From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is failing /test


  1. WP:NPOV
    1. Template:FixPOV(edit talk links history)[neutrality is disputed] - This template is suitable for pointing out where you think a minor POV problem exists.
    2. Template:Lopsided(edit talk links history)[unbalanced opinion?]
    3. Template:POV-statement(edit talk links history)[neutrality is disputed]
    4. Template:POVassertion(edit talk links history)[neutrality is disputed] - to signify that just that statement may be subjective
  2. WP:V
    1. Template:Specify(edit talk links history)[specify]
    2. Template:Who(edit talk links history)[who?]
    3. Template:Fact(edit talk links history)[citation needed]
    4. Template:Citequote(edit talk links history)[This quote needs a citation]
    5. Template:Page number(edit talk links history)[page needed]
    6. Template:Request quote(edit talk links history)[need quotation to verify]
    7. Template:Verify source(edit talk links history)[verification needed]
    8. Template:Dubious(edit talk links history)[dubious ]
    9. Template:Verify credibility(edit talk links history)[unreliable source?]
    10. Template:Unverifiable(edit talk links history)[not specific enough to verify]
    11. Template:Failed verification(edit talk links history)[not in citation given]
  3. WP:NOR
    1. Template:Or(edit talk links history)[original research?]
  4. importance/notability/off-topic
    1. Template:Importance-inline(edit talk links history)
    2. Template:Relevance-inline(edit talk links history)[relevant? ]

npov notes[edit]


Wikipedia:Words to avoid argues against using "claim" in contexts where "say" or "write" would be appropriate. They suggest "argue" is an appropriate alternative. Other words to avoid: so-called, supposed, alleged, purported.

things to avoid[edit]


Some Wikipedians, in the name of neutrality, try to avoid making any statements that other people find offensive or objectionable, even if objectively true. This is not the intent of striving for neutrality. Many groups would prefer that certain facts be stated euphemistically, or only in their own terminology, or suppressed outright; such desires need not be deferred to. On the other hand, these terms should be presented, explained and examples given, perhaps with views of other groups of why the term is used as well as the group itself.

Reasoning behind NPOV[edit]

Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, which means it is a representation of human knowledge at some level of generality. But human beings disagree about specific cases; for any topic on which there are competing views, each view represents a different idea of what the truth is, and insofar as that view contradicts other views, its adherents believe that the other views are false and therefore not knowledge. ... A solution is that we accept, for the purposes of working on Wikipedia, that "human knowledge" includes all different significant theories on all different topics.

A vital component: good research[edit]

Disagreements over whether something is approached the Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) way can usually be avoided through the practice of good research. Facts (as defined in the A simple formulation section above) are not Points Of View (POV, here used in the meaning of "opposite of NPOV") in and of themselves. A good way to build a neutral point of view is to find a reputable source for the piece of information you want to add to Wikipedia, and then cite that source. This is an easy way to characterize a side of a debate without excluding that the debate has other sides. The trick is to find the best and most reputable sources you can. Try the library for good books and journal articles, and look for the most reliable online resources. A little bit of ground work can save a lot of time in trying to justify a point later.

The only other important consideration is that sources of comparable reputability might contradict. In that case the core of the NPOV policy is to let competing approaches of the same topic exist on the same page: work for balance, that is: divide space describing the opposing viewpoints according to reputability of the sources. And, when available, give precedence to those sources that have been the most successful in presenting facts in an equally balanced manner.

Fairness of tone[edit]

If we are going to characterize disputes neutrally, we should present competing views with a consistently fair and sensitive tone. Many articles end up as partisan commentary even while presenting both points of view. Even when a topic is presented in terms of facts rather than opinion, an article can still radiate an implied stance through either selection of which facts to present, or more subtly their organization — for instance, refuting opposing views as one goes along makes them look a lot worse than collecting them in an opinions-of-opponents section.

We should write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible, bearing in mind the important qualification about extreme minority views. We should present all significant, competing views sympathetically.


  • Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties.
  • An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject.
  • From Jimbo Wales, paraphrased from this post from September 2003 on the mailing list:
    • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
    • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
    • If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.

arbcom principles[edit]

  • It is inappropriate to remove blocks of well-referenced information which is germane to the subject from articles on the grounds that the information advances a point of view. Wikipedia's NPOV policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view.
  • Wikipedia's neutral point-of-view (NPOV) policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view regarding any subject on which there is division of opinion.
  • Wikipedia articles should contain information regarding the subject of the article; they are not a platform for advocacy regarding one or another point of view regarding the topic. Sweeping generalizations which label the subject of an article as one thing or another are inappropriate and not a substitute for adequate research regarding details of actual positions and actions which can speak for themselves.
  • Injection of personal viewpoints regarding the subject of an article is inappropriate and not to be resolved by debate among the editors of an article, but referenced from reputable outside resources. See Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
  • Unexplained deletions of portions of controversial articles are unacceptable.
  • The Wikipedia policy of editing from a neutral point of view, a central and non-negotiable principle of Wikipedia, applies to situations where there are conflicting viewpoints and contemplates that significant viewpoints regarding such situations all be included in as fair a manner as possible.
  • Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy contemplates including only significant published viewpoints regarding a subject. It does not extend to novel viewpoints developed by Wikipedia editors which have not been independently published in other venues.
  • Neutral point of view as defined on Wikipedia contemplates inclusion of all significant perspectives regarding a subject. While majority perspectives may be favored by more detailed coverage, minority perspectives should also receive sufficient coverage. No perspective is to be presented as the "truth"; all perspectives are to be attributed to their advocates. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
  • Wikipedia articles are edited from a Wikipedia:Neutral point of view which contemplates that all significant viewpoints regarding a matter shall be appropriately represented. Where necessary, contributors must be willing to "write for the enemy".
  • All contributions should be written from the NPOV. (See Wikipedia:NPOV.)


writing the the NY Review of Books, Biology Prof. H. Allen Orr writes[1] in a review of Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by NY Times science writer Nicholas Wade[2] --

We all know that much evil has been committed in the name of various crackpot theories of race. But it does not follow that racial differences do not exist or that science can say nothing sensible about them.
conclusions that are broadly accepted by human geneticists ... human races are real and they correspond reasonably well to our folk distinctions between peoples from different continents.
it would be miraculous if these [racial] differences did not exist
[the existence of race differences] should come as no surprise

in the book, Wade wrote:

It is often assumed that evolution works too slowly for any significant change in human nature to have occurred with the last 10,000 or even 50,000 years. But this assumption is incorrect...
Because the human population was dispersed across different continents, between which distance and hostility allowed little gene flow, the people on each continent followed independent evolutionary paths. It was these independent trajectories that led over the generations to the emergence of a variety of human races.

In the NY Times, Armand Leroi wrote:

Yet there is nothing very fundamental about the concept of the major continental races; they're just the easiest way to divide things up. Study enough genes in enough people and one could sort the world's population into 10, 100, perhaps 1,000 groups, each located somewhere on the map.
Some critics believe that these ambiguities render the very notion of race worthless. I disagree.
The billion or so of the world's people of largely European descent have a set of genetic variants in common that are collectively rare in everyone else; they are a race. At a smaller scale, three million Basques do as well; so they are a race as well. Race is merely a shorthand that enables us to speak sensibly, though with no great precision, about genetic rather than cultural or political differences.
But it is a shorthand that seems to be needed. One of the more painful spectacles of modern science is that of human geneticists piously disavowing the existence of races even as they investigate the genetic relationships between "ethnic groups." Given the problematic, even vicious, history of the word "race," the use of euphemisms is understandable. But it hardly aids understanding, for the term "ethnic group" conflates all the possible ways in which people differ from each other.

Ernst Mayr wrote: (The Biology of Race and the Concept of Equality. Daedalus, Winter 2002. Vol. 131, pg. 89)

Let me begin with race. There is a widespread feeling that the word "race" indicates something undesirable and that it should be left out of all discussions. This leads to such statements as "there are no human races." Those who subscribe to this opinion are obviously ignorant of modern biology.
Still, if I introduce you to an Eskimo and a Kalahari Bushman I won't have much trouble convincing you that they belong to different races. In a recent textbook of taxonomy, I defined a "geographic race" or subspecies as "an aggregate of phenotypically similar populations of a species inhabiting a geographic subdivision of the range of that species and differing taxonomically from other populations of that species."
the geographic races of the human races established before the voyages of European discovery and subsequent rise of a global economy - agree in most characteristics with the geographic races of animals. Recognizing races is only recognizing a biological fact.
At the same time, nothing could be more meaningless than to evaluate races in terms of their putative "superiority." Superiority where, when, and under what circumstances?
During the period of the development of the human races, each one became adapted to the condition of its geographic location.
Regardless of whether the difference in performance between individuals, or two groups, has biological or purely cultural causes, it is our moral obligation to see to it that each individual and group has an equal opportunity.
Geographical groups of humans, what biologists call races, tend to differ from each other in mean differences and sometimes even in specific single genes.

James F. Crow wrote: [3]

Just as there are great differences among individuals, there are average differences, usually much smaller, between groups. Italians and Swedes differ in hair color. Sometimes the differences are more conspicuous, such as the contrasting skin color and hair shape of Africans and Europeans. But, for the most part, group differences are small and largely overshadowed by individual differences. . . .
The evidence indicating that some diseases disproportionately afflict specific ethnic and racial groups does not ordinarily provoke controversy. Far more contentious is the evidence that some skills and behavioral properties are differentially distributed among different racial groups. There is strong evidence that such racial differences are partly genetic, but the evidence is more indirect and has not been convincing to everyone.

A. W. F. Edwards wrote: [4]

In popular articles that play down the genetical differences among human populations, it is often stated that about 85% of the total genetical variation is due to individual differences within populations and only 15% to differences between populations or ethnic groups. It has therefore been proposed that the division of Homo sapiens into these groups is not justified by the genetic data. This conclusion, due to R.C. Lewontin in 1972, is unwarranted because the argument ignores the fact that most of the information that distinguishes populations is hidden in the correlation structure of the data and not simply in the variation of the individual factors.
It is not true that "racial classification is . . . of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance". It is not true, as Nature claimed, that "two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world", and it is not true, as the New Scientist claimed, that "two individuals are different because they are individuals, not because they belong to different races" and that "you can’t predict someone’s race by their genes". Such statements might only be true if all the characters studied were independent, which they are not.
it is a dangerous mistake to premise the moral equality of human beings on biological similarity because dissimilarity, once revealed, then becomes an argument for moral inequality.

Neil Risch and colleagues wrote: [5]

In our view, much of this discussion does not derive from an objective scientific perspective. This is understandable, given both historic and current inequities based on perceived racial or ethnic identities, both in the US and around the world, and the resulting sensitivities in such debates. Nonetheless, we demonstrate here that from both an objective and scientific (genetic and epidemiologic) perspective there is great validity in racial/ethnic self-categorizations, both from the research and public policy points of view.
A racial difference in the frequency of some phenotype of interest ... or quantitative trait is but a first clue in the search for etiologic causal factors. As we have illustrated, without such racial/ethnic labels, these underlying factors cannot be adequately investigated.
Finally, we believe that identifying genetic differences between races and ethnic groups... is scientifically appropriate. What is not scientific is a value system attached to any such findings. Great abuse has occurred in the past with notions of 'genetic superiority' of one particular group over another. The notion of superiority is not scientific, only political, and can only be used for political purposes.