RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Tony O'Connell

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Tony O'Connell | Result: Kept[edit]

Tony O'Connell (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs) – (View log)


  1. Not missional. Tony O'Connell is a collector of Atlantis theories, yet he himself is quite reasonable. So: False accusations. Same scheme of article creation as we had it recently with the article "Thorwald C. Franke". --Wonderworld (talk) 19:20, 17 October 2016 (UTC)


  1. Connell is a crank. His website shows he supports the bizarre "expanding earth" theory and crazy Afrocentric pre-Columbian theories, the list goes on. He also holds fringe views about Atlantis. The sources for the expanding earth and "negroid" Olmecs is already on his page.HamiticRenaissance (talk) 19:51, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
  2. Seems pretty missional to me... SolPyre (talk) 23:44, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
  3. 𐌈FedoraTippingSkeptic𐌈 (talk) 23:48, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
  4. Nope, O'Connell clearly doesn't simply collect crankery but actively promotes it as the links to his website already in the article document. For instance, O'Connell doesn't even pretend to challenge Clyde Winters' Afrocentric nonsense but merely laments that Winters "fails to convincingly link this with Plato’s Atlantis." The same problem exists in O'Connell's discussion of the (failed) expanding Earth hypothesis in which he ends up with this passage: "Finally, I cannot help thinking about those Victorians who thought that they had reached the pinnacle of scientific understanding. They were wrong and, I believe, that so are we, although we are slowly, very slowly, edging towards the truth." Contrast this... charitable... treatment with how O'Connel wraps up his extremely terse entry on Michael Shermer: "I consider as fatuous, his comment that “Plato’s Atlantean dialogues are essentially an ancient Greek version of Star Wars.”" By contrast, not a single critical remark accompanies O'Connell's treatment of the extremely ancient Sphinx nonsense of Robert SchochWikipedia and others. The nominater clearly has the wrong end of the stick here as it is extremely easy to rustle up more examples similar to the ones already mentioned, e.g. O'Connell's fawning entry on the hyperdifusionist website Migration & Diffusion and its founder, Christine Pellech, who thinks the Greek tales of Jason and the argonauts and the Odyssey depict a real life circumnavigation of the globe. Or what about O'Connell's appreciative attitude to this bonkers version of pole shifts, or his claim that the only(!) possible explanations for global flood myths are "either a close encounter with an extraterrestrial body that created a mega tsunami that was on such a scale that it swept around the globe, perhaps a number of times before dissipating or the melting of the Ice Age glaciers produced the cyclical bursting of ice-dams and landbridges and the inundation of vast areas of low-lying land(a). I believe that the balance of probabilities favours the latter explanation." ScepticWombat (talk) 21:50, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
    ADDENDUM: Unless someone comes up with a clear indication that the examples provided here and in the O'Connell article are either taken out of context or do not reflect O'Connell's views (for instance, he may have changed his mind), I suggest we bring this vote to a speedy conclusion as the original nominator has done zilch work on RW apart from JAQing off, concern trolling, and complaining that O'Connell is being treated unfairly without providing any examples other than "he's really nice, trust me"-type claptrap and trying to put a positive spin on O'Connell's crankery. Indeed, Wonderworld's account seems to have been created for no other purpose than to nominate the O'Connell article for deletion. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:25, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
    Good point. I'll close the bloody thing.--JorisEnter (talk) 15:28, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
    Fine by me, though you might consider using some of my sourced stuff above to beef up the article. That would be a fitting case of Nemesis ;-) ScepticWombat (talk) 15:31, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Good write up by ScepticWombat. I'm not sure why "crank" was removed since it accurately described Connell. Another example is here: Eumalos of Cyrene, Atlantis Hoax. This is a 18th/19th century forgery, but Connell claims it is an authentic ancient text. Tony O' Connell is quoted on page 115 of Meet Me in Atlantis by Mark Adams:
There is another manuscript that confirms Plato, Yes? Yes! Eumalos of Cyrene". Its true; he did, Tony said, nodding in agreement.
HamiticRenaissance (talk) 15:44, 23 October 2016 (UTC)



Original nominator Wonderworld complains[edit]

(Copied from ScepticWombat's talk page)

I am not allowed to write in the deletion discussion (I do not know why, nobody informed me about reasons), so let me answer to your statement at this place: You summed up several citations of Tony O'Connell, but I think they do not justify the word "crank" but a milder judgement.
First, there is much irony in Tony O'Connell's statements transporting some of the criticism you miss. Secondly, in a lexicon you do not add time and again what you like or not like, but just display what this or that author wrote. Silence is not automatically to be seen as agreement, and a complaint that somebody misses to base claims concerning Atlantis is exacly what you expect from an Atlantis lexicon. Thirdly, there is nothing wrong in assuming that the end of the scientific process has not been reached, yet, but that we are approaching closer to the truth than in Victorian times: This does not mean that he agrees with the Victorian nonsense theories, but quite the opposite. And I, too, am not amused about paralleling Plato's Atlantis dialogues with Star Wars. Finally, you are right, that Tony O'Connell is a bit narrow on the possible origins of flood myths, but he has not chosen an impossible origin, and he maybe would quickly change his mind if asked: It is simply a light-handed statement in some corner of an immense work, so you cannot base the claim that he is a crank on this. IMHO you should first ask him whether he really wants to stay with his narrow view.
I assume that the article will stay. Then, you will have to be fair. You will have to sort out in detail what is really wrong, what is intentionally and with insistance wrong, whether he is intentionally silent, and so on, and so on. Much work. I do not trust in this Wiki, that it will be able to create a fair article about Tony O'Connell. But let us see. It is your responsibility. And a failure will be your guilt.
--Wonderworld (talk) 12:28, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
O'Connell, by his own words, thinks there was a real global flood, believes in Atlantis, hyperdiffusionism and and thinks the angle of the Earth's axis wobbled significantly in the (geologically) recent past and that this was a pole shift. In addition, he fails to challenge Winters' even crankier Afrocentric beliefs and instead simply cites the parts of his crankery he agrees with (in this case Winters' hyperdiffusionism). This is curious because O'Connell has no problems citing criticism of other cranks elsewhere in his lexicon (e.g. his entry on Von Däniken). All the ideas I listed are crankery (as per the "extremely unorthodox beliefs" definition in the article) rooted in pseudoarchaeology, pseudohistory and pseudoscience. I cited O'Connell word for word, so if you can find the supposed "irony in Tony O'Connell's statements transporting some of the criticism" you claim I missed, I suggest you cite these so we can all have a chuckle. I've unlocked the vote page so take your complaints/arguments there. I'm copying this thread to the goat section. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:05, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
His background is he formerly believed in Immanuel Velikovsky's theories, but he's now critical of those, and von Daniken. I agree: the fact he criticizes a few crazies, doesn't make him suddenly respectable since he still has plenty of fringe, bizarre and pseudo-historical views. The same thing can be said about Thorwald C. Franke, but he managed to get his article deleted. wonderworld is Franke on a sock (his first account was banned), and he's now trying to get Connell's page removed. Franke's page entry should have stayed since he's a crank like Connell, and note how he defends him. They both support each others work - none of course scholarly or peer-reviewed. Franke self-publishes his Atlantis books and then creates fake reviews on Amazon to rate them 5 stars. See the reviewer accounts only have 1 reviews on Franke's books: [1] [2]. They're both Franke reviewing his own books while pretending to be separate persons who bought his self-published books.HamiticRenaissance (talk) 18:04, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
I can't say I'm sorry that the Franke article was axed:
Firstly, Franke seems to be on a one-man "vanity quest" and his influence seems to consist of self published material that no one else reads.
Secondly, he is far better than O'Connell at avoiding the most obvious crankery, making him a less missional subject.
Thirdly, his writing style is far more hedging and resorts less to the balance fallacy-style employed by O'Connell (where he just list a shitload of other cranks' ideas without delving into the fact that they are fringe nuttery, a tactic similar to teach the controversy). This means that it is more difficult to actually tease out Franke's crankery, though he does seem to depend heavily on JAQing off, especially in relation to actual academia (while always hedging just enough to avoid a full blown Evil Liberal Science Conspiracy/Galileo gambit/persecution complex), but it also makes his crankery less interesting and a debunking would likely bog down in fruitless wikilawyering and discussions about interpretations of how to interpret this or that passage.
Fourthly and finally, Franke, even more than O'Connell, seems to be a nobody with a website, making a debunking of Franke less necessary. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:40, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Connell doesn't pretend to be an academic though. Franke is a pseudo-academic obsessed with credibility despite the fact he ignores the consensus by philosophy experts on Plato and classicists: Atlantis is fiction. He came here posting Latin to appear smart, but was using a google translator, describes his website as an "academic approach to Atlantis" (it isn't) and has put himself on google scholar despite none of his publications are peer-reviewed. He self-publishes his work on "Books on Demand", but since no one buys them he writes fake reviews at Amazon. I just see him as a charlatan. Connell in contrast isn't after an academic status and isn't pretending to be someone he's not - Atlantis to him as a layperson is just a reading hobby.HamiticRenaissance (talk) 20:07, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, that just means that Franke has delusions of grandeur and fancies himself a scholar when he's only a pseudohistorian (his Computer Science degree is useless in this context). I find these efforts of his more sad and pathetic than anything else. Do anyone actually read his pretentious crap? I can only find two hits on him from Colavito (who's something of a connoisseur, after all) and both are just passing mentions, whereas Colavito cites Atlantipedia in six articles using it as a quick reference for Atlantis crankery, though O'Connell himself only appears in the review of Meet Me in Atlantis. Aaanywaaay, Franke's pet vanity project doesn't necessarily make him missional. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:31, 23 October 2016 (UTC)