Open main menu

If NPOV is science, how do I deal with cases where the US 'science' is at odds with at least 80% of the world?

Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

The scientific NPOV of the USA being at odds with the NPOV of the rest of the worldEdit

I have a case where the scientifically accepted theory in the USA is water fluoridation , but 80%+ of the modern countries consider water fluoridation to be the scam of the century and back their claims with 100+ scientific studies and even change their constitution to avoid practices derived from water fluoridation from ever being implemented! Yet the USA publish 100's of books (including medical dictionaries) about how good water fluoridation is and how 'widely accepted' and 'extremely safe and extremely effective' it is.

So in the English-version Wikipedia I'm having a small edit war starting about this. People refuse to believe that most of the world's government(most scientists in the world) distrust water fluoridation, believe the opposite, or believe water fluoridation isn't proven. There is even plenty of dissension about water fluoridation in the USA including water fluoridation. But any true and easily verifiable comment like "...but Asia and most of Europe banned or refused to practice water fluoridation" is quickly removed!

This is because many people consider water fluoridation to be proven beyond all doubt and doesn't need link-clicking to check veracity - considering how many american dictionaries and technical books will not make any mention of widespread controversy against water fluoridation it must seem logical to them that this is a one-time conspiracy nutcase...

The net effect of the edit war is that I can't make the article keep info about most of Europe or almost all of Asia banning water fluoridation or refusing to use it.

The anti-water fluoridation NPOV sounds POVEdit

The reason I refer to it only as X is that Hitler used it first; and the WWII URSS used it second. To make matter worse X was started by USA's atomic bomb commission in WWII, and is a matter they couldn't have any expertise in at the time(it was too new) but heavily promoted water fluoridation overnight.

People react by saying: "So it's a nazi AND a commie conspiracy, AND an atomic bomb coverup that makes highly toxic vermin poison fraudulently sold as good for health? AND every dictionnary health medical dictionnary in north America are part of the conspiracy too?"

This of course looks like a POV to people who didn't write to the FDA, didn't get FOIA documents, etc.

Most people have no idea how often such situation occur; something repeatedly stated as good for 50ish years in all medical litterature, repeatedly 'proven safe' for another 50ish year, and then widely believed to be highly toxic based on proof that were available and replicated all along(plus a few new proofs, but the old ones were enough). Leaded gasoline is an example; tabbaco as 'healthy' or 'safe' is another.

In any case the POV apparence of this NPOV is making things extra hard.

Generic issueEdit

The generic issue here is how do I make an article about subjects like pollution and such in wikipedia when the American government has such a widespread 'scientific opinion' of 'safe levels' and 'good for health' when other countries completely disagree on a very scientific-based way? It is my experience other users aren't willing to click a link to verify, and certainly won't write the FDA to verify... and won't trust the webbed FDA reply to such a letter.

My view that water fluoridation is the scam of the century is a POV of course. The countries that constitutionally ban water fluoridation and stick to the view water fluoridation is too toxic to even be used in insecticides should at least be mentioned as banning water fluoridation. Mentioning "most of Europe banned or refused to practice water fluoridation" should be accepted as NPOV but is getting removed from the article...

I don't consider the links with the atomic bomb, the Nazis, or the commies useful enough for other wikipedians to file a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request just to verify the historical link with water fluoridation. Wikipedia isn't THAT good. But I definitively want countries banning practice water fluoridation listed in the article about water fluoridation...

As a generic issue many Xs exist. Here I define the generic X:

-An issue that the USA government has a 'very safe, very effective' POV about it but the rest of the world (or USA's fully-documented history) proves X to be highly harmful - backed by much more scientific studies than the USA in numbers, peer review, and quality.

-The average wikipedian has never been exposed to the idea that X is controversial except through my additions to wikipedia so that some are deleting it; The X dogma is strong enough that there is always someone to not check the reference before deleting the additions and others will not put it back even if they realize it's solid because the idea implied is inconfortable and would drag them into an edit war that's not theirs.

You have any advice?Edit

In any case I want advice about how to deal with such a situation before the nature of X is revealed; because mentionning water fluoridation and related icky events easily escalate to flame or edit wars and I don't receive sound advice when that happens.

So what's your advice? Any wikipedia 'jurisprudence'? And old-timer wikipedian idea other than 'start your own wiki'?

Drini advice.
Content issues relating Wikipedia should be dealt on Wikipedia. es:Drini 04:37, 18 February 2010 (UTC)