The trouble with Wikipedia

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:12 am

Jimmy Wales has rejected a petition calling for new policies on CAM:

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia: Create and enforce new policies that allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing.

Wikipedia is widely used and trusted. Unfortunately, much of the information related to holistic approaches to healing is biased, misleading, out-of-date, or just plain wrong. For five years, repeated efforts to correct this misinformation have been blocked and the Wikipedia organization has not addressed these issues. As a result, people who are interested in the benefits of Energy Medicine, Energy Psychology, and specific approaches such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques, Thought Field Therapy and the Tapas Acupressure Technique, turn to your pages, trust what they read, and do not pursue getting help from these approaches which research has, in fact, proven to be of great benefit to many. This has serious implications, as people continue to suffer with physical and emotional problems that might well be alleviated by these approaches.

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, left the organization due to concerns about its integrity. He stated: "In some fields and some topics, there are groups who 'squat' on articles and insist on making them reflect their own specific biases. There is no credible mechanism to approve versions of articles.”

This is exactly the case with the Wikipedia pages for Energy Psychology, Energy Medicine, acupuncture, and other forms of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM), which are currently skewed to a negative, unscientific view of these approaches despite numerous rigorous studies in recent years demonstrating their effectiveness. These pages are controlled by a few self-appointed “skeptics” who serve as de facto censors for Wikipedia. They clothe their objections in the language of the narrowest possible understanding of science in order to inhibit open discussion of innovation in health care. As gatekeepers for the status quo, they refuse discourse with leading edge research scientists and clinicians or, for that matter, anyone with a different point of view. Fair-minded referees should be given the responsibility of monitoring these important areas.

I pledge not to donate to your fundraising efforts until these changes have been made.


to which Jimmy Wales responded:

Jimmy Wales on Change.org wrote:No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.

Wikipedia's policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals - that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of "true scientific discourse". It isn't.


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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:31 am

If Jimmy Wales wants a citation I've got one for him...

Naturwissenschaften
May 1996, Volume 83, Issue 5, pp 232-235
The dowsing data defy Enright's unfavorable verdict
S. Ertel


I actually came across this on an old version of the Wikipedia Dowsing page, but it was subsequently removed. It relates to the
scientific work of Prof Hans Dieter Betz and served to defend Betz's work
against the rebuttal written by J. Enwright (a CSICOP regular who printed his rebuttal in the Skeptical Enquirer)

I haven't read this yet, but why was it removed? Naturwissenschaften not respectable enough for you, Jimmy? Perhaps you could tell THEM why..?

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:29 am

Another citation for you, Mr. Wales.

V. C. Reddish (1998). Dowsing physics: interferometry. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 89, pp 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0263593300002339.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh not respectable enough for you, Jimmy?

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:37 pm

from the BBC...

Hillsborough Wikipedia posts were 'sickening', Cabinet Office says

The government has said changes to a Wikipedia page about the Hillsborough disaster that were allegedly made on Whitehall computers were "sickening" and "disgusting".


CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:56 am

Another interesting website on the trouble with Wikipedia...

http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:35 am

from the BBC...

Wikipedia edit from government computer added Muslim insult

The charity that represents Wikipedia in the UK has condemned edits made from government computers after more incidents of vandalism emerged.


CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby simonwheeler » Wed May 28, 2014 5:16 am

Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists

says the BBC Health news website
Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries, and should be treated with caution, a study has said.

Scientists in the US compared entries about conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer, depression and diabetes with peer-reviewed medical research.

They said most articles in Wikipedia contained "many errors"


No surprise there then....
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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:08 pm

Dowsing on Wikipedia...

The history page showed up a recent bit of skeptical editing by a fellow called "Bobrayner"

So now it seems that it is unacceptable to even mention:

1) the FACT that water-divining is done commercially (and not just by farmers)
2) the FACT that some water-diviners work on a "no find no fee" basis
3) the FACT that experiments on dowsing are done under artificial conditions which don't reflect the circumstances under which real world dowsing takes place.

I wonder which Wikipedia regulation this breaks? :lol:

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby simonwheeler » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:28 pm

Well he is, to use his own words:

working towards neutral coverage on subjects which often have few mainstream sources


He does seem to have a lot of time on his hands and/or be very busy.... Poor lamb...
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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:16 am

A quote from the very same guy on the Wiki Dowsing Talk page:

BobRayner wrote:It's a device which is claimed to find nearby substances but, in fact, can only succeed through chance and self-delusion: It is dowsing. bobrayner (talk) 15:02, 21 July 2011 (UTC)


"Neutral coverage"? You're having me on...

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:55 am

from astrologer.com...

Wikipedia has been hijacked by 'guerrilla skeptics'!
An Idealistic Project is infected with systemic bias


CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:27 am

from the BBC...

Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' page edits from US Congress

Wikipedia administrators have imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following "persistent disruptive editing".


CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Grahame Gardner » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:25 pm

Rupert Sheldrake is supporting a new alternative online alternative to Wikipedia called ISHAR, a repository of holistic and complementary therapies and psi phenomenon that will (hopefully) be sceptic free. They are currently fundraising on Indiegogo.

Click Here for details.
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:51 pm

from Rupert Sheldrake...

The Wikipedia Problem

How skeptical activists have captured Rupert's Wikipedia biography page and dozens of other pages, and what might be done about it.

A talk by Rupert at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC, Canada in July 2014.


CLICK HERE for the audio page.

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Re: The trouble with Wikipedia

Postby Grahame Gardner » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:24 am

From Rupert Sheldrake's Facebook page:

Rupert Sheldrake wrote:An important new website is launched today, Skeptical about Skeptics http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org I am one of the advisors to the site.

Unfortunately, organized groups of skeptics are very effective in promoting taboos against parapsychology, alternative and complementary medicine, and other subjects that do not fit into a narrow, materialist worldview. Skeptical About Skeptics highlights skeptical organizations and their activities, features inside reports from skeptical congresses, gives a survey of current controversies, and includes a Who's Who of media skeptics.

Mission statment - "Members of militant skeptical organizations often think of themselves as defending science and reason against superstition and credulity.
These are worthy aims, but we at Skeptical About Skeptics think that science and reason are best served by considering the evidence for unexplained phenomena scientifically rather than assuming that
these phenomena do not exist because they do not fit in with materialist assumptions.
We support science, not scientific fundamentalism. "
Grahame
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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