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Help talk:Theories

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Some people are including a title for their theory in addition to a simple description. This does not fit the usual format. Should we remove the titles and put a rule in the format description that tells what exactly belongs in the theory box?--E rowe 18:41, 8 March 2007 (EST)

  • I'm not a big fan of the titles. In fact, in most cases, I think the title should be the description of the theory, and the rest of the explanation should be in Notes. That would be more standard. The first two columns should really be very brief: a statement of the theory, and any canon evidence with a citation. The rest--all the reasoning, explanation, hypothesizing, and such--really belongs in Notes. The problem we're running into with these pages isn't that there are too many theories for this format--it's that the theories we have are far too detailed for inclusion in a table. Most of them are waaaay tl;dr.--Hardvice (talk) 18:54, 8 March 2007 (EST)
    • Maybe the 2nd column should be called "canonical data." This could include both evidence and counter-evidence. Similarly, it could be called "canonical evidence/counter-evidence." Then the notes column could be as you describe and there wouldn't be confusion about where to put relevant canonical information that isn't exactly evidence. It would also make it more clear that non-canonical information doesn't belong in the second column. Overall, I think the table format is the best way to present the theories as long as it can be kept consistent and well-defined.--E rowe 21:18, 8 March 2007 (EST)
      • I agree. Renaming the column headings is already on my to do list for the next clean-up of the theories articles (hopefully this weekend). They have to be changed individually, and I use an external editor with find and replace when I do the cleanup, so I'll do it then (unless someone else wants to do it before then).--Hardvice (talk) 21:25, 8 March 2007 (EST)

+ and -

Someone want to add the new formatting into this?--Bob 18:05, 2 April 2007 (EDT)


I updated this page to reflect some of the major changes we've made recently. It makes sense to me, but if anything sounds confusing, feel free to edit it. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 12:32, 22 September 2007 (EDT)


One problem I've noticed lately is people adding a string of pluses and minuses under each piece of evidence, arguing back and forth about its validity. The theory page ends up looking like a talk page--and it is, after all, still an article, and the same standards should apply. Whenever possible, I try to combine these into a single note, representing both sides, to keep the page from looking junky. Can anybody think of anything we can do with either this page or the edit page help to combat this? It's really getting bad. Also, the theories pages all need to be scrubbed again. It should be easier now that they're on separate pages, but still ... ugh. Not my favorite chore.--Hardvice (talk) 20:15, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

  • Do we have a policy defined already for how the pages should be formatted? Perhaps we should emphasize that all the evidence must be to support or dispute the original theory itself and never be used for supporting or disputing a specific statement of evidence. Evidence itself should be factual (i.e. be as strict and confirmed as information in other articles) which means that with some rare exceptions no one should be able to dispute evidence most of the time. In instances where there's a back and forth it may be because the evidence itself is non-factual and therefore a theory in itself. I dont frequent the theories pages much so I don't know if this a reasonable policy or not, but it's what comes to mind. (Admin 20:40, 5 October 2007 (EDT))
    • The editing help when you edit a theory currently has, under evidence, "If evidence is incorrect, simply remove it or address it on the discussion page", and under general guidelines, "Do not respond to theories on this page. Use the discussion page instead." This help page doesn't really address the problem directly at all (it talks about how to add evidence, but not how not to do it.) We should probably clarify one, the other, or both. Really, what I'd really like is a guidelines sidebar like Lostpedia has, but I'm not sure it would work well with the tables (we'd have to narrow everything down), nor that it's appropriate to have guidelines for editors on a page that is, in essence, an article.--Hardvice (talk) 20:50, 5 October 2007 (EDT)
      • We could put a smaller, horizontal version of Lostpedia's sidebar at the top of the editing page by using MediaWiki:Edittoolstop. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 21:28, 5 October 2007 (EDT)
        • I adjusted template:theoryhelpbar to address the big points as I see 'em. We could probably slim it down even more if we need to, as it duplicates some of the info at the page bottom.--Hardvice (talk) 22:05, 5 October 2007 (EDT)
          • Was this policy ever decided upon? I read the above link, and it says "Do not add a "minus" below incorrect evidence explaining that it is incorrect," but what about evidence that is not correct or incorrect, but a point of view. What's the proper formatting procedure for pluses, minuses, notes and counterpoints. For instance, a recent theory posted was:

In volume three, the eclipse will be the catalyst for the final conflict between the heroes and the villains.

And the notes section currently reads:

+ Usutu says: "Evil forces gather. The dark sun rises. Soon, it will be too late." (Eris Quod Sum) "Dark sun" appears to be a reference to an eclipse.

- It's possible that it was a play on words and 'dark sun' really meant 'dark son,' referring to one of Arthur's children (likely Sylar).
+ Closed captions for the episode read "dark sun."
- It could however still be a double entendre; Usutu's words could refer both to the eclipse and Sylar

It seems that these are all valid points, and as long as it doesn't devolve into a back-and-forth (that is, just stating a counter-possibility and leaving it at that), it seems fine. But what happens when the note is not addressing the theory itself, but the point above it, in terms of whether to use a +/-/note? Do we use the opposite of the point being addressed (eg - in the above example, the 'Closed caption' point counters the previous point about 'dark son,' so should it be an indented minus, or does it go to plus to remain opposite the point it's countering? And when should notes be used instead of pluses and minuses? I feel I've explained/posed this poorly, but I'm confused as to the procedure we're meant to follow here. --Stevehim 18:18, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

  • The theory snippet you provided above is a great example of back-and-forth. Evidence should not be from a point of view, and the above "evidence" reads as a discussion, not as points that support or negate the theory. The only note that should be there is "Usutu says: 'Evil forces gather. The dark sun rises. Soon, it will be too late.' (Eris Quod Sum)" At the very most, there could be a negative point that says "However, Usutu may have said, "The dark son rises." The rest is a discussion about close captioning and double entendres, and should be reserved for the discussion page. By the way, and for the record, closed captions are definitely not canon. Closed captioning once called Daniel Linderman "Bill", and there are lots of other examples of cc mistakes. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 18:32, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

When do "Absurd/Non-Sequitir theories" become considered wiki-vandalism?

I have been noticing, that there are certain theories presented in the "Fan Theories" Sections that are completely-of a non sequitir nature or have nothing to do with Heroes or the Wiki itself outside of outright mocking of it and it's followers. I'm not talking about the tongue in cheek Gumby-spotting or the Mr. Muggles and Waffles Pages, but rather in the places where there is genuine fan speculation and you get a theory that has nothing to do with the show or even relates to any of the other plausible theories.

I mean it's one thing if I make a theory and keep it within the scope of the show (like say for example "Molly Walker" is the hooded killer, it's not really that plausible but I'm staying within the scope of the show), but when I start saying things like "The hooded killer is George W. Bush and he killed Kaito because he knows secrets about Enron and 9/11" that's going outside the scope of the show and is into the realm of outright absurd and non-sensical. It's not George W. Bush, he's never even been mentioned in the series, and he would have no reason to be there because there is no empirical evidence backing up the claim that it is GWB or that Kaito has any of the information I claimed he did in the theory. It's all wanton and discouraging speculation to make light of the act of speculation.

I know that we're supposed to not take the wiki extremely seriously, and it is to be a place were everyone can enjoy the information as long as no one is harming anyone, but it feels like this type of thing is as mocking as someone who walks up to me on the street, sees I'm wearing a Star Trek shirt and starts mocking me by making fun of how they say things on the show or asking questions they know are embarrassing or stupid to answer. If anything, I think that this wiki should enact rules like many others of its ilk and at least hold deletions and changes up for a vote to see if problem entries like that should be taken down. Just my two cents.--JYHash 05:11, 16 October 2007 (EDT)

  • I understand your concern, but for some of these theories, they're made by very active contributors to the site (such as myself...I found the Bellicheck theory to be pretty funny). Now, I'm not mocking the site, because I'm a sysop. It wouldn't make much sense for me to mock something I put a lot of time into. That being said, the theories section is separated from the rest of the namespaces because it's pure speculation. Once the theory is completely disproven or proven, that's when it's no longer speculation, because there's canon source that says otherwise, and it goes in the regular namespace. I hope you understand that some of us aren't using the theory pages to simply mock the site, but use it as a means of expression, similar to the fan articles. Again, the site isn't a pure wiki in the sense of an encyclopedia, because it gives fans that opportunity to express their views and thoughts (or in some cases, their humor).--Bob (Talk) 12:05, 16 October 2007 (EDT)


I am SO not a fan of the Citations portion of the Theories format. More often than not it goes unused, and merely wastes space on the screen. The repetition of "none" down practically every page is unnecessary, and clutters the page with ambiguous wasted negative space. I recommend two possible approaches to consider. Either the use of Citations in the table structure should be removed, or any theory that does not have a citation should be removed until it has one. I do understand that there are exceptions, and on rare occasion the Citation field is usable. However, there's nothing one can place under Citations that can't also fall under Notes. In fact, there are times when a Citation is placed in the Notes field, and Citation is still left as "none." I look forward to responses and rebuttals. ZachsMind 20:00, 30 September 2008 (EDT)