Alexe get such a prominent mention in the lede?
The "Legacy" section suggests that multiple scholars think Densușianu was crazy, so if it's going to cause an edit war, why not replace that Alexe statement with a summary like "Mainstream scholars regarded his work as fanciful and unscientific"?
@ApLundell; thanks, my point exactly!Iovaniorgovan (talk) 08:52, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
There is some querulousness over at talk:Sci-Hub where a couple of editors are absolutely adamant that Sci-Hub's use of credentials to which it has no legal right, to access copyright material and give it to users in violation of copyright, may not be described as computer fraud. Basically it's the guerilla open access viewpoint, which is WP:FRINGE in terms of the real-world position on copyright via the Berne convention, WTO rules and related national laws including laws relating to computer fraud and misuse. Guy (Help!) 12:40, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Is the phrase "No legal right" actually used in a source describing Sci-Hub? Or is that WP:SYNTH based on your own interpretation of rules regarding sharing passwords? ApLundell (talk) 05:59, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
(Please excuse me if I missed something in that giant, repetitive thread on the talk page. ApLundell (talk) 06:00, 2 November 2018 (UTC))
I am not convinced that they have a WP:FRINGE position on copyright. If they claim that they are not breaking copyright laws, that would be fringe. If they agree that they are breaking copyright laws and say that this is a legitimate act of civil disobedience over unjust laws, then there is no fringe theory involved, just someone purposely breaking the law and admitting it. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:21, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
TBF, I don't think that ʻOumuamua is usually considered to be a comet either. Thankfully, the article does not give the UFO view too much weight. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 06:58, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Ken Ham Is Furious That Newspapers Accurately Report Ark Encounter’s Attendance
I'm still topic banned from editing the Ark Encounter article by @JzG: However, I see that there is some work left to be done on that page. Could I get a topic ban lift, JzG? jps (talk) 17:19, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
On an entirely unrelated note, does anyone else mentally image a big talking ham? No? Just me then... Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:08, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
My image had qualities like frothing and quaking and fists held with the thumbs somehow towards me ... why? -Roxy, in the middle.wooF 21:34, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I dream of the day that the Ark Encounter's losses are so large they stop interrupting my television programs with ads that encourage parents to miseducate their children. - Nunh-huh 21:52, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Does this mean that the topic ban is lifted? jps (talk) 12:11, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Oh, be a sport, watch this and lift the topic ban. He isn't stupid, and surely ("Stop calling me Shirly!") realizes that a bunch of people reading this just watchlisted that page. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:47, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I added the lower attendance in the last three months. That Ken Ham doesn't like the numbers is nothing new, I just kept that at the end of the paragraph. --mfb (talk) 20:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Ham doesn't like the science education he received from a quality Australia university, but plenty of its other graduates do. HiLo48 (talk) 02:01, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I will ask, is it usual in theme park/tourist attraction articles to include visitor numbers? Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:32, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
If there's published numbers, it probably would make sense to list the attendance and indicate gain/loss from prior year, similar to company revenue. This one is tough because it's entirely possible for both sides to be correct. The numbers reported for the fees apparently only include daily paid admission which is not the same as total park admission. If we mention the attendance, we need to be pretty precise about where those numbers are coming from and what it means. POV by omission is still POV. Ravensfire (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Normally it would be a marketing claim, though often taken as interesting and therefore included, but in this case it's notable information because Ham has been caught lying about it. Guy (Help!) 14:28, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
"I will ask, is it usual in theme park/tourist attraction articles to include visitor numbers"
It largely depends on the availability of information, self-reported from the companies which own them. The Disneyland Paris article reports an annual number of visitors at 14.8 million people, Tokyo Disneyland reported 16.6 million visitors, the Magic Kingdom reported 20.450 million visitors (the current world record-holder), Disneyland reported 18.3 million visitors, Hong Kong Disneyland reported between 8 and 9 million visitors, the Shanghai Disneyland Park reported 11 million visitors (which would mean it somehow doubled the number of visitors it received in its first year), and Parc Astérix reported about 2 million visitors. Note that the parks depend on fictional characters more marketable (and a bit more realistic) than Noah, such as Asterix and Mickey Mouse. Dimadick (talk) 10:00, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Got to that page via the TCM page. Is it me, or is it a little bit odder than usual. Can't pin it down. -Roxy, the Prod.wooF 01:11, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
It's another WikiEd page written by User:Mayafuffels. We should report it to the class. jps (talk) 01:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Except, I can't actually find the class. There doesn't seem to be one listed for Freshman English at UCSB. jps (talk) 01:55, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
yeah i’m new to the whole wikipedia editing scene - this page is a result of my college english class (look at tibouchina’s userpage). if you have any edits feel free to change the page however you want!
Thanks for letting us know. It doesn't look like there is a connection to the WP:Wiki_Ed project, so I posted on the noticeboard. Are you familiar with WP:MEDRS? If not, it's really, really important that you read that. I have a hard time believing that all the sources you used in that draft are acceptable according to that guideline. jps (talk) 02:05, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I did not, so thank you for the link! It's midterm week for me so I won't be able to go over my page again right now, but as soon as my tests are all over I can definitely check my sources. And I have my own copy which is being graded separately, so honestly if the page is just too messy/improper I'll only be a little hurt if someone decides to take it down (:
The source I referenced was from A Companion to African American Studies. Apparently, it was not published by the companies Charles Finch is the CEO of, as may be implied. Concerning the specific parts of the section authored by Finch, which I referenced, it does not deal with either of the claims you mentioned, Doug Weller (talk·contribs). The reference described a point in history where Senegalese Professor Lam discovered the works of Yoro Dyao and some of its detail. In any case, A Companion to African American Studies was co-edited by Lewis R. Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon. Lewis R. Gordon is a Professor of Philosophy with a focus on Africana philosophy among other focuses ([philosophy.uconn.edu]). Jane Anna Gordon is an Associate Professor of Political Science with a focus on Africana political thought, political theories of education, and methodologies in the social sciences, among other focuses ([polisci.uconn.edu]). The section authored by Charles Finch seems to have passed the editorial qualifications of Lewis R. Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon. Daniel Power of God (talk) 04:01, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Not to be confused with the Charles Fitch who predicted that the world would end and Jesus would return sometime in 1843 or 1844... --Guy Macon (talk) 04:41, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
"The source I referenced was from A Companion to African American Studies."
Could you name the publisher as well? In any case, the tale with the Dogon people isn't exactly new information.
Marcel Griaule (1898-1956) claimed that they had advanced astronomical information on the star system Sirius, which supposedly was significant in their religion. The validity of Griaule's information has been called into question, but his original report has been circulating for many decades.
Personally. I have read repetitions of the tale in Greek books and magazines from the 1980s and the 1990s. It passes as "common knowledge" in some circles. Dimadick (talk) 10:15, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
The publisher is John Wiley & Sons ([books.google.com]). Daniel Power of God (talk) 12:19, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
@Dimadick: which tale? The Senegalese migration? Anyway, here Finch explains that Abraham, Canaan, the Sumerians are basically black African, as are Egyptians and Arabs. Jacob's descendants intermarried with black Egyptians and those in the Exodus were ethnically, etc black. At the end of that video he seems to be saying that monotheism was in Egypt extremely early, long before Akhenaten. My reference to Finch and the Dogon wasn't about Sirius, but his statement "that in the cosmo-conception of the Dogon of Mali, there are distinct elements of knowledge that seem to have anticipated some of the most advanced concepts of modern physics. The problem is that I can't find text sources, just a multitude of YouTube videos. But in any case, if he's accurate, other reliable sources will have mentioned this. Doug Wellertalk 13:45, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
"Jacob's descendants intermarried with black Egyptians" One descendant of the legendary Jacob did. Joseph supposedly married Asenath, an Egyptian woman. Their sons Manasseh and Ephraim were of partial Egyptian descent, and both the Tribe of Manasseh and the Tribe of Ephraim claimed Egyptian descent. A claim from the Book of Genesis which gets repeated in scripture and the works of those who assume Genesis to be a historical account. Aren't biblical genealogies familiar to just about anyone, despite being useless for historical purposes?
"he seems to be saying that monotheism was in Egypt extremely early, long before Akhenaten"
Not exactly a new theory either. I have spend a few weeks categorizing our articles on Pharaohs, and took the time to read them. Some egyptologists suspect that Seth-Peribsen (28th century BC) was trying to establish a monotheistic cult, with his patron deity Set as the only remaining god:
"The debate continues over why Peribsen chose this name. Earlier theories have favoured the idea that Egypt was split in two realms during Peribsen's time or that he was a heretic, who sought to start a new monotheistic religion with Seth as the only worshipped god."
If true, tyrannical monotheists were already active in the 3rd millennium BC. Dimadick (talk) 14:19, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
The edits in question state uncritically ("discovered" and "documented")  that the Senegalese are descended from the ancient Egyptians, based on an oral history an antiquarian found there 100 years ago. Geogene (talk) 16:10, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
@Dimadick: I didn't know about Peribsen, but I don't think that's relevant to whether Finch is fringe. Note that the chapter in question starts by him claiming that the origins of the Nile Valley civilizations can be traced back to 10,500 BC. That rang a deafening bell so I did a search and turned up another chapter by Finch where he says the same thing, albeit more cautiously as he writes "This chapter concentrates on the first-named process—initiation into occult knowledge or the “mysteries,” whose origins predate the beginning of the dynastic period in the Nile Valley (4300 B.c.), some say as early as 10,500 B.c.8" (8 is the footnote, and no surprise, it is "8. Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, The Message of the Sphinx (New York: Crown, 1996)." The same source is used twice more in the chapter. He also writes about the Arcanum and some sort of ceremony in the Great Pyramid, which he says " was never intended to be entered except by the secret passageway from the Sphinx itself, resting one-quarter mile away." Doug Wellertalk 16:00, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
"Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, The Message of the Sphinx"
God nforbid somebody gets their Jade egg and stainless steel soap mixed up in the dark? -Roxy, the Prod.wooF 19:40, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
And how is this a fringe theory, or relevant to any of our articles? Dimadick (talk) 23:19, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
It is related to the fringe theory being pushed by Goop that their products are anything other than snake oil, the fringe theory being pushed by Infowars that their products are anything other than snake oil. A;lso, no rule says that everything on this noticeboard has to be directly related to a particular claim in a particular article. Information of a general nature about fringe theories is also talked about here. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:19, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm shocked. Guy (Help!) 23:23, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
I know! The products shilled on Goop and Infowars both have quite a reputation in the scientific community... Who doesn't love a $66 jade vagina egg or a $100 bottle of "an overhaul for your cellular engines!" DNA Force Plus? (I am still trying to figure out what "Cryogenically-polished silicone" is. ) --Guy Macon (talk) 02:19, 16 November 2018 (UTC)