User talk:Mcfaulr

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Hello, Mcfaulr. You have new messages at Talk:List of regions of Australia#What categorises a region?.
Message added 04:01, 20 January 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Hello, welcome to Wikipedia. Here are some useful links in case you haven't already found them:

If you made any edits before you got an account, you might be interested in assigning those to your username. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to the village pump or ask me on my talk page. I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian!

snoyes 07:30, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Robert McFaul 06:07, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC) Testing my signature.

Hi there. I saw your note at the new user log. Welcome to Wikipedia! Just wanted to give you a couple quick tips. First, you generally sign your name at the end of a message, not at the beginning. I have no idea where William M. Connolley picked up the habit of doing it backwards, but it's confusing to look at.

(William M. Connolley 09:49, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)) This is my personal preference. Isomorhpic is correct though: if you want to follow the std practice, sign at the end.

Second, and not so obviously, you want to be careful about cleaning up talk pages, even your own. Because of the wiki format, we try to keep it very clear who said what, and when. Most (although not all) of us save all old messages from our talk pages in an archive. When the talk page gets large, you create a new page (say, User talk:Mcfaulr/archive1) and cut and past all the old stuff in. Also, be careful not to leave something unattributed. You accidentally cut off Snoyes' signature above. In this case it doesn't matter, but in general doing that could get someone annoyed, becuase it obscures who said what.

Anyway, sorry to lecture you on your first day. I'm glad you're here, and I hope you stick around. If you have any questions or want help with anything, leave me a message on my talk page.

Happpy editing, Isomorphic 06:27, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Complete digression ;-)[edit]

The following is a complete digression which does not really belong here - but I can't find the information I want or quite where I should put this digression. I am therefore placing it on this talk page since it arose while I was surfing about looking at Medieval climate optimum information.

(William M. Connolley 10:19, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)) Possibilities are: Village Pump, your page, Mailing lists. But its quite hard to get somewhat vague topics discussed on topic.

I am concerned about how I can verify the integrity of scientific articles and papers.

I would say, the short answer is, there is no short answer. You have to read and understand them. If they have appeared in peer reviewed scientific literature you can usually trust them, but S+B appears to be a possible exception. I would trust things that von S has written because he is credible.

The references 3 & 4 on the MWP page lead me to the article which the editor who resigned wanted to have published by the journal he used to work for. The editor claims he wanted only to dispute the methodology of the S&B paper, but then went on to describe the need for articles to not only contain facts but also "creative speculation". On a lighter note, does he mean that apparently scientific articles should be hard science fiction (like Larry Niven's "Ringworld") or just space opera (like "Star Wars")?

(William M. Connolley 10:19, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)) If you're interested in a real answer, you should omit the "on a lighter note..." stuff. Otherwise people will get distracted.

More seriously, imagine I have found an article which is fully referenced to many journal articles, and has statistical and graphical information to back up the claims made. Then, imagine, the article states that global warming has just recently stopped due to the beginning of the next ice age! (We presume wrongly. :-) ) How would I know not to bother quickly putting in a reference to this new startling "discovery"?

If the article is any good, consider asking why it isn't itself published in the scientific literature. *Referencing* other papers is easy. In this case, you can either (a) put in a ref to it in the GW article, or similar; in which case, since I watch those, I'll see your addition and check its valid; or (b) describe it on a talk page, which is a better idea if you're unsire of its quality.

Such an article might be dismissed by a political decision to just adhere to the IPCC line. In writing encyclopedia articles I must constrain myself to correctly just reporting the facts. I have to disregard political attitudes which might be muddled up (let us imagine) by current plans by my government to put a nuclear waste dump in my state instead of investing in a new coal-fired power station to prevent blackouts. :-(

Wiki has no such policy.

Seriously, I have found it a bit worrying to read a number of articles which appear credible and scientific without "creative speculation", yet have different conclusions. Would anyone like to comment?

You'll need to be a bit more specific about which articles you mean. BTW, I don't mean to monopolise the answering: anyone else of course feel free to comment.