Jimmy Wales tells "energy workers" that Wikipedia won't publish woo, "the work of lunatic charlatans isn't the equivalent of 'true scientific discourse'"

If I prescribe a placebo for stress-induced illness, am I practicing good medicine?


right, as long as they don’t do it on Wikipedia

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in 1906 the Wright brothers were quite reviled by the press

Tapas acupressure? Like, applying tiny plates to the affected area?


Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a peer reviewed journal. So no.


If they have proven their theories and claims, they can provide that evidence to be included on Wikipedia.And as pjcamp said, they aren’t a peer-reviewed journal. So.


I’m not sure why you’re so obsessed with the Wright brothers, exactly, but you haven’t provided much for us to actually verify your vague claims, so…


OOOO! And Galileo! Don’t forget Galileo!

In point of fact, the Wright brothers were not reviled by the press which was blissfully unaware of what they were up to most of the time.

They weren’t reviled by other aviation pioneers, who were working along similar lines. In fact, Otto Lilienthal had almost scooped them about a decade earlier.

Sometimes a wrong thing is just wrong and a crackpot is just a crackpot. There isn’t a shred of evidence for what these guys believe and if they appear in the encyclopedia at all it should be in an article about gullibility and pseudoscience.

You know who else they all made fun of? Lysenko, homeopathy, Ignatius Donnelly, Erich von Daniken, William Shockley, Jenny McCarthy and William Jennings Bryan. See the previous paragraph.


Good for Mr. Wales. Science is Science. Woo and bullcrap are woo and bullcrap


You’re laboring under the misapprehension that a “therapy” that doesn’t directly, physically harm the patient is the same as a therapy that does no harm.

If you convince a person with AIDS that drinking plenty of water is an effective treatment, you’re diminishing their trust in HAART medications, which actually do work. Drinking water may “do no harm” but when you convince people to believe in hogwash, you’re both diminishing their trust in science, and opening them up to more easily believe in other garbage as well.

Don’t prescribe shit that doesn’t have scientific backing. Doing so is ethically irresponsible, and morally reprehensible. You can’t claim it does no harm anyway without the proper testing and scientific evidence anyway.

Your argument is flaccid, and your message is unappealing and wrong. If you don’t want to get slapped down, go learn how to think critically before you spout off at the mouth.


Which world is that?
Update – I see that Immutable_Mike got there first.


Multiple universes, AMIRITE?


I dunno about “reviled”. The first search result was this 1906 article from the Manchester Guardian, which combines a tone of skepticism with a concession that some commercial secrecy is inevitable.


Wikipedia can acknowledge the existence of folk rituals in an anthropological sense, can’t it?

There are plenty of useful ways that quackery could be incorporated into Wikipedia, such as the listings for “Quackery”, “Pseudoscience”, or even “Witchcraft”.


You forgot “Theology”.


Wha? But even if you think it sounds like woo isn’t it still, you know, actual science? And also are you totally sure you’re talking about the science and not the woo that often borrows verbiage from it?


Citation, please. I can’t find anything remotely resembling that number.

For those of you just tuning in, here’s some context on the contextual uses of iatrogenic.


We’re talking Wikipedia here.

So with theology, the most influential religions are considered reliable sources on themselves, and reliable sources on non-influential religions, freely labeling them ‘heresies’ and describing them in terms of disagreements and purported disagreement with the most influential religions.

In general, ‘neutral point of view’ has come to mean ‘most widespread point of view, no matter how non-neutral.’

And with autism, the most influential anti-autistic hate groups are considered reliable sources on us, and with transsexualism, certain anti-trans hate groups are considered reliable sources on us. If we raise the issue, we’re accused of bias, political correctness, and righting great wrongs, and we face personal attacks and attempts to force us to out ourselves, and if we check the sources cited and re-write text to be clear and consistent with the sources cited, we’re accused of edit-warring, if we ignore bullies, we’re again accused of edit warring and insulted by admins and hounded off the damn site.

I think Wikipedia could once have been a good reference. But now it is a cesspool of hate and it is crowding out the possibility of building a better reference.


makes me feel warm inside after the occulus fiasco.


Yes, we should. Demonstrably false nonsense doesn’t stop being demonstrably false nonsense just because somebody really wants it to be true. I applaud Mr. Wales’ commitment to the factual, and I wish it were more universal. The biggest mistake liberals make is letting magical thinking slide out of desire not to offend. This coddling has to stop. All bullshit - regardless of “cultural significance” - should be treated as bullshit.