The goal of this topic is to educate about what canonizer.com is and is not. It is also to determine, definitively, what people think about using well supported camps in canonizer.com as Verifiable and trusted
sources capable of definitively documenting who is currently on various sides of controversial issues.
Below is a characterization of the problem and some history on attempts to date to refer to some well supported 'camps' in canonizer.com to more rigorously document who are in which camps relative to other camps on controversial issues.
In controversial topics within Wikipedia, it is often attempted to enumerate or document who or which recognized experts are in which camps in various ways. For example, on the issue of global warming, many people often assert and commonly act as if there is a Scientific consensus
regarding various global warming issues. One attempt to refute such often accepted assumptions is this Wikipedia article containing a List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming
. Another example is in the article on Qualia
where 6 'Critics' and 8 'Proponents' have been arbitrarily selected and listed.
The grass roots group of volunteers creating canonizer.com agree with the importance of what is being attempted by such efforts but recognized the many problems with the various methods being used in such examples to date. The goal of the people working on canonizer.com is to develop and produce a much more rigorous way to first, concisely state and develop what 'camps' there are; second to definitively document in trusted, comparative, unbiased, and real time ways who is in what camp; and finally to develop and use reputation information to classify people in various ways to determine expertise
, to not only enable rigorous and unbiased measures of 'scientific consensus' but also to comparatively measure consensus according to the general population, and many other diverse ways people may want to canonize, if you will, such measures of consensus.
There is a growing group of people that believe the listing of 6 critics and 8 proponents of qualia in the current article in Wikipedia to be grossly misleading of the true state of scientific consensus in this field. The obviously still early and not yet comprehensive survey data collected to date on Theories of Consciousness
is tentatively supporting their beliefs. One of the listed qualia 'proponents', John R Smythies
, and several other arguably more recognized experts such as Steve Lehar
have already signed or joined a proponent of qualia camp. At any time, members of any opposing camp can do work to develop and recruit new members, but to date, no significant critic of quail camps have developed.
In early 2009, Brent Allsop, acting as a representative of the many diverse experts already supporting camps at canonizer.com started proposing additions to various related articles on Wikipedia such as this proposal for the qualia article
. While some editors such as Looie496 were not initially supportive of using references to canonizer.com, when he learned more about it he said: "That's a very interesting concept. I have some skepticism that it will hold together, but the possibilities are exciting" as can be seen in the talk page on Philosophy of mind
. While he felt canonizer.com should receive "some level of independent notability before wikipedia links to it" he did not say specify what level would be required, nor was he willing to further pursue fighting edit wars to keep references to canonizer.com out. As a result, references to wikipedia articles continued to be added to various topics for several more months.
Then in April, 2009, the editor Jw2035 jumped in and removed some references to canonizer.com in these 3 Wikipedia articles:
In the talk pages, he provided various copies of 5 reasons, the most complete of which is being maintained here:
- canonizer.com is intrinsically biased by the way it is set up. it is not a neutral source that discusses all viewpoints in a single place. if citing it you would have to cite the opposing 'camps' and discuss their views on the topic as well, not just select one 'camp' that supports your views. this could quite simply continue outward; once you've cited the opposing 'camp', to meet WP:NPOV you must then cite those opposing to the opposing camp!
- since anyone can sign up using any username, how on earth do you know that 'A. Expert' is actually who they say they are?
- i'm sure some experts can contribute, but so can anyone. there is a lot of non-peer reviewed questionable material on there, that i've (flippantly) called crackpot science that make fringe theories look more notable than they are.
- it essentially is a forum for discussion. forums are not a suitable source for wikipedia, since they are not a verifiable or reliable source. see Wikipedia:Verifiability for more information.
- this is not a form of peer review since articles are simply not reviewed before being posted. neither are they necessarily reviewed by those who are working in the field. there are far more, reliable and verifiable, journals out there and plenty of people working in the subject area to validate the review process.