Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard
< Wikipedia:Fringe theories
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Welcome to the fringe theories noticeboard
This page is for discussing possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, whether there may be problematic promotion of fringe theories, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
  • Discussions related to fringe theories may also be posted here, with an emphasis on material that can be useful for creating new articles or improving existing articles that relate to fringe theories.
  • The purpose of this board is not to remove any mention of fringe theories, but rather to ensure that neutrality and accuracy are maintained.
  • Familiarize yourself with the fringe theories guideline before reporting issues here.
  • To aid in promoting constructive dialogue with advocates of a fringe theory, {{talk fringe|fringe theory name}} may be added to the top of the corresponding talk page.
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Bret Weinstein, etc
Bret Weinstein (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Apparently a leading light of the Intellectual Dark Web, this gentleman has recently had his Youtube channel suspended after taking ivermectin and proclaiming himself COVID-proof, raising concerns about vaccine safety, &c. The cries of "censorship" has meant his output is now getting wide attention and sharing. Recently there has been increased attention on his article, and particularly on whether anything critical can be said. As always, the eyes of WP:FRINGE-aware editors could be helpful. Alexbrn (talk) 13:28, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Related, but not directly is a report at the BBC today -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 13:31, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Roxy, I have updated the COVID-19 drug repurposing research with that source although one fears if that trial (the first really good one) comes up with the "wrong" result for the ivermectin cultists, they will disown it. I should add, BTW, that the Bret Weinstein bio, inevitably, also involves the "lab leak" question; see
Browne M, Kavanagh C (23 June 2021). "You're probably not Galileo: scientific advance rarely comes from lone, contrarian outsiders". The Skeptic.
Alexbrn (talk) 14:41, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Note Weinstein's wife and co-presenter Heather Heying is also promoting ivermectin, and her article has started to attract some sneaky editing.[1] Alexbrn (talk) 12:15, 26 June 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/NeuroQuantology
NeuroQuantology has come up on this noticeboard before, so this AfD may be of interest. XOR'easter (talk) 23:00, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
The AfD has been relisted for another week. XOR'easter (talk) 16:37, 1 July 2021 (UTC)
After being relisted and seemingly forgotten, it's officially been closed as "no consensus", which defaults to keeping the page. XOR'easter (talk) 17:22, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Gang stalking
Gang stalking (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Newly created, looks like the fringe fork from Stalking#False claims of stalking, "gang stalking" and delusions of persecution and Persecutory delusion. --mfb (talk) 13:36, 7 July 2021 (UTC)
It's a WP:POVFORK of Electronic harassment that creates a false balance between extraordinary claims of "targeted individuals" and assessments by mental health professionals. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:52, 7 July 2021 (UTC)
Since copyedited, with discussion on Talk page. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:06, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
It might actually be *better* forked into its own article because the "Stalking" article is about actual stalking, while this one is about a weirdly common shared delusion which is an interesting and important topic in its own right.
Heck, it might even be useful for borderline cases if it came up in google searches above whatever forum or reddit group these people usually wind up on. ApLundell (talk) 15:25, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
Oh Lord, not THIS again
--Calton | Talk 03:19, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
@Calton: Your use of {{Old AfD multi}} with indent messed up the rest of the page. This has been fixed. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 03:43, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Also, the template thinks it is not talking about other pages but about the FTN. It says "this project page". I don't think this is a correct application of it. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:41, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
At least it doesn't add this page to a category that was my initial concern... For the text itself, |type=article allows to change it a bit, —PaleoNeonate – 10:46, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Your use of {{tl|Old AfD multi}} with indent messed up the rest of the page
Sorry about that. There were a LOT of AFDs, and just copying the text of the box without the links wouldn't have been right.
But the point is, this is not just nonsense, it's nonsense with a long history of attempts to crowbar it into Wikipedia. At the VERY least, any article which somehow gets kept should have "delusion" or "complex" as part of the title. --Calton | Talk 15:21, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Fair enough. There is a requested move proposal at the article now [3]. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:49, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
The Rise and Fall of the Black Hole Paradigm
Is there any reason this article should exist?
The Rise and Fall of the Black Hole Paradigm (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)
It's decidedly fringe content, and it seems too recent and obscure to be noteworthy fringe content. An article on the author was deleted in 2018. The stated rationale for the book being notable is not grounded in facts, appearing to be ignorant of what the NASA ADS is. XOR'easter (talk) 00:27, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
At least some independent people have written about Magnetospheric eternally collapsing object. I only looked for a few minutes, but I found it difficult to find anything that wasn't only a mention or advert for this book... —PaleoNeonate – 10:52, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Hmm what do you think of a bold merge-redirect to the above article? —PaleoNeonate – 10:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything worth merging, and I'm not sure the title of a random fringe book is a likely search term, but I guess redirecting is faster than AfD. XOR'easter (talk) 14:12, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
I also have no objection to immediate AfD and am fairly confident that the result would be delete, but exactly, if it's contested it's the unavoidable process, —PaleoNeonate – 14:30, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
OK, I've made it into a redirect. XOR'easter (talk) 16:03, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
I almost put the redirect up for deletion, but then decided that redirects are cheap and it might be useful to have a link back. Good work. jps (talk) 17:22, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Yes one could also argue that if there's no direct mention of the book in the target article the redirect should be deleted, although in this case there's a mention of the author, even if there was nothing to merge. —PaleoNeonate – 17:53, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Patrick McDermott disappearance
Disappearance of Patrick McDermott (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
This article is written terribly. As far as I can tell, this individual disappeared without a trace in June 2005, likely drowned. Since then, there have been claims in tabloid newspapers that this individual has been sighted in Mexico, but these appear totally unsubstantiated. This article lends a large undue amount of weight to these allegations and it needs signficiant cleanup. Hemiauchenia (talk) 01:12, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
One apparently only via a claimed third party "representant", another a mistaken identity... indeed indicating there's no strong reason to believe he's still alive. On the other hand, it's likely those rumors that made the person notable? —PaleoNeonate – 11:02, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Update: some recent improvements by Hemiauchenia already, —PaleoNeonate – 08:53, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Water fluoridation
Talk:Water fluoridation#removal of israel text - discussion from 2019/2020, but the text where the government of Israel justified its discontinuation of fluoridation is still in the article. What do people think? Pinging User:Jtbobwaysf and User:VdSV9 who discussed this back then. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:05, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for pinging me. I'm still of the opinion that the quoted statement from the Israeli Ministry of Health shouldn't be there, as it promotes an anti-scientific POV. The fact that they stopped fluoridation of course is relevant, but if we want to add information about this, it should rather be the fact that a "Dental Health Promotion Program has been formulated as an alternative to mandatory fluoridation", quoted from reference 84, than on the reasoning they gave for stopping fluoridation. VdSV9 22:37, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
@VdSV9: Your input is welcome at the article's talk page where I proposed a compromise. The reason why I removed Newsweek was that its header claimed it was now banned, but since headers can be ignored versus the actual article's content, maybe it's still relevant if you think it should be restored. We appear to agree on other points, —PaleoNeonate – 08:43, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Mark Hyman (doctor)
A new user is repeatedly adding POV to the lead that some dietitians support Mark Hyman's "pegan" diet. This is clearly false. The added reference was a holistic medicine/alternative medicine website. I have not seen any registered dietitians from reliable sources support Hyman's pegan diet, the added source was Parsley Health which promotes something called "holistic medicine". Parsley Health is sponsored by Goop so this is outright quackery. It is obviously a false balance to pretend some dietitians support it whilst some do not. Psychologist Guy (talk) 21:08, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
This user does not understand how Wikipedia works, they are unfortunately adding personal comments into article tags [4] Psychologist Guy (talk) 23:52, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
The issue is on-going [5]. Psychologist Guy (talk) 01:26, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I just reverted that series of edits; they are now arguing with other users at Talk:Mark Hyman (doctor). The user in question, RaoulTheWok (talk · contribs), has been notified of this discussion. Recommend a partial block from the article and its talk page to encourage them to edit on some other topic. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 03:40, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I since back down from discussing what amount/quality of dietitian consider the pegan diet particularly faddy since as PaleoNeonate indicated in the discussion, it is probably not going to be a well sourced claim one way or another unless relevant sources are referenced which has yet to be done. Have you read through the sources and their sources where needed? I have. I'd welcome correctly identifying irrelevant sources/claims as opposed to reverting edits where clearly insufficient sources are used. Please refer to the discussion at Talk:Mark Hyman (doctor) as well. RaoulTheWok (talk) 08:39, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Also while I'm not an expert on editing etiquette, I'm neither a new user nor intending to do POV edits. It should be beyond obvious what is wrong in terms of mismatch between the claims being made and the sources used. Sorry if someone got the wrong impression initially. I have again tagged some most egregious abuses but cannot guarantee that this is all of em. Feel free to help uphold quality standards on Wikipedia because the impression one would get from reading this article about the man may be a poor one. I say that as someone who's not rushing to do a pegan diet. And no I'm not saying that a fair balance would be to give either side 50% credibility. But there's a different extreme to worry about as well. RaoulTheWok (talk) 09:03, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
To amuse you
Apparently an editor has decided that MEDRS-compliant sources (e.g., med school textbooks) about human biology are unacceptable in Sex because doctors aren't necessarily biology experts, and only sources from the field of biology may be cited in the article. See Talk:Sex#Biological sex in humans and my talk page for proof that I'm not making this up. I'm going to bed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:59, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
There is no need to bring this to notice board.
Medicine and biology are completely two different fields of academia end of story.CycoMa (talk) 06:13, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Please ignore my last comment it was a mistake I didn’t mean it. I swear, look all I’m trying to say was that the sources you presented at sex are not ideal sources okay.CycoMa (talk) 07:08, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
There, I've struck the comments you made that you wanted to erase. That's how you do it. erasing somebody else's post is just a big nono. I do believe that you should know this, with your time here. -Roxy the grumpy dog.wooF 07:15, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I honestly didn’t know that to be honest. I’m very sorry about that.CycoMa (talk) 07:17, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
No more apologies, OK? I also note that I believe that you should pay more attention to her ladyship's points at Talk/Sex -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 07:20, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Okay but anyway I don’t think some of the sources she presented are reliable regarding the topic. Like I don’t understand why sociological sources should be included.CycoMa (talk) 07:33, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
WP:MEDRS sources are perfectly acceptable in that article. -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 07:39, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Okay sure. But one of her sources contradict a reliable source I presented.
one of her sources said this.
While we tend to think of sex as a binary (either male or female) determined by looking at a baby's genitals, the evidence shows that sex is determined by multiple biological factors including chromosomes, hormones, gonads and secondary sex characteristics, as well as external genitalia. ... It is important to remember that sex and gender are two different things: a child or young person's biological sex may be different from their gender identity.
While [this source] says this.
Sex is a biological concept. Asexual reproduction (cloning) is routine in microorganisms and some plants, but most vertebrates and all mammals have 2 distinct sexes. Even single-cell organisms have “mating types” to facilitate sexual reproduction. Only cells belonging to different mating types can fuse together to reproduce sexually (2, 3). Sexual reproduction allows for exchange of genetic information and promotes genetic diversity. The classical biological definition of the 2 sexes is that females have ovaries and make larger female gametes (eggs), whereas males have testes and make smaller male gametes (sperm); the 2 gametes fertilize to form the zygote, which has the potential to become a new individual. The advantage of this simple definition is first that it can be applied universally to any species of sexually reproducing organism. Second, it is a bedrock concept of evolution, because selection of traits may differ in the 2 sexes. Thirdly, the definition can be extended to the ovaries and testes, and in this way the categories—female and male—can be applied also to individuals who have gonads but do not make gametes.…Biological sex is dichotomous because of the different roles of each sex in reproduction.
Notice how these two sources have contradicting definitions of the same thing. Sure one could argue binary and dichotomy aren’t the same thing.CycoMa (talk) 07:45, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Also the definition presented in the second source here aligns more with definition of sex at the article.CycoMa (talk) 08:08, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
As I said at talk, I don't accept criticism of sourcing unless it comes from someone with a PhD in Source Evaluation and Quality Assessment. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:10, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Does a cabal-approved tag pass? —PaleoNeonate – 14:51, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Well, of course. The Cabal Is Never Wrong. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:55, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I just finished watching that video and it never mentioned a Cabal ... very suspicious. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 05:28, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
That is because The Cabal moves behind the scenes. Scheming, plotting, molding the fates of dynasties. Their invisible hand subtly guides the path of all Wikipedians, and in the shadows we shall remain, until our time to rule has arrived. MUAH HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:35, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

Okay everyone I asked at WikiProject Medicine and they said that medical sources are fine for an article like sex. I’m very sorry about all this please forgive me for all this.CycoMa (talk) 17:54, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
New section "Torture-based deliberate creation" looks rather dubious and was removed. As I wrote this, it has been reverted back into the article.
The prevailing post-traumatic model of dissociation and dissociative disorders has historically been contested and are remnants of out-dated hypotheses that became popular in the 1980s (such as the fantasy-model and therapy-induced model)
The therapy-induced model is outdated? Is that true? --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:24, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
No. Not at all. See sources here. --Saidmann (talk) 18:12, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
@Saidmann posted a link to this article at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine#Fringe rumors in Dissociative identity disorder. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:55, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Zeta Reticuli
Zeta Reticuli (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Some determined section-blanking activity here lately. - LuckyLouie (talk) 20:52, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
CigaretteNightmares (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) Seems like a hardcore UFO and alien believer, based on their edits. Hemiauchenia (talk) 20:55, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Problem solved. But I wish we had a better source than “zeta talk” [6] in the article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:03, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
There is no exoplanet around Zeta Reticuli. There is no reason for us to explain a mistake that happened 25 years ago in the article. jps (talk) 21:21, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
[insert gratuitously Uranus joke here] ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:32, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Psychoanalysis (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
I am involved in a disagreement as to whether psychoanalysis should be described as pseudoscience in the lede of the article. Jake Wartenberg (talk) 04:54, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Hessdalen lights
Hessdalen lights (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Long section on piezo effect seems undue. Does anybody have an opinion or even a source? --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:06, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
If this is being used, it’s not a RS. Neither is Journal of Scientific Exploration. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:23, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
There are lights in the sky in central Norway? It must be aliens!
Yes, I'm aware that the Hessdalen lights aren't northern lights, I'm just joking around.​ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:39, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Not sure why Brian Dunning isn't being included in the article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:35, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
(1) Some editors have been removing Dunning cites in the wake of his fraud conviction, although that admittedly had nothing to do with his "Skeptoid" work. (2) Dunning's most constructive explanation of the origin of the Hessdalen lights is that they might be aircraft landing lights -- and then he says, "By no means am I suggesting that aircraft landing lights are the cause of all the Hessdalen sightings." Nevertheless, I would vote for including a distillation of his analysis in the article. DoctorJoeE Stalk/Talk 14:30, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Brought up the sourcing issue on the article Talk page. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:38, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
Day-year principle
Day-year principle (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Huge article detailing exactly which theologian interpreted which Bible prophecy using the technique called "day-year principle", which is a magic idea reminiscent of creationists, homeopaths, Bible-code cranks, Nostradamus exegetes, and astrologers, as well as sympathetic magic and as-above-so-below thinking. Also makes me think of Deutobold Symbolizetti Allegoriowitsch Mystifizinsky.
Most of it seems WP:UNDUE angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin-counter fancruft. I don't even know where to begin. --Hob Gadling (talk) 11:29, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
It was extremely influential in American religion as the basis for the Millerite Great disappointment. A better framing of this historically is definitely possible. I think Ronald Numbers might be a good source. jps (talk) 12:01, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
The day-year principle is both hugely influential in fundamentalist theology (though, obviously, not so much the inerrantist branch), and the core idea behind old earth creationism, the most scientifically valid variant of the notion (note that theistic evolution is more scientifically valid yet, but is generally not considered to be a form of creationism). I think it's appropriate that we have an article on the subject, though for obvious reasons, NPOV could become a problem there. I've watchlisted and I'll give the current state a good read in a bit, when I'm able to focus. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:41, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
See also to Day-age creationism might be a good thing. jps (talk) 13:23, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Study supporting Ivermectin as a COVID treatment withdrawn for impressive reasons
Davey, Melissa (2021-07-15). "Huge study supporting ivermectin as Covid treatment withdrawn over ethical concerns". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
A highlight:
A medical student in London, Jack Lawrence, was among the first to identify serious concerns about the paper, leading to the retraction. He first became aware of the Elgazzar preprint when it was assigned to him by one of his lecturers for an assignment that formed part of his master’s degree. He found the introduction section of the paper appeared to have been almost entirely plagiarised. It appeared that the authors had run entire paragraphs from press releases and websites about ivermectin and Covid-19 through a thesaurus to change key words. “Humorously, this led to them changing ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome’ to ‘extreme intense respiratory syndrome’ on one occasion,” Lawrence said.
It's the cdesign proponentsist of COVID!
The Elgazzar study was one of the the largest and most promising showing the drug may help Covid patients, and has often been cited by proponents of the drug as evidence of its effectiveness. [...] “If you remove this one study from the scientific literature, suddenly there are very few positive randomised control trials of ivermectin for Covid-19. Indeed, if you get rid of just this research, most meta-analyses that have found positive results would have their conclusions entirely reversed.”
Oops. XOR'easter (talk) 20:52, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Can somebody do Carvallo et al. next? Also, somehow, this study wasn't actually published anywhere other than a pre-print site, yet it showed up in meta-analyses. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 22:44, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I saw this, adding noises Bigfoot supposedly makes to List of unexplained sounds, and then noticed there is a whole section at Bigfoot about it Bigfoot#Alleged_behavior​. - LuckyLouie (talk) 16:41, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
My little yeti makes mysterious noises too, including, but not limited to: chirping, purring, meowing, growling, hissing, scratching, sometimes even snoring; and does throw objects around and eat meat... On a more serious note, while the article can certainly include popular culture material, it also seems to rely on poor sources (even for some of the critical material)... —PaleoNeonate – 17:37, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Right, this is essentially Bigfoot fan site content sourced to a blog. I’ve removed it, but must avert my eyes from the other ills of the article, which could take many hours to fix. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:25, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
wooF. -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 05:50, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
That section was probably the worst thing I'll read on Wikipedia today, knock on wood. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 06:04, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Elections in Cuba
Elections in Cuba (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
There's an IP address who's edit-warring to insert content to promote the fringe view that Cuba is a democracy with free elections. The IP is using sources that are either bad or characterized (and I think there may also be some IP hopping going on). More eyeballs would be helpful. Neutralitytalk 17:03, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Queer coding
This AfD concerns a poorly sourced section of the article that promotes the fringe theory that certain Disney Animated Canon villains are queer. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 20:58, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Height 611 UFO incident
Height 611 UFO incident (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
The article has only two sources. One source is a link to our Discovery Channel article. The other is to a UFOlogists book. - LuckyLouie (talk) 23:59, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
The article should be put out of its misery. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:22, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Kind of a Shaggy dog story in which it is claimed that people saw a glowing light crash into a mountain, metal was recovered that was 'not of this earth', photos taken wouldn't develop, etc. I AfD'd the article 8 years ago [7] but Russian language Wikipedia editors opposed deletion and gave the impression they might improve it, but never did. All the sources given at the AfD are in Russian. I was able to Google translate one, which was an interview with a UFOlogist whose claims were covered quite credulously. - LuckyLouie (talk) 02:48, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Height 611 UFO incident (2nd nomination) - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:53, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
In other news, AnomieBOT (talk ·contribs) has archived the AfD on delsort pages twice, with unknown result and closure time 12:59, 21 July 2021 (UTC), despite the discussion still being in progress. The given timestamp is the time when the discussion was opened. The operator of AnomieBOT has not responded to complaints on the talk page. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 17:45, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Has been under a whitewashing attack for a few months. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:58, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Another day, another lab leak essay
And another cross-namespace shortcut: WP:YESLABLEAK. If I didn't know better I'd think a WP:POINT was being made. Alexbrn (talk) 12:38, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Worth an RFD in your opinion? This is definitely more succinct and PAG-based, but it essentially argues against WP:SCHOLARSHIP. One also wonders about whether this is RFD-able in the same way other redirects were, for targeting a "group of wikipedia editors" in an USTHEM mentality. It's also wild because it's mostly a strawman argument. NOLABLEAK doesn't say we "shouldn't cover the lab leak" it says we should contextualize it with the mainstream view among relevant scholars (that it is "unlikely"). But at the same time, I think bad user essays tend to help the implicated "enemy" more than they harm, because it shows plainly just how bad the argument is. My favorite line is "Just because the wording of some text in support of the hypothesis seems biased, doesn’t justify deleting it." No, but rewriting such biased text to be NPOV isn't too popular among this crowd, either. In the end, weighing these competing forces, I'm not really sure where to come down on this one.--Shibbolethink ( ) 12:50, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
because it shows plainly just how bad the argument is Only to those who know to judge such things. Most people cannot tell good reasoning from bad. --Hob Gadling (talk) 13:07, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Hob Gadling, Yes, that is a fair point. Reading this, and then reading NOLABLEAK, it definitely muddies the waters considerably and makes one concerned that NOLABLEAK is saying something that it definitely is not.--Shibbolethink ( ) 13:14, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
The essay is essentially OR (at least the "Reasons given for why SARS-COV-2 may have leaked from a lab" section), and completely ignores the real intention of NPOV and FRINGE. To quote WP:FALSEBALANCE: "While it is important to account for all significant viewpoints on any topic, Wikipedia policy does not state or imply that every minority view or extraordinary claim needs to be presented along with commonly accepted mainstream scholarship as if they were of equal validity. [...] Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or plausible but currently unaccepted theories should not be legitimized through comparison to accepted academic scholarship. We do not take a stand on these issues as encyclopedia writers, for or against; we merely omit this information where including it would unduly legitimize it, and otherwise include and describe these ideas in their proper context with respect to established scholarship and the beliefs of the wider world."... A clear example of the latter (undue legitimisation through comparison to accepted scholarship) is my revert of this RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 12:56, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
To be fair, WP:OR doesn't apply to user essays. If it did, there basically wouldn't be any WP:NOLABLEAK either. I agree with you that the issue is how we need to contextualize the lab leak in the frame of the mainstream scholarly view, which we currently do quite well in many of the relevant origins and misinformation articles.--​Shibboleth​ink ( ) 13:13, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
MfD may fail with advocates of userspace blogging, but the redirect is inappropriate and worthy of RfD... As for the essay itself, we've seen worse but it's still conspiratorial, a bit polemic about Wikipedia and pushing GEVAL/FALSEBALANCE arguments... —PaleoNeonate – 19:32, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Why is "WP:YESLABLEAK" inappropriate and worthy of Rfd but "WP:NOLABLEAK" is not? Neither essays make the case that a lab leak absolutely did or did not happen. As an outsider, I don't consider the essay particularly polemic or conspiratorial. I think harping WP:SCHOLARSHIP as if it forbids or supersedes WP:NEWSORG for non-medical information (it does not) is a red-herring. There is a growing list of literature at Talk:COVID-19 lab leak hypothesis#Sources (warning: not peer-reviewed meta-analyses, just the mad ramblings of lowly investigative journalists). --Animalparty! (talk) 20:10, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
The redirect is project-space to userspace. Feel free to RfD NOLABLEAK, of course. One is still more usable than the other in legitimate discussions (those shortcuts are for easy referencing). —PaleoNeonate – 23:03, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
COVID-19 lab leak hypothesis‎
Is back:
COVID-19 lab leak hypothesis‎ (edit | visual edit | history· Article talk (edit | history· Watch
Alexbrn (talk) 13:56, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
So it comes, so it goes. Redirected again, but for how long... Urve (talk) 14:17, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Back again. What a time to be alive, surely. Urve (talk) 14:19, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
And that promoted previously spammed dubious sources like BioEssays... —PaleoNeonate – 15:16, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
BioEssays was willing to publish physicist nonsense about cancer. XOR'easter (talk) 16:16, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
This is totally redundant with Investigations into the origin of COVID-19. Hemiauchenia (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Yep. I fear it will soon become a POVFORK.--​Shibboleth​ink ( ) 20:04, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
So FIX it. Like the flat earth theory, Lab Leak theory may be bullshit, but it is NOTABLE bullshit, and so merits an article of its own. The key (like flat earth) is to ensure that the article is accurate and well sourced. Blueboar (talk) 20:52, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Blueboar, Yes I get your argument, and that's why I am doing just that. Better to be involved in making it good rather than complain from the sidelines, I agree and have always agreed.--​Shibboleth​ink ( ) 20:56, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Even as we fix it, it's still just another long-term fringe-happy time sink... —PaleoNeonate – 22:57, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
Now at a AfD, which I did not ask for. ProcrastinatingReader's deletion rationale was a total strawman of what I was trying to accomplish with the merge proposal. I knew that taking it to AfD would result in a massive fucking circus and god damn it I was right. Hemiauchenia (talk) 03:27, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Blueboar we generally fix POV-forks by deleting them and rolling them back into the primary article... Bakkster Man (talk) 14:48, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah the AfD has gotten way out of hand. ––FORMALDUDE(talk) 04:49, 23 July 2021 (UTC)
The new version will no longer be a POV fork though, contrary to previous ones, —PaleoNeonate – 12:10, 23 July 2021 (UTC)
Christiane Northrup
Since User:Fitzrex has been CU-blocked, we're probably done here. Feel free to re-open if you disagree. Bishonen | tålk 08:45, 20 July 2021 (UTC).
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Christiane Northrup (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Antivaxxer "Northrup is particularly concerned with reproductive system dysfunction and menstrual cycle irregularities as a result of COVID-19 vaccines, that have been documented by medical anthropologists, pharmacists and others". Is that so? --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:41, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
@Hob Gadling: Is that not so? Isn't she an Ob/Gyn? Don't we need to give MDs the benefit of the doubt in cases which deal with their specialties? Fitzrex (talk) 15:38, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
No, we absolutely do not ... and that's not the primary objection here. Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policies. -- Jibal (talk) 03:43, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
What is the point of asking me the same yes-no question I asked, turned into a no-yes question?
Your approach of accepting everything somebody with a specific job says cannot work because people with the same job disagree with each other. Most MDs do not know how to do science because they "only" have to apply science other people did. So, some random MD is not the right source for scientific questions. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:05, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
The sentence in question was inserted by:
Fitzrex (talk · contribs · deleted contribs ·logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) I see a lot of actions by this account which may need reversing (not just at the Northrup article, but at lots of other antivaxx articles). DE notice has already been leveled, though one more generally for pseudoscience might be worthwhile, and I also think more drastic action may be needed considering the extent of their whitewashing, misrepresentation of sources, WP:SYNTH issues, etc. jps (talk) 12:00, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
  • She's one of the "disinformation dozen".[8]Alexbrn (talk) 12:03, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
  • The quote given here is not verifiable in the cited sources. All of them mention some correlation between getting vaccinated and period changes, but there's no medically established link yet, and not one of those sources mentions Northrup. I've removed that bit as failing verification. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:05, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
User adding fringe language and ethnic supremacy theories
Changeanew (talk · contribs · deleted contribs ·page moves · block user · block log)
This user is promoting language theories about Vietnamese from a folk healing website to linguistics and history articles. [9] [10] [11]. They are also adding ethnic supremacy theories. [12]. This is not supported by any academic material. Please prevent them from continuing. (talk) 01:47, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
(Non-administrator comment) User notified of this thread. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 02:50, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
Fentanyl (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
I removed a section from this article which accused China of "Non Conventional Warfare" using the drug, while the sources were actually about a drug cartel operating out of a factory in China to smuggle into Canada. I've also requested RD2 for an unsourced conspiracy theory added and quickly removed in late June. Please keep a close eye on this article for conspiracy theories, especially the racist/xenophobic ones. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 02:47, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
UPDATE: User Oshwah (talk · contribs) restored the above two things, plus made a few other tweaks. The conspiracy theory is a bordeline BLP violation, so I can't fathom their reason for doing that. I rolled back again. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 03:17, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm not sure why this had to come to a noticeboard, and I'm very much not sure why anything is RD2 worthy. The "Non Conventional Warfare" section is obviously bad; Oshwah's edit looks like an edit-conflict trying to revert to a previous version as there is a lot going on in that diff. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 03:21, 21 July 2021 (UTC)
Medical genetics of Jews
At the article Medical genetics of Jews there's a user adding content about Nazis and ranting about the nature of sources used. They tried to get the article deleted through a case request at WP:DRN, which I closed as an improper filing. More eyes on that article would be helpful. I'm not entirely sure what their angle is, though the possibility that they're upset over some legitimate problems with the article seems real, if remote. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:25, 22 July 2021 (UTC)
How has this gone unchallenged / unmodified? 2001:8003:237D:1100:CC88:E2ED:D8C2:7F7F (talk) 14:06, 23 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm guessing the article is not watched by many. Hence why I made this posting. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:41, 23 July 2021 (UTC)
I removed it. It seems to confuse testing of ethnically Jewish people for medical purposes with DNA testing to find out whether someone is Jewish. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:38, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 08:49, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
I welcomed the user and invited them here if their edits are contested. —PaleoNeonate – 17:50, 23 July 2021 (UTC)
The user has been blocked as a suspected sock. If this comes up again in the future, then the information is on the article's talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:51, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
When I look at the edits of the suspected previous account (and wow), it indeed seems to be the same person. Thanks for the update, —PaleoNeonate – 23:40, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Should China COVID-19 cover-up be merged with one of the other COVID-19 in China articles?
 You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:China COVID-19 cover-up. Shibbolethink () 22:44, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Do qi nor meridians exist?
Shiatsu (edit | visual edit | history· Article talk(edit | history· Watch
Of rather, should Wikipedia say they don't exist? That is the question being discussed at Talk:Shiatsu#"neither qi nor meridians exist". Alexbrn (talk) 06:49, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
The matter is not whether qi or meridians exist, it is that claims in an article must be backed up by the source. I have no problem stating in Wikipedia that something positively does not exist, like in Benzoquinone where a peer reviewed study makes a statement that a certain chemical compound does not exist because it is impossible. The problem here is that "qi does not exist" is a POV statement not supported by the source.
The Ernst source states that "Concepts such as the qi of Chinese traditional medicine are myths which enjoy the same status as religious faiths" and "the existence of qi can neither be proven nor disproven". A myth is not synonymous with "does not exist", and if something cannot be disproven, it cannot be asserted to be nonexistent. A basic principle of scientific thought is that anyone making a claim, *either negative or positive*, has the burden of responsibility. It is unscientific to assert that something does not exist without Proof of impossibility.
The Hall source states that "Acupuncture meridians and acupoints are imaginary until proven otherwise", and although a reasonable reader would understand this as an attention-grabbing statement rather than a professional statement, taking it at face value, it still implies that it is *possible* to be proven. After explaining research that failed to find the structures claimed, the author goes on to say "I don’t know whether the structures described as the PVS exist". This is a scientific conclusion consistent with basic scientific epistemology.
In addition, Accupuncture goes into detail about the studies done. We use WP:NPOV, WP:V, WP:NOR and proper scientific methodology to refute pseudoscience, not POV unsourced statements like "qi does not exist". These cheapen our message and promote the idea that science is merely another religion. As Carl Sagan said, "Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking".
Therefore, I propose that we either 1) keep consistent with the NPOV style of Wikipedia, the sources cited, and with the Accupuncture article and state that there is no evidence for these structures to exist, *or failing that*, 2) add to the Accupuncture article to state that qi and meridians do not exist. MarshallKe (talk) 12:52, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
Basic logic fail there. Ever heard of the null hypothesis, a mainstay of evidence-based medicine?. But in any case we summarize sources, and if something's mythical it doesn't exist in reality. We probably should mention qi etc don;'t exist in whichever articles they come up. Alexbrn (talk) 15:15, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm familiar with the use of null hypotheses. It's not relevant to this discussion. Hypotheses in science can only be supported or refuted, but never proven or disproven beyond a doubt. This is basic science 101 stuff that should be a prerequisite to editing anything related to science in Wikipedia. Wikipedia describes the science rather prescribing which unproven assumptions the reader should hold on what is possible or impossible. Regardless, Wikipedia is not a place to debate epistemology and metaphysics. We are here to uphold WP:NPOV and WP:V policy, and Wikipedia is not a place for scientific or religious advocacy. Although we are biased towards scientific sources, we do not have a free pass to misrepresent what the scientific sources say, such as cherrypicking attention-grabbing single sentences from articles and then drawing erroneous hyperbolic conclusions from them. MarshallKe (talk) 15:50, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
Oh it's relevant okay, because contrary to your assertion "science" is not the endeavour of trying to "disprove" unfalsifiable silly stories from the realm of pseudoscience. Hitchen's razor is useful for rational progress. But to repeat: we summarize sources, and if something's mythical it doesn't exist in reality. Wikipedia isn't going to be hedging its bets on whether meridians and qi exists any more than our good sources do. Sorry. Alexbrn (talk) 16:08, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
We do seem to be repeating our points, so considering that we are the only two participants in this conversation thus far, I'm going to stop here and wait for input from other editors. MarshallKe (talk) 16:22, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
Well, they don't. For good or ill, we don't live in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Trying to create doubt in the face of a massive amount of scientific evidence by zooming in upon a few turns of phrase in a couple sources and splitting their rhetorical hairs is not the way to be NPOV. XOR'easter (talk) 16:42, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
I'll try to check for more sources about it later on. The meridians (like nadis) are often treated as "metaphysics" since it's outside of what science can work with. The qi (like prana) or energy (esotericism) claimed to go through these channels is, like them, imaginary. Of course some claim that they have been religiously revealed, but visualization remains an activity and product of the mind (so are visions and hallucinations). It's considered pseudoscientific because it's presented as a "scientific" or rational method that works with an alternative anatomy that has not been verified, and makes medical claims that have not been demonstrated to be more useful than massage and other forms of relaxation or reassurance. About the advocacy claim, by WP:PSCI it must be clear when it's pseudoscientific, but I currently don't see it mentioned prominently. I support the current text about that it has not been verified to really exist. "Has not been disproven" is not really meaningful other than affirming that it's unfalsifiable and not science... —PaleoNeonate – 17:03, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
To argue that meridians or qi exist in the same way that nerves or blood exist is to adopt a profoundly pseudoscientific approach to reality. But the same way with all variety of religious beliefs, superstitions, and folklore there are those who use the stories about various empirically questionable points as metaphors to help them talk through ideas about the human experience. We don't go on and on about how there is no empirical evidence for miracles in every miracle story. But we sure as hell are not going to pretend in an article on faith healing that the jury of empiricists is still out on claimed mechanisms. jps (talk) 02:47, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Hiding the fact that science has been done on a topic sounds very un-Wikipedian to me. Therefore, I propose removal of the qi statement and keeping the meridian statement (studies have been done looking for meridians, while qi is not studyable by science) MarshallKe (talk) 21:13, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
The article is very clearly talking about qi as a tangible phenomenon, not a concept, metaphor, or myth. If you push it out of the realm of things that science can study, then you rule it out as the basis for any kind of medicine that actually works. XOR'easter (talk) 00:42, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Nobody is trying to promote Qi as a serious concept. We are here to eliminate POV statements that violate WP:V. MarshallKe (talk) 01:03, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
This took me about an hour to figure out, but the actual question here is this. The article on shiatsu currently states, in a separate paragraph and (in my opinion) quite bluntly:
Neither qi nor meridians exist.
Some users would like to change this, either into:
Neither qi nor meridians are commonly believed to exist. ([13])
While existence of qi can neither be proven nor disproven since vitalism is not scientifically testable, the concept of a meridian system does create a testable hypothesis. There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians. ([14])
Anatomists consider qi and meridians to be imaginary; their existence can neither be proved nor disproved. ([15], corrected spelling)
I personally think that all of these options are pretty awful. They seem to be the unfortunate result of an undue preoccupation with either pushing pseudoscience or pushing back against it, rather than with writing an encyclopedia. I didn't read the sources, but I'm quite confident that someone who did will be able to add proper references to something like the following:
The practice of shiatsu is based on the traditional Chinese concept of qi, a type of vital force that is supposed to flow through certain pathways in the human body, known as meridians. Modern research has failed to find any evidence for the existence of these meridians, and their use as a scientific concept has been generally abandoned outside of traditional Chinese medicine.
This could be put before the current paragraph starting with There is no evidence that shiatsu is of any benefit in treating cancer or any other disease [...]. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 02:43, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
@Apaugasma: Specific content discussions like this could be put back on the talkpage and probably are best discussed there. However, now that we're here, I'll identify a few issues with your proposal. One, it's not at all clear that qi as the traditional Chinese concept is a type of vitalism which is a distinctly Western school of thought. Certainly in the context of the alternative medicine of today the two are linked (as they are in our article on energy (esotericism)), but it is not a good idea to engage in this kind of blanket and, frankly, anachronistic declaration of what categories these historical concepts from disparate cultural groups fall under. Then we move on to the claim that modern research has failed... which, I think, misses the point that the reason there isn't evidence that these things exist is because there has been tremendous care in documenting what does exist. It's rather much the same with any number of concepts for which there is a lack of empirical evidence. I hate to always bring up Santa Claus, but I will again because I do think the comparison is apt. It's not that modern research has failed to find evidence that Santa Claus exists. Rather it's that the research about all the things with which Santa Claus supposedly interacts does not allow for the existence of such a beast. The difference here, of course, is that there are some stubborn researchers who manage to publish one-off papers to look in vain for qi/meridians, but the larger point is that this sort of research isn't the main stumbling block for, say, modern medicine when it comes to claims about qi/meridians. It's not as though when you mention this to a medical doctor they go running to the journals to look for all the research on the subject. Finally you use the turn of phrase, their use as a scientific concept which is problematic in that with very few exceptions, qi/meridians are not treated as a scientific concept at all, and when they have been, the treatments have been maligned to such an extent that it is debatable whether we should call it properly "scientific" instead of "pseudoscientific".... but to make matters worse the sentence goes on to imply that within the realm of TCM there is a way to use meridians/qi as "scientific concepts". Perhaps that is not the intention of what you are writing, but I think it is an undeniable implication nonetheless.
All this is to say that coming up with good wording is difficult. I think it's fine that you are trying, but a lot of us have been at this for, in some cases, more than a decade, and, while it may be that we are overly entrenched in a rigid style, there is also a lot of work that has been done to try to make the wording as clear as possible. In the case of your proposal, I'm not at all convinced that it is better than the first simple sentence you identify that "some users" (including yourself) consider to be too blunt.
jps (talk) 15:09, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Is it that, in a similar vein to WP:ANI, we normally don't discuss content here but only conduct? Or just that we use this noticeboard to draw attention to local discussions, without moving them here? In both cases, the above was already not following that convention, which got me confused.
Your first objection is easily met, I think, by not linking vital force to vitalism. It is true that the latter is a specifically 19th-century doctrine, which of course does not negate the fact that qi is a kind of vital force similar in nature to the vital heat and the pneuma of ancient and medieval western medicine (these comparisons are routinely made by historians of science). I'm fairly sure that sources characterize qi as a vital force, so that should pose no problem.
As for your second objection, I think you're ignoring a bit that for many centuries, meridians were a valid scientific concept that was subject to empirical research, and that is it an outdated and abandoned concept rather than an inherently unscientific one (in the mainstream historiographical meaning of 'science' as something that also existed before the 17th-century development of the modern scientific method). It is precisely because it was a scientific concept and because it is still used as such by traditionalists that modern research has been conducted on the existence of meridians. It is the failure of traditional Chinese medicine to acknowledge the results of that research (and modern research more generally) which renders it pseudoscience, a fact which we are also conveying in this way.
I think we have a choice here: do we prefer to be encyclopedic and informative for our readers, or do we prefer to obfuscate all useful information on a topic just to make sure no one could suspect us of promoting pseudoscience? I think your third and last objection clearly speaks to that binary: yes, I was aware of the possible implication of my words with regards to qi and meridians still being used as scientific concepts in TCM, but I did not immediately find a better way to word it, and I just really don't think that it's a problem given the general tendency both of the paragraph and of the article as a whole. It's quite simple really: if your only concern is that every word and every turn of phrase is 100% free from any possible implication of perhaps maybe even looking a bit like what in another context would be fringe, all that's going to result in is a thoroughly unencyclopedic mess.
Really, I suggested something like the following. I think that anyone with some background knowledge of the subject and with their priorities straight could write something similar. It's rather the failure of editors to come up with something instructive like that and their preference to endlessly discuss about God, epistemology and Santa Claus that is utterly amazing. I know it's a lot to ask, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I really think you should reconsider your approach to these things. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 18:53, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't think there is a consensus on what exactly this page is for.
If you know sources which call qi a vital force, name them, and we can use them. If you don't, we can't.
They were a valid scientific concept not in the sense the word "scientific" has now. It is highly dubious to translate whatever word the ancient Chinese had for the category containing such ideas back then, as "science". "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." is a quote Martin Gardner used in such cases.
So you think that playing such silly sophistic word games is an improvement over actual reasoning, like proving that an argument is utterly useless by applying it to the defense of Santa Claus with the same justification as it is applied to the defense of qi. Well, you have come to the exactly wrong place. We know all the tricks people use to defend crazy ideas, and we will not "reconsider" science in favor of bullshit. --Hob Gadling (talk) 19:16, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Historians of science routinely use the word "science" for ancient and medieval Greek, Arabic, Latin, Chinese, etc. thought. Calling this "highly dubious" is so utterly ignorant that I just don't know where to begin in replying to it. Quite apart from that, my proposal above was not calling Qi or meridians a valid scientific concept in the contemporary sense of "scientific", nor was it implying such a thing in any way (quite the opposite, if read without the undue sensitivity which I argue is taking things out of context, and is obstructing us from being encyclopedic). As for the rest of what you're saying, I clearly have come to the wrong place. It's all just a battleground to you, isn't it? If you're more interested in disparaging your imaginary foes than in building an encyclopedia, I will gladly leave you to it. I will just insist that what you intimate about me using tricks and defending crazy ideas does only exist in your imagination. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 20:11, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Trace the claim that qi is "scientific" back to its first mention on this page, and you find your own claim their use as a scientific concept has been generally abandoned outside of traditional Chinese medicine. This clearly suggests that it is still treated as a scientific concept inside "traditional Chinese medicine". (Since TCM has no business of defining science, Wikipedia should either not care about that or note that their definition of science is peculiar.) Now, the people who treat it as a scientific concept are suddenly historians of science instead of TCM proponents. All right, why not. But since they use the word in a different meaning, we cannot just write "science" because that would cause misunderstandings. We should use a clearer term instead, to prevent readers from going away thinking, "Wikipedia says qi is a scientific concept". And that is one of the purposes of this page: protect articles from being edited in a way that suggests things are science when they are not. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
I understand that. But I think that it's a really big stretch to think my phrasing here is going to cause misunderstandings or leave people with the idea "Wikipedia says qi is a scientific concept". I think it's quite clear that they are rather going to get away with the idea that "Wikipedia says there's absolutely no scientific evidence for the efficacy of this so-called treatment, nor even of the existence of the concepts it is based on, which are at best of a historical and antiquarian value". That's the tone and tendency of the proposed paragraph as well as of the article more broadly, and rightfully so. I think that what readers of the paragraph as is currently stands are going to take away is rather that "Wikipedia in their typical fashion absolutely denies the existence of these things, but it's not clear to me what this denial is based on, and I'm left just as clueless as I was when beginning to read this article" (I'm of course exaggerating a bit here, but you catch my drift). Again, I understand your worry, but aren't you able then to adjust my phrasing a bit so that it's not a problem anymore? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 12:59, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Just a note about ""Wikipedia in their typical fashion absolutely denies"... we can't really do much if someone's judgement immediately leads to such conclusions without looking at the supporting sources... As for jps' suggested wording below I think it's rather fair. And thanks to everyone for the more constructive discussion versus the tension of the first posts... —PaleoNeonate – 17:09, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
following that convention This is a place to draw attention mostly. Workshopping specific content is best left to the talkpage, but, as I said, as long as we are here... let's have at it.
Your first objection is easily met, I think, by not linking Maybe? Then perhaps a different word might be better. energy (esotericism) might work, but it is fraught, right? I mean we're trying to apply a modern sensibility to a different language and culture. Still, point taken. We want a category for the definition and it is a hard one to find.
meridians were a valid scientific concept that was subject to empirical research the sources do not indicate that. To the extent that people used meridians as an explanation for TCM, they were no more "valid" than was any other esoteric tale.
an outdated and abandoned concept rather than an inherently unscientific one the sources do not indicate that either. In fact, the concept was not so much "abandoned" as it was either co-opted or contextualized. It's not as if one day people said, "Oh, this is no good any more" because the history of modern medicine does not proceed in that fashion for better or worse. There was a parallel development of TCM to some extent, it was revived by Mao, and now we have a conflict between the claims of TCM practitioners and basic anatomy and physiology. There wasn't any point of "abandonment" per se.
It is precisely because it was a scientific concept and because it is still used as such by traditionalists that modern research has been conducted on the existence of meridians. The sources do not indicate that either. In fact, the reason that there is any modern research at all is because the research itself has been stubbornly introduced and reintroduced by TCM practitioners (and occasionally mainstream researchers feel the need to reiterate the marginalization of the line of inquiry due to clamoring or complaints). No one thinks that there was serious empirical work done to verify the meridian maps produced any more than someone would say that there was serious empirical work done to verify the four humors worked in the fashion they were thought to work. Sometimes there are enormous flights of fancy that get codified away from empirical knowledge. This happens the world over. It is only in retrospect that this is recognized and when it was recognized for meridians it happened in contexts where there didn't need to be the grand stories of disillusionment or rejection that accompanied, say, mesmerism. This is a fascinating story, of course, but it doesn't allow us to pretend that there was some sort of serious science that undergirded meridians any more than any other pseudoscientific concept that is currently being promoted.
It is the failure of traditional Chinese medicine to acknowledge the results of that research (and modern research more generally) which renders it pseudoscience, a fact which we are also conveying in this way. Disagree. TCM is a pseudoscience because of the arguments that it makes which are ostensibly scientific (meridians exist) which are not true, but these points were not identified explicitly through any modern research. There were no results that pointed to the non-existence of meridians because of the way the history of medicine worked out.
It's rather the failure of editors to come up with something instructive like that and their preference to endlessly discuss about God, epistemology and Santa Claus that is utterly amazing. I know it's a lot to ask, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I really think you should reconsider your approach to these things. I think you need to assume some good faith here. I am not opposed to the idea that there may be better wording out there, but it's just not the wording you offered right here. Please feel free to try to workshop better stuff on the talkpage if you'd like. I'm sure critiques will be forthcoming unless and until you get a truly good proposal that doesn't suffer from the problems I outlined (whether you think them worthy of discussion or not).
jps (talk) 01:35, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for this. I am intimately familiar with the history of western ancient and medieval natural science (especially alchemy or early chemistry, but also somewhat with medicine and physics), and from that I can tell you that empirical work certainly was associated with the development of humoralism, as well as with the theory of pneuma (lit. 'wind', 'air', 'breath', 'spirit'). This latter theory took flight especially after the discovery by early Hellenistic surgeons of the arteries (lit. 'windpipes'), which were thought of as distributing the vital spirit (remember, 'spirit' = 'air' or 'breath'; the theory is obviously based in the fact that the arteries carry oxygenated blood; none of this is conceivable without advanced empirical practice, in casudissection and vivisection). I assumed that something similar would hold for qi and meridians, and that the relation between these as historical concepts and TCM would be a bit like, say, the relation between Galenism and Unani medicine. Perhaps that assumption is mistaken, but actually I have to say that I would be quite surprised if that turned out to be so. I know that just like western alchemy, Chinese alchemy (which itself was closely linked to Taoism and Taoist concepts like qi) had a strong focus on empirical research. Early chemistry and medicine were in their own time more often seen as technical crafts than as sciences, precisely because of their (supposed) empirical and non-theoretical nature. This is all generally treated by historians (e.g. by Joseph Needham and his school) as falling under the category of science. Yes, in the premodern period science was always mixed with fancy, but there was very little that was purely fancy or entirely un-empirical.
Moreover, it becomes pseudoscience not when or because it is untrue, but when and because it comes into contact with better science and fails to acknowledge that. This is of course a complicated historical and sociological process, and much of the most recalcitrant pseudoscience exists precisely there where adherents of outdated or long-abandoned paradigms are partially adopting the methods of newer paradigms in a doomed attempt both to save or reintroduce their favored paradigm and to bring it in line with newer standards. I would say that such interactions between science and pseudoscience surely are part of the history and sociology of modern medicine. But we don't need to engage with this complicated process here, nor to discuss its causes and evolution: for our purposes, it should suffice that the result of it has been that the existence of meridians has in fact been investigated, and that these investigations have found no evidence for their existence. Of course that's unsurprising, but if we are going to say anything about the existence of meridians we may as well start with that. It's not an endorsement of the goals and ambitions of such research. It does not imply that if such research wouldn't have been done, we'd be on the fence as to the existence of meridians. It's just a very surefire way to establish that as far as contemporary science is concerned, they don't exist. If we wouldn't have that (and in a world less riddled with pseudoscience, we would indeed not), we would just be saying that modern science has abandoned the concept of meridians because it contradicts some of its basic precepts. Really now, what's wrong with "abandoned"? Have not modern (east-Asian and other) scientists abandoned that concept? Of course, practitioners of TCM have tried to co-opt and contextualize it, but outside of TCM (as I write), it has surely been abandoned?
Again, I'm fairly sure that someone who is familiar with the sources would be able to add proper references to my suggestion above. But I see now that it was perhaps too optimistic of me to think that an expert in the history of east-Asian philosophy and science would be around here (if they would, we would probably not be having this discussion, because the article would probably be in a better state than it is). But you seem to know quite a few things about it? I defended my own suggestion in the paragraph above, but the truth is that I care very little for it. My main –or even my only– point is that it should be easy to write something better than "Neither qi nor meridians exist.", which really does read a bit like "God does not exist.", and is, in the context in which it is said, just as meaningless and uninstructive. If you are not convinced by my proposal, or not entirely convinced, why don't you try to propose a piece of text? You're right that I should try better to assume good faith, but it's hard to deny that apart from my suggestion and your reactions to it, very little effort has been made to deal with this in a constructive way. I'm actually quite certain that you as well as some other editors here could come up with something better than what I wrote, if only to have a better piece of text would actually be what we all want. Thanks for your attention, ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 05:09, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
strong focus on empirical research This is where the concepts that explain and the routinized observations of what happens when need to be disambiguated. Delving into the way in which people who believed in meridians may have observed what happens when is an interesting subject, but it does not have bearing on the subject of meridians as it is discussed in the context of shiatsu, for example. If we would like to draw an analogy here, when a modern proponent of alchemy leans into an explanation of matter in terms of the Aristotelian elements, it is misleading for us to say that the proponent is leaning on a long tradition of empiricism. The point is that there is a context when we are trying to explain what does or does not exist and the category that meridians/qi fall into is the category of claims that today we understand are not empirically founded. This is not to pass judgment on historical work, just to explain why they are not on our list of basic organ systems, e.g.
it becomes pseudoscience not when or because it is untrue, but when and because it comes into contact with better science and fails to acknowledge that. Arguable. The fact of the matter is that pseudoscience is not a well-defined term on purpose and, as you are no doubt aware, is generally a maligned category when talking about history/sociology/philosophy of knowledge. For the first two subjects, the reason for why this is stems from an choice of emphasis. If I want to describe sincerely held beliefs historically or sociologically, spending time on trying to decide the justification/truth-value of such beliefs is generally outside the context of the discussion. In terms of philosophy, because there is essentially an ongoing argument, we are stuck just describing the landscape of controversy. But the point here is that the article in question is about TCM as practiced. The context then is the modern medical and scientific understanding of the ideas. For better of worse, the dismissal of meridians/qi that happens in these contexts is indelicate. WP is in no position to change that situation. As much as it may seem to some that the statement "Meridians/qi do not exist" should not be WP:ASSERTed in WP voice, the fact is that the sources we have indicate that this is as much a fact as any number of other assertions of fact we include uncritically in our articles.
for our purposes, it should suffice that the result of it has been that the existence of meridians has in fact been investigated, and that these investigations have found no evidence for their existence. The problem is that while you appreciate the subtlety and art of how this has occurred, experience shows that many readers and interlocutors have a hard time coming to this conclusion when it is presented this way given the sources. This is exactly why Santa Claus is my go-to comparison. We do not have a source which describes the careful empirical investigation of Santa Claus. We do have sources which say Santa Claus does not exist in spite of that. This is much the same as meridians/qi. What we are trying to do here is not engage in the kind of analysis that would be required to argue that research was done without any research being done as it were.
Have not modern (east-Asian and other) scientists abandoned that concept? The connotations of "abandon" is that there was some active process of declaring, "hey, let's set this aside" when it was, contrariwise, a situation where meridians/qi were never considered in the context of modern medicine in the first place. We're dealing with implications of action here, but it is important considering the way people often think about how science or descriptions of empirical reality are generated. We don't want readers thinking that there was some sort of campaign to demarcate the reality of meridians/qi when there simply was not. Medical scientists didn't "abandon" meridians/qi. They just never used them in the context of modern medicine.
it should be easy to write something better than "Neither qi nor meridians exist.", which really does read a bit like "God does not exist.", and is, in the context in which it is said, just as meaningless and uninstructive. Of course, in the context of philosophy, an expansive deity such as "God" is a topic which means so many different things to so many different people that it begs the question. In contrast, the way meridians/qi get treated in an article on shiatsu, for example, is much less ambiguous. To the extent that this is something that matters to the discussion of shiatsu, we need to be clear that these claims are based on things which do not exist much the same way we would say that the claims of a modern-day proponent of miasma theory would be making claims on the basis of things which do not exist.
I'm actually quite certain that you as well as some other editors here could come up with something better than what I wrote This is typically done in the context of the talkpage, but I'll give it a shot:
The practice of shiatsu is based on the traditional Chinese concept of qi, a concept sometimes defined as an "energy flow", that is supposed to channel through certain pathways in the human body known as meridians and cause a variety of effects. In spite of many practitioners explaining shiatsu using these ideas, neither meridians nor qi exist as observable natural phenomena.
Seems wordy to me and perhaps overwrought.
jps (talk) 12:51, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Maybe a little wordy, but not unforgivably so; "defined as" suggests perhaps more formality than is warranted, versus, e.g., "described as". XOR'easter (talk) 19:03, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Jps, you write: The context then is the modern medical and scientific understanding of the ideas. For better or worse, the dismissal of meridians/qi that happens in these contexts is indelicate. Yes, if you ask medical experts and natural scientists about these ideas, the dismissal will be more often than not indelicate. If, however, you ask historians and sociologists of science, anthropologists, etc., that will be much less the case. Where I fundamentally disagree with you is that medical experts and natural scientists are the ones we should be asking. Medical experts and natural scientists rightly declare TCM to be outside of their field of investigation. It's not proper medicine or science, and so they don't study it or engage with it. But in most cases that also means that they are utterly ignorant about it. Those who study TCM from a properly scientific point of view are historians, sociologists and anthropologists. It is in these fields that TCM is expressly made into an object of study, and that in-depth knowledge about is collected. Sometimes these historians and sociologists also have medical degrees, sometimes they don't, but they always take contemporary medical science as a norm when it comes to evaluating efficacy and the like. They're the ones whose POV should be prominent in our articles on this subject, not medical experts who know that TCM is fringe and that it doesn't work, but either not much or nothing beyond that. I believe that much of our other disagreements flow from this fundamental one. As a historian of science, I can tell you that empirical foundation does not play the role you seem to think it plays in the historical development of scientific theories, and that your apparent view of modern science and medicine as having come into being ex nihilo (I'm very sorry for the caricature, but that's how it comes over to me) is utterly ahistorical. But those are quibbles that are not worth going into here. Though I do not agree with every detail of it, I very much endorse your proposal, and I'm just really glad you gave it a shot. I also agree with XOR'easter's suggestion of using "described as" rather than "defined as". Finally, I think it may benefit from some more copy-editing. I suggest the following merely as a stylistic update (if I change your meaning, please say so):
The practice of shiatsu is based on the traditional Chinese concept of qi, which is sometimes described as an "energy flow". This energy flow is supposed to be channeled through certain pathways in the human body, known as meridians, thus causing a variety of effects. Despite the fact that many practitioners use these ideas in explaining shiatsu, neither meridians nor qi exist as observable natural phenomena.
Of course, we also still need someone familiar with the sources to add references. PaleoNeonate, from the article's talk page I got the impression that you have been looking at some sources for this article; is this right? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 23:51, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Well, if we agree on the content, it hardly matters if we think we disagree on the way we got here. I will just say that I think you are wrong in declaring the relevant epistemic community for the study of TCM is completely in the domain of sociologists and historians. There are aspects of TCM which are properly studied by those experts, but the particular sentences and context we are talking about really are properly studied in the context of science and medicine as practiced. Respectfully, historians and sociologists of this subject will not comment on the fact that meridians are not found in anatomy textbooks. They will not deal with the fact that the claims that believers in qi make when treating patients fly in the face of basic physics/chemistry/biology. That's because it's not their epistemic place to do so. We have sources of scientists, medical doctors, and skeptics who identify these issues plainly and without much in the way of reliable rejoinders that I have seen. Nevertheless, as I'm fine with your edits, I'm not sure this disagreement actually matters much. jps (talk) 00:06, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Off-topic banter
If I recall the cited source correctly, it says there's no scientific evidence that it will prevent or cure any disease. Saying there's no benefit goes beyond that. Several of the survey sources do discuss benefits. I'm certainly not saying we should claim there are benefits, either, but stating that there are not is too far to one side of NPOV. Dicklyon (talk) 04:29, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Facepalm Great. I wake up to find we've entered some parallel universe where Wikipedia editors propose content while admitting they haven't read the relevant sources. Alexbrn (talk) 05:01, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
I was just trying to be helpful by doing the wordsmithing. I have no reason to believe that anyone here will disagree with the content, and I think that it can be easily backed up by sources. Just thought that this could be done better by someone who has read the particular sources already cited in the article. This is a collaborative project after all. Thanks, ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 05:16, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
For fairness, someone please edit God to read "God does not exist." End all that pseudoscience once and for all! --Animalparty! (talk) 05:27, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
These topics are more like chiropractic subluxations than God (i.e. proposed as actual biophysical phenomena which are pivotal to medical treatment). Alexbrn (talk) 05:49, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
I thought maybe we should actually discuss the topic at hand. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 06:06, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Mizanur Rahman (Islamic activist)
Mizanur Rahman (Islamic activist) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
More eyes on this article would be welcome. FDW777 (talk) 12:46, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
If it wasn't there already and your concerns are not addressed soon I recommend BLPN, —PaleoNeonate – 17:13, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
More antivaxx
Peter A. McCullough (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Becoming prominent, and so attracting attention from IPs and "new" accounts. Could use wise eyes. Alexbrn (talk) 19:20, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
I will try and stem the inevitible WP:RECENTISM that accompanies any time someone mentions COVID-19 on TV. --Animalparty! (talk) 22:17, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
@Animalparty: There's one editor persistently adding just that. I've exhausted patience there, and I'm busy watching the opening match of rugby sevens at the Olympics (Fiji currently lead the hosts 24-19). See ya, RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 00:18, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Disinformation Dozen
I made a redirect for Disinformation Dozen, but I could see some potential for some spin-out if someone might be interested. Seems like there has been a lot more attention to this lately what with the Mercola profile in NYTimes this weekend, e.g. jps (talk) 03:04, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
This probably doesn't warrant its own article, just as we don't need a stand-alone article for every study, finding or science paper that gets major discussion for a week ("according to a new report, doctors say sugar will kill you"... "according to a new new study, sugar is fine"). This is a single primary report (with apparently, a remix) from a single agency. Just like most primary sources, the findings are what matters, and maybe gets the researchers a stand-alone biography, not the document. It's no more spin-out worthy than if the Southern Poverty Law Center released a list of the 10 Most Hateist Hate Groups for 2020, or National Geographic publishing the Sexiest Snakes Alive (number 4 will shock you!). The disinformation (baker's) dozen are named and discussed in context at Center for Countering Digital Hate#The Disinformation Dozen, and all have, or will likely soon have, their own articles. I think that's plenty good context. --Animalparty! (talk) 04:12, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
I actually started to draft an article, but when I saw what we had I thought it didn't quite merit a standalone. But if secondary commentary builds then ... maybe? Alexbrn (talk) 06:16, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Normally I would agree, but in this case the designation is gaining some amount of traction. Still, wait and see is a perfectly acceptable position at this point. jps (talk) 11:14, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Have you guys seen the standard of many new articles nowadays. It's like a torrent of shite. I'm certain that any article about the disinformation dozen would be an imformative, pleasant change. Please dont give up, just lower your standards a tad, OK? -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 12:22, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Funnily, when I see "disinformation dozen" I keep thinking of 12 apostles, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Twenty-Four Elders, Eight Immortals, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves...
PaleoNeonate – 15:51, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
You youngsters! Think back to The Dirty Dozen ! Alexbrn (talk) 16:12, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Bah. Seven Samurai. But actually, I thought of the other Four Horsemen, Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens and Thingummy. They don't have their own article either, not even a redirect, because they are on the same notability level, only they have been there longer - someone invented the moniker once, and it is used occasionally, but to call them a thing would be reification. --Hob Gadling (talk) 16:44, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Lets not blether on about all this old stuff, when we can have a freshly minted Gorski post regarding the Telly Savalas of the disinformation dozen. -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 17:28, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Lipid hypothesis
A user is adding an opinion piece from the New York Times from 2013 to the lead which fails WP:MEDRS. The reference does not mention the lipid hypothesis [16] so this is also original research.
The "Dissenting views" section cites some serious fringe advocates (known as cholesterol denialists) but I am not so sure that we should be citing these people in this much detail. A line has recently been added that cites Robert DuBroff. DuBroff [17] authored a controversial paper with Aseem Malhotra which has been described as an "extraordinary deception". [18]. It is clearly a false balance to be citing these minority of cholesterol denialists to be claiming in the lead that there is a dispute to lower blood cholesterol levels. Psychologist Guy (talk) 16:51, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
2021 Maricopa County presidential ballot audit‎
In light of Slate reporting that "One of the Leaders of the Arizona Audit Says Cyber Ninjas Might Be Cooking the Books", this article will likely need extra sets of eyes on it. The talk page has been a colloquy of IPs insisting that unreliable sources should be added to combat "bias"; it looks suspiciously like this is getting ready to burst into the article itself. BD2412 T 20:59, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Going to be a fun one, that. Hyperbolick (talk) 22:14, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
Transubstantiation - does sacramental bread transform into the body of Christ?
This 2019 study indicates that 31% of Catholics in the United States still believe in Transubstantiation, the idea that the sacramental bread and wine physically transform into the body and blood of Jesus when they are consecrated during Holy Communion. Since this is an objectively measurable claim, two PhD scientists performed this experiment and found that the wheat DNA had not transformed into human DNA after consecration. Can this study be integrated into any of these articles in a way consistent with Wikipedia policy? MarshallKe (talk) 22:17, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't think "Raelian scientists" are reliable sources. Schazjmd (talk) 22:23, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
I think if you're looking for an RS to be able to say that sacramental bread doesn't actually transubstantiate into the flesh of a 2000-year-dead religious figure, then you might be kinda missing the point of WP:RS.
I mean, this isn't even on a level of obviousness that we don't even need to cite a source to say it, but on a level of obvious so much greater that we don't even need to say it. I mean, when more than two thirds of Catholics don't even believe it, I don't think we really need to set the record straight. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPantsTell me all about it. 22:28, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Is there really a credible program of investigation that claims the bread does physically transform? I assume not. So then can't we just say that it is an article of faith, leave it implied that nobody believes it is literally magical cannibalism, and move on? User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 22:29, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Power: Indeed, this reminds me of Chrism, Vibhuti, etc. Rituals and religious doctrines that can be described as such, of course if a guru is controversial for faking materializations (i.e. regurgitating lingams or levitation and blind reading claims), there could be a mention if it's been criticized in decent sources... —PaleoNeonate – 22:53, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, as it exists now the transubstantiation article makes no direct claims as to physical transformation, let alone one involving DNA. Rather it's being referred to explicitly as a mystery, with no direct claim on the manner of transformation. I'd suggest we would need to verifiably source and clearly state that this is a claim being made (either by the church or by lay people who need a theology refresher, not isolated to Catholics) before 'debunking' it. Bakkster Man (talk) 13:44, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
There are a lot of Catholics. I would posit that the belief in transubstantiation is on similar or greater level than the belief in crystal healing. Yet, we are not afraid to put in that article the word "pseudoscientific" in the lede and include a large section on the mainstream scientific viewpoint. Is there really any difference? MarshallKe (talk) 22:46, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
[19] - LuckyLouie (talk) 22:53, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
They were somewhat popular in my area at some point, to MarshallKe: it also depends on what reliable sources say on the topic. Similar is the distinction of superstition and other religious beliefs, that even when closely related, are generally treated differently by sources for claims of large religions. —PaleoNeonate – 22:59, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
The Catholic Church, having had to deal with the sneering empiricists for as long as they've been organized, have become rather clever in avoiding claims that can be empirically debunked. But there are still some claims which suffer from empirical critique. Shroud of Turin comes to mind. jps (talk) 23:23, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
As far as I know, transubstantiation dogma does not claim that genetic material is altered. I believe the dogma claims that the accidents of the host remain the same while the substance changes which is, conveniently, not something that can be empirically tested. jps (talk) 23:18, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I mean, that would seem to make sense, since there seems to be no problem with the fact that the sacramental wafer doesn't turn all chewy and taste like chicken MarshallKe (talk) 23:27, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Catholic theologians spend a lot of time with hylomorphism to justify transubstantiation. They are profoundly anti-materialist when it comes to this stuff. jps (talk) 23:34, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
jps, I just want to briefly chime in to say that transubstantiation according to the catechism is actually that the whole substance is transformed; doctrinally, the bread becomes body and the wine becomes blood. That is, every eucharist is a miracle. The position you describe is much closer to consubstantiation, which has been specifically rejected by the Catholic Church as a heresy. Please note, I am not advocating the reality of this, merely noting Catholic dogma. I think "profoundly anti-materialist" is a good summation. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 13:46, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I believe that consubstantiation is the position that the substance of the "eucharistic species" remains after consecration. I was not trying to imply that. Accident is not substance, according to the Catholics I know who defend their belief. jps (talk) 16:23, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
You've sent me down quite a rabbit hole here! There is a wider variance here than I thought. Serves me right for seeking coherence. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 16:30, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
This is sophisticated theology. You are not allowed to be an atheist unless you understand all the details of all the possibilities and can tell the correct one from all the heresies, because of the Courtier's reply. --Hob Gadling (talk) 18:00, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Can confirm. I was sent off to get my PhD in Theology the day after I signed up for the Atheist Secular Society. They've got a whole department, the Holistic Organization for Liberal Education designed to ensure that only those with the highest level of knowledge can be atheists. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:10, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
You joke, but eons ago I took many religion courses in college because that's where the languages I wanted to study happened to be categorized. When I went abroad for my junior year, the receiving institution misunderstood this, and put me in a "practical theology" seminar. Literally, how to minister to a flock. That was the weirdest week of my life thus far. Dumuzid (talk) 18:18, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I bet it was, though to be fair, I'd love to actually audit a few practical theology courses. It's one part of religion I never got any direct insight into. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPantsTell me all about it. 18:31, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
This is reductive, but is not meant to be disrespectful in any way--from the three classes I attended, it seemed like half of it was "how do I educate the laity?" and the other half was "how do I deal with an educated laity?" I would have liked to get to some actual pastoral care (comforting grieving people, for instance), but I fear I did not have the patience required. Dumuzid (talk) 18:45, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
That makes sense. It's a shame that the "good stuff" as it were would have to come so late in the course, but that seems to be a common (and well-justified) motif in education. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:13, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any reliable source (or ecumenical statement) claiming that the Catholic Church believes that Communion wine ceases to be an aqueous solution of alcohol, phenolic compounds and congeners, and becomes an albumin suspension of lymphocytes, erythrocytes, thrombocytes, hormones and ions. This is likely because it doesn't appear to; debunking is difficult when there's no bunk. jp×g 03:52, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
You would need a secondary source that explains the relevance of the study. Some writers for example might consider that the results disprove transubstantiation, while others may argue it does not. Adding the study without commentary in secondary sources implies that the belief is false without explaining how believers would react to it. TFD (talk) 07:37, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Right, I mean -- people know what meat tastes like, and they know what communion wafers taste like, so my guess is that they would respond by saying "well, no shit, Sherlock". I can't go personally ask everyone who responded to the survey, but it seems most parsimonious to conclude that the 31% saying a goofy-sounding thing mean it in the doctrinally consistent metaphysical sense. Of course, some people on this world of ours are just very goofy, but this is true of anything -- I don't think this would be a significant revelation to any actual clergy, for example. jp×g 13:07, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Not usable as a source, I guess: [20] --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:57, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Using the scientific method to empirically disprove miracles is rather a pointless endevour. As faith and belief are subject to reason and argument. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:01, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Wait, they are? Great! I'm gonna go convert my fundie family members to Pastafarianism. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:21, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Just think of all the science one could do with a sample of JC's blood! -Roxy the grumpy dog. wooF 13:35, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
The water-to-wine possibilities are endless! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:58, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Why do we need to, do anr RS say it does? This is about a blue sky as it gets.Slatersteven (talk) 14:10, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
The whole point of transubstantiation or any other communion theory is that the bread and wine are not observably different, so it's completely uninteresting that scientific investigation doesn't show a change. Mangoe (talk) 19:43, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Many philosophical theories draw a distinction between the phenomenal world (what we can sense, measure and predict) and the real world which is beyond human experience. The arguments I see follow positivist philosophy which is that anything that exists can be observed. This is not like the Shroud of Turin claim, which is subject to empirical review. TFD (talk) 01:13, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
Not Evil Just Wrong
Made this a bit more NPOV, but I think they could move more towards WP:NPOV and away from WP:PROFRINGE. Ideas? --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:01, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Last edited on 30 July 2021, at 01:13
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