|WikiProject Japan / History||(Rated Start-class, High-importance)|
|WikiProject Former countries||(Rated Start-class)|
Mark Riddle and Balbals
This rather odd claim of "Turkic Balbals" seem to come from a very poor source. Mark Riddle had no background in history or anthropology. In fact, he was a Mormon missionary and English instructor who peddles fringe theories like "Israelites and Christians in Old Japan". In the paper referenced, he uncritically cites Wikipedia as a source, multiple times, even while acknowledging that Wikipedia is written by 'anonymous authors'. Other sources he uses are turkishairlines.com, pictures he found on Facebook, Lonely Planet, etc (which he interprets himself), and an amateur photographer.
This is not the work of a professional. It is what we would dismiss as WP:SYNTHESIS.
It was published in Sino-Platonic Papers, which is overseen by the respected Victor Mair, but not peer reviewed. The site openly declares that it takes "risks", prefers "challenging and creative" theories, and is "not the place for safe, sober, and stodgy presentations". This sounds like a nice way of saying it publishes fringe theories and speculation, which is reflected in their publications -- mostly papers on cultural influences across Eurasia based on speculation (some reasonable, some far-fetched, many not RS). Which is not unusual for a monograph, but should be regarded with extreme caution as a source for Wikipedia.
More importantly, Sino-Platonic also declares that its contributors are often unqualified amateurs ("actively encourages younger, not yet well established, scholars and independent authors to submit manuscripts"). A background check on many of its authors (not all, some are real scholars) confirms that they are either students or just people with no academic expertise on the subject they're writing about. Mark Riddle is one of them. Should his paper be removed? - AMorozov 〈talk〉 03:47, 14 June 2020 (UTC)