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Inclusion of Gustave Whitehead's alleged 1901 machine in a list in our article on 'flying cars'

See Flying car#List of flying cars, and Talk:Flying car#Whitehead.

In brief, the Flying cars article includes in its list of such vehicles, Gustave Whitehead's alleged 1901 machine, claimed by his supporters to have successfully flown that year, two years prior to the Wright brothers first flights. Though the description given in our list is somewhat equivocal ("Believed not to have flown, although this has been challenged") any inclusion in the list at all appears to me to be undue per WP:FALSEBALANCE etc, given the lack of credibility given to the claims by academic historians of aviation. Am I right in my assessment? AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:31, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just a correction to the above. The 1901 machine is not "alleged", its existence is not disputed. Nor is there any dispute that its inclusion of a road engine and folding wings lead it to be classed as a flying car. The only fringe allegation is that it actually flew. The rest is expanded on in the linked discussion. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:48, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aircraft WikiProject notified. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:51, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the claim that it was a 'flying car' (or any kind of flying machine) is the issue under dispute. Given that the list purports to be one of things that fly, or have flown, that would appear to be the relevant criteria for inclusion. Or at least, the primary one, since 'car' is somewhat ambiguous, while 'flying' generally isn't. AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:55, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another correction or two. The list is no such thing as just suggested. It is a list of flying car types, many of which never left the promotional brochure or static model workshop, let alone flew; it even has a special Status column to make this crystal clear to the reader. In the present discussion, one also needs to keep a clear distinction between what is in dispute in the real world and what is in dispute here. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:08, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia articles are supposed to describe the real world. A world where historians appear to agree that Whitehead's claims (and/or claims made about him) were fabrications. If the list includes more recent non-flying 'flying cars', they should be removed too. Or at least moved into a 'promotions' section. Wikipedia needs to distinguish between things kept aloft by fluid dynamics, and those supported by hype. AndyTheGrump (talk) 10:16, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"If the list includes more recent non-flying 'flying cars', they should be removed too." Really? That proposal should be made at WT:WikiProject Aircraft, as it affects a large number of aircraft lists, built up over the years under an established consensus to the opposite. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:53, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It wasn't a 'proposal', it was a statement concerning the list on the 'flying cars' article, which appears to describe things that haven't flown (at least according to RS) as 'flying'. I find it hard to believe that a Wikiproject would reach a consensus to intentionally misrepresent such things. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:10, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, that's exactly why you need to ask the WikiProject itself what we all think. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:35, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikiprojects cannot override Wikipedia policy. Including not-X-things in a list of X-things would appear to do so, regardless of which project X came under. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:51, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, that's exactly why you need to ask the WikiProject itself what we all think. Maybe we are not violating policy and the confusion is yours. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:14, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your continuing attempts to drag this thread off-topic duly noted. Since this thread isn't about your entirely evidence-free claims regarding a supposed Wikiproject 'consensus', I shall wait until someone prepared to actually address the inclusion of fringe claims regarding Whitehead in the list responds. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:28, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems to me that the list contains a lot more than just literal "flying cars". Some of the things included are just plans. jps (talk) 12:35, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The current text reads American immigrant Gustave Whitehead believed that a practical aeroplane would have to be roadable, so that it could be taken from its storage shed to a suitable takeoff point. In 1901 he equipped his No. 21 aeroplane with a road engine. Although mainstream consensus is that it never flew (the claim remains controversial), the machine was reported to have driven satisfactorily. which seems to be accurate and acceptable. Whiteheads' #21 was built as a flying car, although perhaps not a successful one, so it should be included. If this article excluded unsuccessful flying cars, ones that were only prototypes or very short production runs that never made full production, then we could just delete the whole article, as there has not been one produced in any significant numbers to date. - Ahunt (talk) 12:41, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 'controversy' seems to only exist amongst Whitehead's promoters, who it would appear have been (ab)using Wikipedia as a platform to continue the campaign to rewrite history they have been engaging in elsewhere (and yes, I can provide direct evidence for this). AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:54, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If that is the only contentious part, I would be fine with just removing (the claim remains controversial). - Ahunt (talk) 13:20, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. If a statement that something is controversial is itself controversial here, then it is not serving its intended purpose of clarification and can go. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:36, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am more immediately concerned with the inclusion of Whitehead's machine in the list, since that amounts to a Wikivoice claim that it was a 'flying car', contrary to established historical consensus. The exact wording of any text relating to it in the article (if it merits inclusion at all) can be addressed separately. As can be what appears at face value to undue weight being put on Whitehead's claims elsewhere on Wikipedia. Text can be nuanced. A list-of-X should not, in my opinion, be 'nuanced' to include examples of not-X to suit the wishes of fringe historical perspectives. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:40, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given that Steelpillow has chosen to attempt to retain an intentionally-misleading list title in the article (see [1][2]) I'll now provide the evidence backing up my earlier comment regarding abuse of Wikipedia by a contributor engaging in a campaign to rewrite history elsewhere [3] All this talk of 'Wikiproject consensus' etc is clearly a smokescreen. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:12, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For what it's worth, I invoked BRD and started the relevant discussion, while AndyTheGrump (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) merely earned himself this warning against personal abuse. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:56, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BRD is an essay. Not deliberately misleading readers is policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:58, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An aircraft can still be an aircraft if it hasn't flown, or is incapable of flight (like the Rockwell XFV-12). From the description in a contemporary edition of Scientific American here, Whitehead's flying machine had both powered wheels for propelling it on the ground, and propellers (driven by a separate engine) to propel (and steer) it in the air. What should be the question is whether the powered wheels were intended to allow it to be driven on the roads rather than just to get the aircraft up to flying speed - the Scientific American article suggests the latter function, and does not mention an intent to use as an automobile. What sources refer to the device as an automobile? And please keep this about the subject, not about other editors!Nigel Ish (talk) 15:03, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nigel Ish@ there are a couple of citations to the Whitehead entry, which is the last one in the table at Flying car#List of actual and claimed flying cars. I may be able to find more if needed, as Jackson must have got his information from somewhere. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 15:24, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An aircraft can still be an aircraft if it hasn't flown, or is incapable of flight...? Really? So Wikipedia should describe things that can't fly as 'flying cars'? I'd like to see a policy-based justification for that... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:08, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Consider the Rockwell XFV-12 - intended to fly and built by a reputable manufacturer but was incapable of flight - was that an aircraft? How about the Dewoitine HD.780 - which never flew - was that an aircraft - if not aircraft what were they? While the Langley Aerodrome did not fly, and wasn't capable of flying in its original form, no-one said it wasn't a flying machine. An aircraft does not become an aircraft on the occasion of its first flight.Nigel Ish (talk) 15:27, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Putting aside whether it flew or not, do any sources refer to Whitehead's invention as a "flying car"? The flying car article describes a flying car as "a vehicle which can function both as a personal car or automobile and as an aircraft" - was there any indication that Whitehead's invention functioned as "a personal car or automobile" or was it just an "aircraft" with a novel way of taxiing? -M.nelson (talk) 15:21, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

M.nelson@ there are a couple of citations to the Whitehead entry, which is the last one in the table at Flying car#List of actual and claimed flying cars. I may be able to find more if needed, as Jackson must have got his information from somewhere. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 15:27, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are more citations at Claims to the first powered flight#Whitehead, where the mainstream perspective is more accurately reflected. Citations including direct rebuttals of the major sources being cited in the 'Flying cars' article - see the subsection entitled Jane's renews controversy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:34, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those citations do not address whether the No.21 was intended to be a flying car. Please stay on topic. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 15:59, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is the fringe theories noticeboard. The topic here is whether the promotion of fringe claims regarding Whitehead is in agreement with Wikipedia policy. Please address the topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:02, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. The topic here is whether listing a flying car that probably never flew is permissible in a list including many types that never flew. You titled this discussion yourself. If this is not a fringe issue, you have only yourself to blame for posting it here. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:25, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The title of this thread is "Inclusion of Gustave Whitehead's alleged 1901 machine in a list in our article on 'flying cars'". Please give a clear, policy-based explanation as to why Whitehead's non-flying (per WP:RS) machine should be included in a list of 'flying cars'. Policy-based. Not according to some imaginary 'consensus'. Based on policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:32, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no policy that forbids it, no case to answer. Your arguments amount to nothing more than an opinionated, uncivil and error-riddled personal crusade against some irrelevant claim that the article doesn't make anyway. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:42, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are seriously suggesting that there is no policy against describing something that didn't fly as a 'flying car'? How about WP:RS, WP:V, WP:NOPV for a start? And as for 'personal crusades', you are the one using Wikipedia to promote the same revisionist history you have been engaging in elsewhere, not me. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:08, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If somebody designs an aeroplane, we call it an aeroplane even if it never flies. If somebody designs a submarine, we call it a submarine even if it sinks on its first launch. If an architect designs a house that is never built, we still call it a house. So it goes with flying cars. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:30, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If lying through our teeth to promote fringe historical revisionism is compatible with policy, heaven help Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:33, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(NB the above response was posted in reply to :Steelpillow's original comment, since amended [4]). 20:23, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
Why don't we just segregate the list into "Models with recorded flight", "Designs that never flew", and "Still under development" — Shibbolethink ( ) 19:17, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would seem an entirely sensible suggestion. Though I'd still think it advisable to look carefully at the sources that describe the Whitehead machine as a 'flying car'. This phrase seems to originate with 1901 newspaper reports since dismissed as unreliable, and suggestions that the device was intended to be a 'flying car' as the term is now generally understood would seem very much open to question. Which might well lead us to the conclusion that his machine doesn't belong on the list at all. We have a biography on Whitehead and his endeavours. We describe them further at Claims to the first powered flight#Whitehead. Inclusion of one of his machines in a list which otherwise seems to be describing other things entirely purely on the basis of a phrase in a questionable newspaper article seems undue. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:21, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think if we have any sourcing from reliable places which says he even intended it to fly, then it would belong on a "designs that never flew" list. If we don't have that, and we have no reason en face to believe he intended it to fly, then yes, I would agree it does not belong on the page at all. — Shibbolethink ( ) 20:41, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think there's much room for doubt that Whitehead intended to build a flying machine. He had already successfully built a Lilienthal-style glider, and continued to build further powered designs for some time afterwards, though again without success, per mainstream RS. My last point was more aimed at whether he intended a 'flying car' in the sense that our article otherwise describes - something designed to mimic both an automobile and an aircraft. His 1901 machine was claimed to have engine-driven wheels, but this seems to have been intended for launching purposes rather than for long-distance travel on roads. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:53, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is where you guys really do need to grasp the wider impact of your arguments, stop discussing the aircraft list guidelines as if they were a fringe issue relating to a single list, and engage with the Aircraft WikiProject. This related discussion provides some pointers to how we moved away from multiple lists to sortable tables. Before undoing that, you will have to convince the WikiProject to change those guidelines. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:17, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We are under no obligation whatsoever to convince any Wikiproject of anything. WikiProjects are not rule-making organizations, nor can they assert ownership of articles within a specific topic area. WikiProjects have no special rights or privileges compared to other editors and may not impose their preferences on articles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:22, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While I understand the personality type of those who think that every Wikipedia article needs to be consistent, there really is no imperative that this is the case. We can deal with the list in one article while other articles do completely different things. We don't need to rewrite any rules to WP:SOFIXIT. jps (talk) 23:19, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems obviously misleading to include on a list of "flying cars" entries that were never cars that flew. The list split suggestion above could work, but it should be quite clear which sub-lists are made up of entries that are not actually cars that could fly. CMD (talk) 03:54, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a Status column with a sorting widget, explicitly to indicate which flew and which did not. It is intended to address exactly this issue. In what way does it fail to do so? Should the article title not also be modified accordingly? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:35, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 'status' for Whitehead's machine is given as 'prototype'. Which isn't an indication of whether it flew or not. This is however beside the point, since the debate was whether Whitehead's 'car' merited inclusion on the list at all, given the rejection by mainstream historians of the claims surrounding it. Or at least, that was what the debate was about as far as I was concerned. If we'd stuck to actually discussing that, rather than being dragged of into conspiratorial claims about "WP:FRINGE police... wanting to turn our aircraft list style guide on its head", it would no doubt have gone more smoothly. Style guides are, on the whole, a good thing. Even those on Wikipedia. The best style guides (which aren't generally found on Wikipedia) will however make it clear that 'style' should not be enforced at the expense of accuracy, and that they aren't a means to avoid actually thinking about what you are doing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:17, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AndyTheGrump@ So really, the issue was that you disagreed with the practice of including both flown and unflown types in the same list? Settle that and you will be happy? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:45, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue was what I said it was in the thread I started on the article talk page: the inclusion of Whitehead's 1901 machine in a list of 'flying cars'. Historical consensus is that it didn't fly. There appear to be no explicit inclusion criteria for that list, but whatever they are, they cannot, per Wikipedia policy, be used to promote fringe historical perspectives, which an implication that Whitehead was flying it in 1901 clearly does. Furthermore, as has already been noted, the description of the machine as even an attempted 'flying car' seems little supported in RS. It was described in those words, certainly, in a newspaper report of the time, but that doesn't necessarily make it an attempted 'flying car' as the terminology has since been used. The engine-driven wheels appear to have been intended to assist launching, rather than as a means of long-distance travel, and the very limited ground clearance would surely have been limiting on 1901 roads. Which mainstream sources actually support claims that this device was intended to be driven long distances on road? Come to that, do even Whitehead's supporters claim that? They generally seem more concerned with its attributes as an aircraft than as an automobile. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:51, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yet until we can agree on what 'flying car' implies, we cannot settle your concern. But then again, you also said here that "the core issue is whether Wikipedia should be including fringe claims in the list at all". I think the question has to be, are you muddling things up through ignorance or design? Is it the meaning of 'flying car', the inclusion of Whitehead in the existing mixed list or the Whitehead fringe issue that is core to your concern? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:16, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
'We' don't have to agree on anything. Wikipedia operates according to consensus, which need not always be universal. And I'm sure other people are capable of seeing what my concerns are. I have just explained them. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:23, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First of all, how does a status of "Prototype" say anything about whether something can fly? Secondly, having the status is insufficient if the status ends up being "not a flying car". I have also just noticed that the list considers a person, Mr. Bel Geddes, to be a conceptual flying car. CMD (talk) 13:36, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I have realised that both the Status and Notes need to be taken into account. Shows how long it is since I checked my own handiwork. :( A proposal to modify the Flying car list has been put here, and I have expanded on the issues there. As with the closed subtopic below, there is nothing fringe about this issue. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:36, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A claim of Whitehead’s machine flying in 1901 would certainly be fringe as it is rejected by mainstream scholarship. Hopefully the discussion now taking place on the article talk page will resolve the issue of Wikipedia potentially implying this claim. Now that this board has been fully alerted perhaps the discussion can continue there. Brunton (talk) 14:53, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inclusion of failed and unbuilt designs in articles on aircraft

Closing this before it goes any further WP:OFFTOPIC for this noticeboard. This is not an indictment of any particular user, but simply an attempt to help decrease tensions. Stop sniping at each other. — Shibbolethink ( ) 14:02, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A wider issue has emerged from this discussion. Many articles on aircraft discuss and/or list both types which have flown and types which have not and/or never left the drawing board. An illustrative selection include; List of de Havilland aircraft, Variable-sweep wing, the overarching multi-page List of aircraft and of course Flying car; there are dozens, if not hundreds more. This follows the standard practice of the thousands of reference works which these articles draw on as reliable sources. (There are exceptions, of course. For example there are works dedicated to unbuilt projects under one theme or another, and no doubt some of those will have sufficient coverage here to merit their own articles. But these are the relatively rare exceptions that prove the rule.)

However some editors here, who are not familiar with mainstream aviation literature, feel that this is confusing. Should all these articles and lists be:

  1. Retitled to make the distinction explicit, as for example "Variable-sweep aircraft which have flown and designs which have not flown" or "Flying cars which have flown and designs which have not flown".
  2. Split into multiple articles and lists, titled accordingly.
  3. Left to follow mainstream practice.

— Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:51, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The inclusion criteria and titles of lists has nothing to do with Fringe theories. The Fringe Theories Noticeboard is not a general forum about article content so this part of the discussion is on the wrong board.Nigel Ish (talk) 10:12, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:00, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's interesting. Here you said that "This discussion started at WP:FTN. It should have stayed there." Were you referring to this subtopic or to the FTN issue which you yourself had taken over there? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:07, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reply I made to ZLEA was a reply to his last post, obviously. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:13, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, so that was part of the above FTN discussion you had spilled over there and suddenly wished you hadn't. We can safely discount it here, fair enough. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:43, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about we 'safely discount' your attempts at mind-reading, and at dragging this discussion off-topic once again, instead? AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:49, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
some editors here, who are not familiar with mainstream aviation literature - This is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia for everyone. Sorry you have to deal with us plebeians. — Shibbolethink ( ) 12:32, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No worries, had I not taken your view seriously I would not have asked the question. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:48, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have to agree that this discussion has veered well away from the scope of FTN. It is not “fringe” to classify a prototype aircraft as “an aircraft”. It is not “fringe” to classify an aircraft that never left the design stage as “an aircraft”. I suppose one can argue that such classification is inaccurate (or perhaps incomplete) … but that isn’t an issue for FTN. Blueboar (talk) 13:30, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Agree with blueboar, more or less. It's a question of inclusion criteria. The fringe claim is that it flew. If the inclusion criteria for that page requires reliable sourcing that the vehicle was not only built or intended to fly but that it did fly, then it shouldn't be included. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:43, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More of the same, on Talk:Gustave Whitehead

Give the obvious issues with the Gustave Whitehead biography - the same boosterism of Whiteheads discredited claims to flight - I started a thread on the talk page. With much the same results as noted elsewhere. Including this gem of an argument: Whitehead's supporters may not have provided sufficient evidence that it flew, but it's also true that no one has been able to definitively prove that it did not fly. Sure, some have speculated that the aircraft could not have achieved flight due to various reasons, but even those are based on photos or drawings which may or may not have accurately depicted the aircraft in its final configuration for the alleged 1901 flight. Your failure or refusal to recognize these factors leads me to believe that you are unable to contribute neutrally to this topic. [5] 'Neutrality' on this topic thus appears to revolve around vacuous unsourced speculation about things Whitehead might possibly have done with his machines to make them fly being given equal weight with the opinions of those qualified to actually discuss the matter. This is fringe POV-pushing of the most blatant kind, and needs serious attention from anyone not wishing Wikipedia to be a platform for pseudohistorical fan-fiction. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:08, 25 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This plaintive cry of "much the same results as noted elsewhere" says it all; see the main discussion above. There is no value in firing it up all over again (and no, that quote was not me). — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:37, 25 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The quote wasn't you, but you appear to be supporting the fringe making-shit-up POV-pushing behind it. Along with accusing me of being a 'POV troll'. [6] I'm sure people here are capable of deciding for themselves whether arguing in favour of core NPOV policy constitutes 'trolling'... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:42, 25 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not going to fall for the bait again. I recognize that I gave false balance to the Whiteheaders' claims. I will be as clear as I can, I do not support the claims that Whitehead flew before the Wright brothers. I have no reason to POV push a POV which I do not have. There simply is not enough evidence that Whitehead flew before the Wrights, if he even flew at all. But I also recognize that the 1948 Wright-Smithsonian contract renders the Smithsonian a non-independent source. Any Smithsonian sources used to discredit Whitehead's claims must be backed up with independent secondary sources, which shouldn't be a problem given the overwhelming consensus among experts. - ZLEA T\C 17:56, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can 'recognize' whatever you like, since your personal opinion on the subject is of no concern here. As far as Wikipedia policy is concerned, the Smithsonian's views on the subject are as valid as any other source, until we have evidence to the contrary. Any claims about a supposed 'conflict of interest' arising from the Smithsonian/Wright estate agreement are unsubstantiated by anything beyond spin from Whitehead supporters, and Wikipedia contributors' own WP:OR. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:10, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But I also recognize that the 1948 Wright-Smithsonian contract renders the Smithsonian a non-independent source.
The idea that a 1948 contract, made before most people involved were even born, in any way invalidates the peer-reviewed opinions of the curator of the exhibit (a respected academic historian who publishes on many things) is ludicrous. — Shibbolethink ( ) 18:23, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Smithsonian's Tom Crouch published this statement a few years back. He concludes, "Critics have also charged that no Smithsonian staff member would ever be willing to entertain such a possibility and risk losing a national treasure. I can only hope that, should persuasive evidence for a prior flight be presented, my colleagues and I would have the courage and the honesty to admit the new evidence and risk the loss of the Wright Flyer." I would be interested to hear theories as to why he states the need for "courage and honesty", if there is no conflict of interest to overcome. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:36, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say admitting ones own preference for established history is far from an admission of guilt. Everyone has inertia. — Shibbolethink ( ) 21:13, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Our personal 'theories' about what Crouch wrote are irrelevant. It isn't a statement that there is any conflict of interest. It is a speculative comment about a hypothetical future situation. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:06, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Crouch states in the very same statement that "The contract remains in force today, a healthy reminder of a less than exemplary moment in Smithsonian history." It seems to me that the Smithsonian still recognizes the contract as legitimate. Regardless of what everyone thinks about the contract, does anyone have an objection to adding a non-Smithsonian independent source to back up the Smithsonian's position on the matter? - ZLEA T\C 23:12, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No source I'm aware of describes the Smithsonian or its curators using any words like "admit", "acknowledge", "confess", "stipulate", "state" or their variants to identify the Institution's own position regarding the agreement/contract as a "conflict of interest". Wikipedia therefore should not ascribe that position to the Smithsonian or its experts. The partisans of Whitehead, Santos Dumont, and probably others like Pearse and Vuia, do make the accusation and, with appropriate sourcing and in proper context, can be described doing so. But it's a form of OR to transmute Crouch comments into a specific description of Smithsonian policy that he never made. DonFB (talk) 23:31, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I for one have no objection whatsoever to non-Smithsonian sources supporting the consensus scholarly position on Whitehead being added anywhere. At least part of the problem with Wikipedia's coverage of Whitehead has been the way that it has been presented as a dispute between Whitehead's supporters and the Smithsonian, when this is clearly not the case at all. It is, as it has been for many years, a dispute between a minority making questionable use of sources and mainstream aviation historians. The contract has never been recognised as having any real significance to this topic by such historians, regardless of where they work. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:39, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But do you still hold that the Smithsonian doesn't have a conflict of interest? Thats almost as ridiculous as the claim that Whitehead flew first... They clearly do. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 01:05, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I hold that without an independent reliable source stating there is a conflict of interest, Wikipedia should not assert that there is one. I suspect there may possibly be an element of confusion here as to what a 'conflict of interest' entails, due to the way the term is bandied about in internal Wikipedia discussions. Wikipedia-speak's usage is far broader in scope than that used more generally, and isn't an appropriate standard to apply to in-article descriptions of external bodies and their activities. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:28, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are mistaken, it is wikipedia's usage which has the tighter scope... The common usage is much wider and unquestionably covers the situation described here. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 02:57, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Horse Eye's Back, do you see any problem with the usage i quoted below with attribution? Or any difference between Crouch published here vs. Journal of Aeronautical History? I don't trust the guy's writing a bit, for a few reasons regardless of the contract (should use the SA article.) But once it's published in a respectable journal don't the editors there have the say as to writing quality or COI? fiveby(zero) 07:06, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
COI is specific to the author, journal, and content. Stating that Crouch inherently has a COI simply because he works for the smithsonian is akin to saying that a professor at Columbia has an inherent COI when it comes to conversations about Dr. Oz. Or that a white house historian has a COI with respect to the president. We trust academics to be generally independent from their institutions, especially those for which this is their precise area of expertise, without any sign of financial gain (e.g. stocks, paid speaking fees from pharma, etc). It would be one thing if Crouch were paid by the Wright brothers' estate. But this is several levels removed, with academic integrity, job security, and the historical record in the space between. Sure helps that they are writing in line with the academic consensus demonstrated elsewhere, and under the exquisite examination of peer review in academic journals. — Shibbolethink ( ) 03:06, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this: Tom Crouch, senior curator of aeronautics for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution, studied evidence for the alleged flight and in 2016 he issued a strong rebuttal, noting many other authorities who had already done so. the article content in question? I've looked through Gustave Whitehead, Whitehead No. 21, and Claims to the first powered flight without seeing a usage where we would actually need to worry about a COI. The above quote is in a paragraph discussing Jane's, is clearly attributed and a well-known rebuttal, so what's the problem? Until there some content in wiki-voice to be included but can't be cited to the RAeS statement or Scientific American it's a nonissue. But ZLEA if that comes up, the 2016 article is not a Smithsonian publication and the journal editors were well aware of the contract.

There is an unrelated issue with "The Flight Claims of Gustave Whitehead": there are more than one version 2013-2016 and one unpublished by Gibbs-Smith. It looks like more of a running, updated rebuttal to Whitehead claims so issued in 2016 isn't really correct. Also not sure about the 38 historians and journalists "Statement Regarding The Gustave Whitehead Claims of Flight" because i cannot find where it has been published and can't find a copy.fiveby(zero) 04:48, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: Statement Regarding The Gustave Whitehead Claims of Flight, I believe it was published on October 24, 2013 in Flight Journal. But the 2013 issues are paywalled [7]. The Wikipedia Library gives me access up to 2006 and my university affiliations give me from December 2022 on, but this falls in the narrow window with no access, unfortunately. It seems it was also originally hosted here at flyingmachines.org, but that site has since gone bust. FORTUNATELY!! We still have the Wayback Machine! They indexed it in 2014 and it appears to be the original statement: [8]
We the undersigned are convinced that the evidence now available fails to support the claim that Gustave Whitehead made sustained, powered, controlled flights prior to the Wright brothers. The arguments in favor of such flights are based on a single flawed news article combined with questionable witness testimony gathered more than thirty years after the fact. Whitehead's claims were rejected by local newspapers and by individuals in the best position to judge, including virtually all of those who funded his experiments. Whitehead left no letters, diaries, notebooks, calculations, or drawings recording his experiments, his thoughts, or the details of his craft. — Shibbolethink ( ) 17:06, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First, “38 historians and journalists” is an underwhelming and insignificant number of historians and journalists supporting anything. Finally, this statement sounds like the Young Earth creationists’ boast that there are “Modern Day Scientists Who Believe in Creation and therefore, Young Earth creationism must be a significant and mainstrean concept. It seems that a handfull of specialists can always be found, who agree with any idea, fringe or not and the fact that they do is rather meaningless. Paul H. (talk) 17:11, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, agreed, it is not a very robust source. Fortunately we have so many others which back up the claim that this is the consensus position. And most importantly, it is important who the undersigned are. The difference between this and the Young Earth creationist statements is that 1) these 38 actually have expertise in this question, and 2) they are clearly experts on this content. The same is not true for your example. — Shibbolethink ( ) 17:13, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What an astonishing comparison to make. Under what circumstances would the suggestion that the Wright brothers were the first to achieve sustained, controlled powered flight be considered 'fringe'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:47, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Göbekli Tepe

There is a dispute at Talk:Göbekli Tepe#Removal of claimed "pseudoscience" from further reading about whether to include a) a sceptical blog post and/or b) five sources on what I would call fringe views in the further reading section. Third opinions are welcome. – Joe (talk) 08:02, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The status of the response to Martin Sweatman has changed. His most recent article was published in peer-reviewed journal Earth-Science Reviews and has been cited 11 times according to Google Scholar:
  • Sweatman, Martin B. (July 2021). "The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis: Review of the impact evidence". Earth-Science Reviews. 218. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103677. ISSN 0012-8252.
It's also garnered at least one positive response in another peer-reviewed journal, discussing premature rejection in science:
The skeptical self-published blog post is by Carl Feagans, an author of 3 papers garnering a total of 2 citations, according to Google Scholar. This is not a 'recognized subject-matter expert' and I believe this blog post should be removed.
Sweatman's previous article, "Decoding Göbekli Tepe with archaeoastronomy: what does the fox say?" has been cited 37 times. Despite the fact that not all of these responses are positive, it would seem that Sweatman meets the 'recognized subject-matter expert' better than does Feagans. The insistence on the inclusion of Feagans and exclusion of Sweatman would appear to be an example of the premature rejection discussed by Powell. Skyerise (talk) 10:29, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is jumping the gun. The cites of the Sweatman paper still don't read like widespread acceptance at all. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:44, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's published in a peer-reviewed journal. We are past the point of legitimately excluding this article. It's now time for inclusion along with cited criticisms. Skyerise (talk) 10:49, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's published in a peer-reviewed journal Complete junk is published in peer-reviewed journals all the time. We are not obligated to include any paper simply because it's peer reviewed. Hemiauchenia (talk) 15:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you think that peer review is a sufficient reason for including something, you need to read WP:RS again. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:40, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we are well within the realm of determining this material is WP:UNDUE over-emphasized content and WP:FRINGE. That's my take on this as well. — Shibbolethink ( ) 14:48, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not suggesting we add content to the article, just that there is no reason not to include it as further reading. Skyerise (talk) 15:00, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not impressed by the journal it's published in, see Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry and [https://www.resurchify.com/impact/details/19600162008. Doug Weller talk 15:10, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note: Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry is the journal that published “The flooding of the Mediterranean basin at the Younger–Dryas boundary” by M, Jayre in 2019 Paul H. (talk) 14:50, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. But what about the more recent article in Earth-Science Reviews. Do you have a problem with that? Skyerise (talk) 15:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say that review paper is suitable for "Further Reading", yes. It has some "in-universe" issues as far as FRINGE theories go, but it is suitable for "Further Reading" in my opinion. — Shibbolethink ( ) 15:23, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem with that one is more that it doesn't actually say anything of substance about Göbekli Tepe. The Powell paper, which Skyerise added at the same time, doesn't even mention the site at all. – Joe (talk) 15:33, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
it doesn't actually say anything of substance about Göbekli Tepe
That is an extremely important point, that shows it would be okay as a further reading for a YDH article, but not for GT. — Shibbolethink ( ) 15:39, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Putting aside the fact that Sweatman's work on the YDIH is in a completely different field to what we're discussing (much like both are in a completely different field to the one he was trained in, chemical engineering), all these citations evaporate on closer inspection, as discussed here. He has been cited purely within the YDIH/coherent catastrophist walled gardens, and ignored by everyone else. It's also been revealed here that he simply wrote the paper based on a bibliography passed to him by the YDIH-supporting Comet Research Group. And before you go wading into this topic area in support of Sweatman (with an apparently shaky understanding of what this topic area even is), please bear in mind that he is (Redacted) with a history of off-site attacks on editors and attempts to manipulate our articles. – Joe (talk) 10:58, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You just violated our WP:OUTING policy: Even if you are right, that's ground for blocking. Skyerise (talk) 14:26, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've emailed oversight to have your above statement excised. You don't know who the sockpuppeteer is, and even if you did, you're not allowed to say so unless the editor in question has voluntarily identified themselves in writing on Wikipedia. Even then, they could be lying. It's a serious privacy violation and possibly libel. Skyerise (talk) 14:37, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had thought what I said had been disclosed on-wiki, but it seems I was mistaken. I've self-redacted and contacted oversight. – Joe (talk) 15:03, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. You should be more careful. In a British court, you'd have to be able to prove that what you say is true. Could you really do that? Skyerise (talk) 15:07, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Respectfully, I'd humbly suggest that this comment comes uncomfortably close to being a legal threat. Just a word to the wise. Dumuzid (talk) 15:10, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, yes. But our outing policy rightly has stricter standards of privacy that a courtroom. – Joe (talk) 15:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not at all intended as a threat, as I would have no standing to start a case. Just noting that its not like American courts where the subject of libel has to prove the statement is false. There are many examples of a British libeled party winning in British court because they don't have to prove anything. This would put not only Joe at risk, but possibly Wikipedia. Skyerise (talk) 15:16, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I apologize for belaboring this, but a quick reminder that per the policy, an editor's intention is not controlling; to wit: It is important to refrain from making comments that others may reasonably understand as a legal threat. I'd highly advise simply using less charged language, as you did with 'outing' above. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 15:23, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your reminder is noted and your apology accepted. Thanks for your concern. Skyerise (talk) 15:25, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was a discussion here.[Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard#Sweatman is back]. I don’t think this is outing. Doug Weller talk 18:04, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That discussion is about him being back at his own blog, where he publicly identifies himself, posting about Wikipedia. There is no speculation there about his possible Wikipedia user name(s). If there were, it would have to be redacted. What Joe Roe posted and redacted (thank you) was a link to a specific sockpuppet case suggesting Sweatman was operating it, but the case itself did not speculate about the identity of the editor in question. Even blocked sockpuppeteers may not be outed unless they out themselves. Skyerise (talk) 18:08, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Copying from the thread, “ Among other things it says that someone, probably me, deleted an article he created about Coherent Catastrophism. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Coherent catastrophism and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Coherent catastrophism (2nd nomination). SPI about the creator of the article, MystifiedCitizen, is here Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/FireDrake/Archive”. All of that is fact. I don’t see it as outing. Doug Weller talk 21:24, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From this, it seems to me the accusation/assertion of identity is public info on wikipedia, and therefore not OUTING. Cow's out of the barn. — Shibbolethink ( ) 15:42, 15 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Skyerise. If this really is a violation of WP:OUTING, Joe and Doug Weller have violated it in other Talk threads where they made the same accusations. I will tag you in them if you feel they should also be redacted. Incendiex90 (talk) 21:15, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It’s not. I think I’ve linked the only thread, which is still on this page in any case. Doug Weller talk 21:19, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Incendiex90: It is. Any speculation about the real life identity of a Wikipedia user is considered WP:OUTING. But the conversation should not be linked from anywhere. The urls of the pages or rather edits which added the speculative identification should be emailed to WP:OVERSIGHT, here. Posting the links and continuing the speculation only makes the violation worse.In any case I don't have redact permissions. Skyerise (talk) 23:04, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've emailed the oversight mailing list asking for it to be discussed and suppressed if they agree it's outing. Doug Weller talk 10:05, 15 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note by the mailing list I didn't mean the email address used by non-Oversighters, I meant the list for Oversighters which is private to those of us who have OS. No one there seems so far to see my post as outing. Doug Weller talk 13:56, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Although the OP didn't list them, there are several other sources in question here. Excluding the Sweatman articles already discussed, they are:

Anyone have any reasons to exclude any of these? Skyerise (talk) 15:56, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: Magli 2016 - This is certainly topically relevant, but it's definitely a primary source. It also is in a journal with an impact factor of 0.46 and an SJR of 0.28 (2021) [9]. These things on their own are not enough to know how useful a publication will be, but they certainly make me doubt how well-regarded these would be among scholars. — Shibbolethink ( ) 16:06, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Back to Carl Feagans, I've also found this publication by Carl Feagans from the Society for American Archaeology[http://onlinedigeditions.com/publication/?m=16146&i=634462&p=2&ver=html5]. Doug Weller talk 14:43, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comet Research Group

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comet Research Group

Please comment. I was somewhat surprised to come to this conclusion, but there really is not much of anything written about the group per se. It's all about individual members, teams, and associated beliefs, as far as I can tell. jps (talk) 09:28, 19 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Now relisted. I think the strongest arguments are for a merge to YDIH, but perhaps there could be a more brilliant line to be found from one of the regulars here who has yet to comment? jps (talk) 22:59, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Joseph of Cupertino

I've had this biography of an allegedly levitating Saint on my watchlist for some time, after removing Wikipedia-voice claims to the effect that he actually flew, and note that despite my efforts it is still in need of much work. Is there anyone here that could take a look, and maybe do something about the way it describes those who find said Saint's aeronautic adventures less than plausible as being 'skeptics'? I'm rather engaged in dealing with other articles at the moment, and maybe fresh eyes on it would be better anyway. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:51, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed, but probably not what you wanted. I can never get enthusiastic about subjects like that. - Roxy the dog 08:22, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks to Roxy, and to the others who have tweaked the article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:28, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Temple of Set

Ooo, mind control by electromagnetic radiation. I think some people believed that sort of thing in the 1970s. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:18, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


To pseudoscience or not to pseudoscience, that is here the question. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:43, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

He most certainly is a pseudoscience pusher, really no different than Deepak Chopra but more invested in Hindu nationalism. Partofthemachine (talk) 03:32, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks like the issue extends across a few gurus. Adding Ramdev which seems to have the same issues. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:46, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I note that Siddha medicine seems to have been... *sanitized*... since we last had dust-ups about it. Or maybe I'm just not remembering. jps (talk) 16:53, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stephen Budiansky

I recently tried to fix this article but I was reverted by a single purpose account a few times giving edit summaries that content is biased. I am sure there will be more white-washing on the article. I suspect there is conflict of interest with the account, because the account and IP that have done reverts have only edited material related to Stephen Budiansky going back years.

In a nutshell Stephen Budiansky is a biographer and writer who has written quite a few books about animal cognition, nothing fringe about that but some of his ideas in these books are fringe. Budiansky is one of the few writers in the world on this topic who denies animals have consciousness. Most academics and scholars in the field of animal behaviour accept animal do have consciousness (I know there is a big debate still about how much) but Budiansky is one of the very few who denies it outright. He also speculates in his books that animals feel no pain, he is pretty much alone in that camp. He has also written a bunch of books criticizing conservationism, ecology and the environment. He seems to confuse the animal rights movement with conservationism which is a bad error because they are at odds with each other. He also confuses artificial selection with natural selection. His arguments in his books have been criticized by Jerry Coyne, Niles Eldredge and several other evolutionary biologists for containing inaccuracies. The consensus from academics in the journals is that Budiansky has been making a lot of mistakes in his books. I don't think we should suppress reviews if they happen to offer critical content. Psychologist Guy (talk) 01:44, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of note, Harkaway now claims to be Budiansky. That account's history is mostly edits to the BLP article. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:56, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does anyone else think Out-of-place artifacts is a mess?

Starting with the section headings which I think are confusing and inappropriate. Doug Weller talk 19:22, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. Paul H. (talk) 19:39, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't mind the list so much, but the commentary feels weird to me. By definition, OOPs are entirely separate artifacts each with their own story, their own circumstances, and their own credibility. But the intro makes it sound as though they're a class of things you can either believe in, or be skeptical of. Like ghosts. ApLundell (talk) 22:55, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do we really need an article about Ooparts? Aside from Forteana, does anyone actually use this goofy term? jps (talk) 12:24, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And see also Category:Out-of-place artifacts. Doug Weller talk 13:18, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to confess, I am with jps here. Being the old weirdo I am, I am of course familiar with many of these claims, but a casual check has not revealed much in the way of coverage outside of the hallowed halls of weird shitology. I of course mean this as to OOParts as a class of phenomena--many would obviously be notable enough for their own article. As ever, happy to defer to collective wisdom. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 13:56, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Popular culture does. Manhwa, bands and so on. --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:03, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd say we don't need the article. All the artefacts mentioned have their own articles and adding short entries accompanied by abbreviated, subjective comments is not of any value that I can see. Deb (talk) 09:14, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jerry Sabloff in his Oxford Bibliographies for "Pseudoarcheology" describes the concept and lists:
There should be some concept similar to WP:PARITY that these are the WP:BESTSOURCES and even though the do not use the term 'out-of-place artifact' are in scope and it isn't WP:OR to use them. Or maybe that is just an argument for merge to Pseudoarcheology. fiveby(zero) 15:43, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are there RS that agree on which OOP belongs in which category? (Erroneously dated, questionable interpretations, etc.) If not, it’s a big, fat WP:OR indulgence. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:48, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@LuckyLouie I'm nor sure I even understand the first three categories, "Unusual artifacts", "Questionable interpretations" and "Alternative interpretations". Doug Weller talk 15:45, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looking back over its history, there were well-meaning attempts to apply common-sense categorizations that grouped debunked examples, documented hoaxes, etc. together. But somewhere along the line it got out of hand, and became an article where any editor could reinterpret, undo or expand what belonged in what heading, and even revise the headings themselves. Unless there are non-circular RS that document the existing OOP categorization, I'd support WP:BLOWITUP and strip it down to a generalized description and discussion per RS. Let the individual OOP articles cover how expert RSs have interpreted and categorized each example. - LuckyLouie (talk) 16:53, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could the list be renamed and follow William R. Corliss' "Archeological Anomalies" series which might be slightly more respectable? I can't find online copies or any reviews tho. The best parity source gives him some space and at least does not warn us off. The only other sources that use "out-of-place object" are a sentence in Slate and a footnote, both a little disparaging of the term.fiveby(zero) 11:41, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure about “anomalies. And should any of the natural objects misinterpreted as artifacts be in the list. Or a clearly in its appropriate place sarcophagus be on the list just because a fringe writer was clueless. Doug Weller talk 11:52, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure about "anomalies" either. I'm just flailing around trying to take a best sources approach. fiveby(zero) 12:15, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:TNT seems the better idea. "Slightly more respectable" is still not very respectable. --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:03, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Redirect to Pseudoarchaeology#Examples? Doesn't TNT mean you are going to recreate the article? Oops, i misread your earlier comment. I don't think there is a real basis to have a generalized description and discussion per RS, i tried to find soemthing in Sabloff, Williams, and Feder, but from them this is just examples of pseudoarchaeology. If you don't accept Corliss as a source probably redirect? fiveby(zero) 12:15, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don’t think anybody is saying OOPArts as a topic isn’t notable. What most (me included) are saying is that the categories are obvious WP:SYNTH, WP:OR, with a little WP:GEVAL thrown in -- a result of years of article neglect and accumulated cruft. For example, “alternative explanations”? How is this defined? How does an artifact qualify for definition as an "alternative" explanation, and who says it does? By WP:BLOWITUP I mean to suggest a rewrite to remove all the categorization and extensively detailed examples. The article can be pared down to some number of paragraphs that describe the concept, who believes in it, what experts say, etc. Such a rewrite could be easily assembled and cited to a mixture of WP:FRIND media [10], [11], [12], [13] and WP:PARITY skeptical sources [14], [15]. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:57, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Note that it says "an artifact of historical, archaeological, or paleontological interest" but artifacts are of human construction, not paleontological. Doug Weller talk 15:13, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Respectfully, everyone, why is this entire section being discussed and replied to here and not at the talk page of the article in question? Have seen this many times at this noticeboard and it limits participation of editors to those who know of the discussion and not those who edit the page. Maybe a copy/paste of this section to the talk page? Thanks. Randy Kryn (talk) 15:17, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, I've put a link there, that should be enough to bring people here. I disagree strongly with your comment that it seems fine. Doug Weller talk 15:23, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The link is kind of lost within a larger discussion started by LuckyLouie (who didn't mention that this large discussion was occuring elsewhere). I'd suggest this entire section be copy/pasted on the article's talk page, and that further discussions of this magnitude always occur or be moved to the article's talk page and then a link be placed here (instead of there). Randy Kryn (talk) 15:35, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Somethings discussed here are relevant to one article's talkpage, but not everything. For example, I think the category is just as if not more problematic. No objection to referring people back and forth, but I appreciate that the discussion is happening here in a way that is a bit broader than just a discussion about one article. jps (talk) 01:26, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point about the category. I wonder how many of these articles actually say, with a source. The subject is an oopart. Doug Weller talk 09:02, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, somewhere it was once decided that "notable" was the way to collect and organize the "sum of all human knowledge". I think bibliographies, literature surveys, introductory texts, reference works, reviews, etc. are a better way to do that in many cases. fiveby(zero) 16:01, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Male expendability

Noticeboard readers may be interested in this ongoing RFC Talk:Male_expendability#Request_for_comment:_State_ideas_about_biology_in_Wikipedia's_voice?. Hemiauchenia (talk) 17:19, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2016 February Tamil Nadu meteorite incident

A user added a fringe-sounding content about an incident being caused by a specific type of strangelet called a magnetized quark nugget. The source used is a paper in Scientific Reports, but is it credible? –LaundryPizza03 (d) 22:56, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Frankly, even if the source was impeccable, I'd still have to ask whether it merited inclusion. We generally don't cite primary research unless it has been the subject of secondary comment. And the whole article is a mess anyway... AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:08, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The paper doesn't even support that they necessarily believe that the incident is connected to strangelets. All it does is mention the Tamil Nadu incident as an example of where they could look for evidence: It says "Terrestrial craters caused by non-meteorite impacts offer larger areas and longer observation times.", then lists Tamil Nadu as 1 of 3 non-meteorite impacts mentioned in the news. Schazjmd (talk) 23:17, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given that I cannot find substantial coverage beyond the week of the incident, I have taken the article to AfD. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 04:35, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Open letter from the Society for American Archaeology to Netflix about Hancock's series

Here.[16] Starts with "This series publicly disparages archaeologists and devalues the archaeological profession on the basis of false claims and disinformation. I write to encourage you to correctly classify the genre of the show, to provide disclaimers about the unfounded suppositions in the show, and ideally to balance the deleterious content in the show with scientifically accurate information about our human past." It notes that "the theory it presents has a long-standing association with racist, white supremacist ideologies; does injustice to Indigenous peoples; and emboldens extremists". There's also "Netflix and ITN Productions are actively assaulting our expert knowledge, fostering distrust of our scientific community, diminishing the credibility of our members in the public eye, and undermining our extensive and ongoing efforts at outreach and public education." Well worth reading. Doug Weller talk 10:55, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There is now evidence for its effectiveness, according to the lede. Are the sources good enough? --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:09, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looking at this article, I was surprised to find that its umbrella category Mind–body interventions contains no mention of the fact that it is based on a quasi-religious adherence to Cartesian dualism. There are some great sources that identify this as an obvious issue: [17]. jps (talk) 16:09, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From a quick look, there's some bending of WP:V to oversell it. Bon courage (talk) 16:14, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The classic media claims that hypnotherapy would help with smoking cessation was popular decades ago, but I don't think this is the go-to any longer (we should to look for some more recent metareviews for that). There are far stronger aids for such according to even the sources in the article. The menopause claims are a bit concerning to me as they are sourced to precisely one researcher/practitioner, Gary Elkins: [18]. This strikes me as some really borderline stuff. jps (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ivan Katchanovski

Much of the article Ivan Katchanovski is a discussion of the theory that the Euromaidan Massacre in Ukraine was a false flag operation by allies of the protesters. See the section Ivan Katchanovski#The "Snipers' Massacre" and the talk page discussion Talk:Ivan_Katchanovski#Snipers'_Massacre. Readers of this noticeboard are invited to contribute. Adoring nanny (talk) 16:24, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Much of this article is taken up with a theory that the 2014 Massacre of Euromaidan protesters in Kyiv was a false flag operation by protesters and their supporters. See Ivan_Katchanovski#The_"Snipers'_Massacre" and Talk:Ivan_Katchanovski#Snipers'_Massacre. Readers of this board are invited to participate. Adoring nanny (talk) 16:32, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Criminal stereotype of African Americans

Criminal stereotype of African Americans (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Brand new account seeks to include the exciting discovery of a gene *proving* that African-Americans are genetically predisposed to violence. Under discussion at Talk:Criminal stereotype of African Americans#MAOA gene, where this user is accusing me of censorship for pointing out that they've misread the study. As usual with this sort of thing, more eyes would be helpful. Cheers, Generalrelative (talk) 22:32, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can someone check this edit by the same user (who looks a lot like a sock, I have to say)? jps (talk) 01:22, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ජපස: With the focus on the pseudo-field of Biosocial criminology, I suspect BooleanQuackery. Though who the sockmaster for that account is remains unknown. Generalrelative (talk) 02:36, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See the previous discussion here: Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard/Archive 88#"Brand new editor" and cf. Wiki Crazyman's first userbox. Generalrelative (talk) 02:43, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The study in question can be found here: Stetler, D. A., Davis, C., Leavitt, K., Schriger, I., Benson, K., Bhakta, S., ... & Bortolato, M. (2014). Association of low-activity MAOA allelic variants with violent crime in incarcerated offenders. Journal of psychiatric research, 58, 69-75. Note that the article states, In substantial agreement with previous data on the MAOA allelic distribution in the general population (Sabol et al. 1998), we found a trend (P=0.08) toward a significantly higher frequency of African-American carriers of low-activity MAOA variants, as compared with their Caucasian counterparts (Fig. 1A). Wiki Crazyman (talk) 02:34, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Student editing on Traditional Chinese Medicine

Noticed some edits from a class project starting to arrive on articles on various spices, fruits and so on. These will probably need review. The course page is Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Siena College/Traditional Chinese Medicine (Fall 2022). - MrOllie (talk) 00:26, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I contacted the WikiEd expert who was assigned to the class here. jps (talk) 00:39, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yikes: [19] Not exactly encouraging. jps (talk) 00:49, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Additional discussion at User talk:Sdeyrup. I am pretty worried now. I might put the class up for deletion as out-of-scope for Wikipedia. jps (talk) 00:57, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Siena College/Traditional Chinese Medicine (Fall 2022). jps (talk) 01:00, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

sigh. jps (talk) 01:29, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ugh. jps (talk) 03:34, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's concerning that even on this black pepper article, which has a traditional medicine section, neither of these two edits were made in that section. There's at least a hope of reasonable application of WP:FRINGE there. Bakkster Man (talk) 16:21, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WikiEdu people intervened and the student edits were stopped. I think this sets a good precedent for the future. If large-scale issues happen, (cross-)post over at the Wikipedia:Education noticeboard and request review. They got right on it pretty rapidly. jps (talk) 18:33, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thank you for staying on it. Sgerbic (talk) 00:19, 7 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conspiracy theories about Adolf Hitler's death/Contrary reports about Adolf Hitler's death

A new article, Contrary reports about Adolf Hitler's death, was created in August that seems a watered down version of Conspiracy theories about Adolf Hitler's death. I haven't had a chance to go over it in detail, but thought it might be of interest. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested transmissions °co-ords° 14:37, 7 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I had a look and this is definitely a POV fork, mostly off topic, and with some suspicious sourcing. However, Hitler's not my thing so I can't be arsed to unweave it. I suspect there's a strand of stuff in here (about body doubles) which could be merged elsewhere. Bon courage (talk) 09:44, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article is being discussed at AfD Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Contrary_reports_about_Adolf_Hitler's_deathblindlynx 19:55, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Miracle of the cruse of oil

Almost all of the sources seem rubbish. Doug Weller talk 13:37, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this the right noticeboard for this article? It doesn't seem to be portrayed here as any form of pseudoscientific phenomenon. The only fringe concern I see might be the pairing of the description of the miracle itself under the heading "Historical background", potentially implying secular scholarly historicity. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:26, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is typical of the sort of article that appears in the orthodox Jewish press explaining this or that fine point of Haggadah. I would tend towards assessing it as unencyclopedic detail, but in any case whatever is kept of it belongs in the main Hanukkah article rather the fork which it is now. Mangoe (talk) 19:24, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I’ve fixed it, perhaps I shouldn’t have brought it here. Doug Weller talk 18:49, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two fringe writers whose articles are a mess

Javier Sierra and Jonathan Black. Doug Weller talk 14:13, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Leave the article of Black to me. Face-wink.svg TrangaBellam (talk) 12:02, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shadow banning

This may be a stretch to list here. Suggestions on better venues are appreciated.

Shadow banning is a main topic of Twitter_Files#Part_two_(by_Bari_Weiss). Shadow banning has been partial protected, but I expect we'll need more eyes, especially until everyone is distracted by Twitter files part three. --Hipal (talk) 22:32, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh boy, I can already tell it'll be rational and calm... Perhaps WP:NPOV/N and/or WP:NOR/N would be helpful here. Is there an "online communities/speech/social media" wikiproject? Bakkster Man (talk) 22:47, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see why this is controversial. We do a similar thing also on Wikipedia. It's called pending changes protection. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:53, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just part of the current ideological battleground. Especially when you can blame your opponent of the exact thing you're doing with a change in terminology. Bakkster Man (talk) 01:57, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Part 3 has dropped and has the awesome topic of Trump. So buckle up for a fun ride. As to shadow banning, I don't think the files add much to the existing knowledge. Might be a salient example from it, if an RS does the work but otherwise it's mostly in line with previous understandings. Slywriter (talk) 00:02, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Richard Freeman (cryptozoologist)

Lots of unreliable sources, the article reads as promotion. Psychologist Guy (talk) 18:58, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Covid-19, Fauci etc.

Please expect more-than-average disruption. Thanks to Elon Musk. TrangaBellam (talk) 12:05, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I guess we'll have a WP-article about that tweet soon:[20] Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:16, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Redirect all this stuff to Nothingburger? Bon courage (talk) 09:34, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certainly not, since Marjorie Taylor Greene has voiced her support. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:37, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd suggest that's what makes it more likely than not for any congressional inquiry to be a nothingburger... Though I agree we'll probably have notable coverage as a result. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:06, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On a broader note, anyone know of any precedent for how we handle similarly notable persons persistent trolling? I suspect Trump tweets came close, but I did my best to avoid that topic area directly when I could. It doesn't seem like this is going to slow down any time soon, so might as well brush up on the game plan. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:09, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fwiw, now mentioned at Views_of_Elon_Musk, twice. Some sources have seen it as a very succinct trolling of medical science and trans people both. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:13, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On a quick click, I can already tell I have no interest in that article. Yikes. Almost a bit surprised that "views of..." articles meet WP:GNG, but I suppose they're better than the alternative of muddying up major articles.
I was thinking more in the broader context, when is a troll tweet notable enough for an article, and when does it violate WP:NOTSCANDAL? This is probably more notable in Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk regarding his directed changes in COVID policy there than on COVID-19 pandemic in the United States where it's nothing but a blip. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:56, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A couple of articles to give some perspective. I expect lots more disruption.

Well, it argues that the Twitter Files article will stick around. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:05, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, maybe. Only time will tell on the WP:10YT. It may turn out to be just a footnote of Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk if it continues to be mostly cherry-picked nothingburgers. Bakkster Man (talk) 20:30, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lost in the mall technique

Under attack by IP who misrepresented at least one source (see edit summary of one of my reverts). Could use more watchers, maybe. --Hob Gadling (talk) 21:52, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Set point theory

Hi. I have never used this noticeboard before, but I hope, I am in the right place. This theory is about nutrition and body weight.

I have looked into the following reference books to find information about the set point theory and they don't even mention it:

The article should make clear that this is not an established concept, but I am having trouble to find references to do so. The theory seems to be from the 1990 and early 2000s. It never made it's way into the body of evidence of nutritional science. Can someone help to put the article in better context? CarlFromVienna (talk) 07:11, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agha Waqar's water-fuelled car

Could use more improvement. --Hob Gadling (talk) 21:06, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sovereign citizen movement and related articles

I've notices that articles related to the Sovereign citizen movement, pseudolaw, tax scam etc.. ecosystem are peppered with sentences not been clearly describing stuff as nonsense or otherwise written in an universe tone, particularly in the history sections. Doesn't seem to serious just something that's worth having a few more eyes on—blindlynx 21:08, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have had enough run-ins in my offline life that I have consciously tried to avoid this topic, but I added it to my watchlist and will take a general look later--that article seems unwieldy, to say the least! Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 21:12, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
there are way more of these than i remember and they're all like that—blindlynx 21:23, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having read Sovereign citizen movement § Theories and Strawman theory a while ago, I don't remember seeing that it was written in an in-universe tone or otherwise written as if their theories were correct. Could you give a couple example sentences you find problematic to explain what you mean? Endwise (talk) 09:38, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Freeman on the land isn't written in the way described above imho, I've been watching it for ages, but I have never come across them offline. - Roxy the dog 10:46, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These were the two edits i've made removing some of it [[21]] and [[22]]. We the People Foundation doesn't put any of their action or beliefs in context. None of it is major stuff but i still feel like they're worth looking at and maybe reorganizing some of the article to be clearer—blindlynx 18:35, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Blindlynx, Dumuzid, and Endwise: Hello. These past few months I have been doing a lot of editing on Sovereign citizen movement, and to a lesser extent on Pseudolaw, Freeman on the land, Strawman theory and Redemption theory. So if these articles have a problem, I guess I must be the main culprit. :)
I must say that the SovCit article was already a bit "unwieldy" when I found it. I've added a lot of details and info, which was necessary since the movement's organization (or lack thereof), theories and tactics are rather complex. I'm afraid this has made the page even longer, and maybe overstuffed with details (I have a tendency to do that) though I considered that the subject justified it. Please let me know if the page is really too unwieldy.
Also, I did my best to explain, in a neutral manner, that sovereign citizen theories (and the like) are, to put it politely, utter nonsense, and that using the movement's tactics will land you in jail. It is I who added to the introduction that "Sovereign citizen arguments have no basis in law and have never been successful in court" and I thought that Theories, Tactics, Legal status of theories and Responses from US authorities made it pretty clear. If not, then I guess I must consider this article a personal failure and hang my head in shame. Please do not hesitate to tell me what is the problem with these articles and how you think they could be improved. Psychloppos (talk) 12:28, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Psycholoppos -- I hope you took no offense at my description; when the article appeared here, I feared that it would be full of woo, and I do not think that is the case. When I say "unwieldy," I simply means it is in need of some editing (which is something I think we all benefit from!). Thanks for your efforts! Dumuzid (talk) 13:50, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Dumuzid: thanks. I precisely tried to avoid all the "woo", as I think pseudolaw is something very dangerous. I know there's quite a lot of details in the sovereign citizen movement page, but I thought they were necessary to give an accurate description of that movement. FYI, since I know that the article is quite long, I do no intend to add more detail unless absolutely necessary. If you think that the grammar can be improved, or that some sections could be reorganized, please feel free to do so. Psychloppos (talk) 14:13, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, if it seemed like i meant your edits were fringe your work in this area has been great! Some of the stray details aren't always contextualized well and admittedly that's not always easy. I figured a few more editors giving it a look would help—blindlynx 00:01, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No problem. I didn't write the text you removed in the strawman theory article, and I agree with your edit since it was not properly contextualized and made it appear somewhat legitimate. When I checked that there was a connexion between this concept and the theory I put back a much condensed, contextualized form of that info, hopefully making it clear that it's BS.
Likewise, I did my best in the sovereign citizen article to contextualize the theories (i.e. "sovereign citizens believe that..."). However, if you think the page can be improved by fixing the grammar here and there or contextualizing the infos better, please do. I will be glad if what I have done can be improved by other users. Psychloppos (talk) 07:59, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

List of acupuncture points

Seems legit. No hint that these are all fantasy. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:10, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

is related. "Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine" is a reliable source? --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:11, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One issue I am finding is that there is very little documentation as to what standard considerations are in acupuncture. I guess there is a WHO summary document, but what we could really use would be some source that says, "this approach is the most common" with actual evidence to back up the claim. jps (talk) 14:57, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Liver King

New article which probably needs expanding and fixing. Psychologist Guy (talk) 17:19, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

poseur. fiveby(zero) 19:54, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately i can't find any of Nathan E. Bender's articles to clean that up, besides his Crow Killer introduction. fiveby(zero) 01:45, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does this guy even meet WP:ANYBIO? The overwhelming majority of coverage is around him taking steroids—blindlynx 23:58, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most of the sourcing on the article is not good, I think it would be a delete. Psychologist Guy (talk) 13:01, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This source is actually quite good [23]. It might be a case of expanding the article. I will leave it for now as I have other stuff to do. Psychologist Guy (talk) 13:02, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The miracle in Joshua 10:12–13 as a solar eclipse in 1207 BC

A pair of physicists, Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington, have put forward an argument that the event described in the Book of Joshua, 10:12–13, in which the sun and moon miraculously stand still in the sky, should be interpreted as an annular solar eclipse in 1207 BC and that the Israelite attack on Gibeon that is described in that passage can be fixed in time on that basis. Furthermore, they argue that Merneptah's campaign in Canaan, which produced the first contemporary reference to "Israel" in the Merneptah Stele, must postdate this event and that it can be used to work out the exact dates of Merneptah's reign. Their argument was published in Astronomy & Geophysics a few years back: Colin Humphrys, Graeme Waddington (1 October 2017). "Solar eclipse of 1207 BC helps to date pharaohs". Astronomy & Geophysics. 58 (5): 5.39–5.42. doi:10.1093/astrogeo/atx178.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

This claim has been inserted at Merneptah, where I have removed it twice (the second time after a discussion at WT:WikiProject Ancient Egypt#Dating the reign of Merenptah based on a miracle in the Book of Joshua). It's also present at solar eclipse and at Gibeon (ancient city).

At least one other paper has made the same argument, a 2020 paper in Vetus Testamentum. But it's my understanding that most biblical scholars are skeptical that there's much historical basis to the events in Joshua, and the historicity of many related biblical events, including the Exodus, is very much open to question. Are these claims significant enough to be worth mentioning in our articles? A. Parrot (talk) 03:32, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I certainly don't think so. The paper is couched in hypothetical terms, neither of the authors has any apparent biblical or linguistic bona fides, and I don't see any pick up in the scholarly literature (though I am happy to be proven wrong on any front). Moreover, we have to believe that the authors believed an eclipse was a completely unprecedented and unrepeated event (I find that dubious), and it completely seems to me to stretch the narrative to silly places: it's pretty evident to me that Joshua orders the sun to stay in the sky so that the Israelites could merrily kill the Amorites with plenty of daylight. An eclipse would hardly help with the Amorite-slaying optics. Cheers, all. Dumuzid (talk) 04:14, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Joshua was a skilled commander of night fighting. However, it doesn't get that dark in an annular eclipse, or even in a total eclipse, for night fighting to become important. The side that would win a battle during an eclipse would probably be the side that was less distracted and frightened by the eclipse. It happens to be a reasonable date for Joshua, if one accepts the historicity of the Book of Joshua, which is in question. The Book of Judges, on the other hand, is an account of a period of maybe two centuries of anarchy, which is well attested as the Late Bronze Age collapse. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:40, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My own opinion is that the problem with dating events in the Book of Joshua is that the real question is not when they happened but whether they happened. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:40, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Robert, I mean this with all due respect, but saying that the Bronze Age Collapse establishes the historicity of Judges is a bit like saying that evidence for the Victorian Era means we should accept Sherlock Holmes as fact. That doesn't mean, of course, that Judges is fiction, or anything of the sort. Just that it cannot be validated that way. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 04:53, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The paper is poorly attested to. It was first published five years ago and has garnered a mere four citations since then, only three peer-reviewed, and all three in the second-tier RAS journal Astronomy & Geophysics. I say remove it until third-party peer-reviewed sources make more complete mention of its relevance. jps (talk) 14:06, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think we should use Humphreys at all, anywhere. The review of his book dating the last supper by Telford [https://www.durham.ac.uk/staff/w-r-telford/ cv] in his Wikipedia article was pretty damming. And in this case if we have other sources with clear expertise we should use them. I see Close's book was published by the OUP. Humphries is used a lot.[https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Humphreys%2C+Colin%22+site%3Aen.wikipedia.org&rlz=1C1CHZN_enGB955GB955&oq=%22Humphreys%2C+Colin%22+site%3Aen.wikipedia.org&aqs=chrome..69i57.932j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8] Doug Weller talk 14:44, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, let me just express my qualms about all this seeming to come from physical science types. Happy of course to go with consensus, but one would really want some input from experts with a more linguistic/cultural bent. Happy Friday, all. Dumuzid (talk) 17:21, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's my feeling, too. There's no doubt that the eclipse took place, but that's all that the physical scientists are qualified to support. The real question is whether it's probable that the Book of Joshua reflects a memory of that event. Two of the three authors of the 2020 paper, Daniel Vainstub and Uzi Avner, have qualifications in biblical history and archaeology, but I don't think that alone is enough to qualify this as a significant minority position in those fields. Unless we find evidence that other authorities in biblical history support the hypothesis, I say we leave it out. A. Parrot (talk) 17:53, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ooh, thank you. I missed that paper in the welter. Vetus Testamentum is pretty good, by my lights, and that is indeed what I'd like to see. That moves it a lot closer to a significant minority view for me, but I still think I would say leave it out, for the time being. I will note my personal grumbles again that none of this seems to really reckon with the text as we have it--but that's just one curmudgeon's opinion. Happy Friday, all. Dumuzid (talk) 18:01, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This reminds me of the many astronomers who've come up with (incompatible) astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, when the whole virgin-birth story was a later addition and almost certainly fictional. We need something better than "something happened to the Sun within several centuries of the likely date" to connect the two. — kwami (talk) 17:59, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is David Gorski 'a self-described anti-vaxxer'?

It has been recently claimed at Talk:Acupuncture. Does WP:BLP apply to talk page posts like that one? - MrOllie (talk) 21:38, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note that the user is describing him as "a self-described anti-vaxxer critic" (as if that somehow hurts his credibility). With that said, it's clear that this user is attempting to promote pseudo-science and has been corrected by multiple users; I think the best response at this point is to WP:DENY recognition. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 21:44, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
EC: It does, however my best guess based on context is that what the IP meant/wrote was anti-anti-vaxxer and they got autocorrected. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 21:45, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is charitable of you guys to read it that way, but that's not the quote. And from elsewhere (an anti-vaccination proponent) I don't think that is what they mean. - MrOllie (talk) 21:47, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm reading back through that discussion and I'm genuinely not sure where the IP gets that from, having a hard time wrapping my head around how someone could be both anti-vaccine and anti-alternative medicine... What is that position? Pro-disease? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 21:58, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I seem to remember that he ironically called himself an anti-vaxxer once, at the time when there was no COVID vaccine and Trump claimed he would very soon have one made. Gorski said he would not trust that vaccine. Maybe I remember wrong, and it was Steven Novella. (It is difficult to find that one by googling Gorski and anti-vax, given that that is one of his main subjects and that not every article of his contains his name.) If propagated and distorted in the quackery subculture, that could be the source. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:43, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]