I looked up Extrasensory Perception on Wikipedia out of curiosity and because its page on psychokinesis cites my book. I was surprised at what I found. The page on ESP is written from the die-hard skeptic’s perspective and puts down parapsychologists as “pseudoscientists”. Parapsychologists are among the most careful researchers I have met. They want to know the truth and realize that they will be subject to harsher criticism than non-parapsychologists if their protocol is not perfect. Those two things combined make them go to great lengths to make their experiments as clean as possible.
Wikipedia admits that the neutrality on this topic is under dispute and directs you to its talk page where someone tried to make the page more neutral by the following editorial suggestions:
“First, the word pseudoscience is removed and it is mentioned at the end, what organization or organizations are declaring it as such. Secondly, the word mainstream is put in front of the words scientific community to highlight the fact that there is a minority who do think that evidence exists. Finally, the word perceived is put in front of the word absence to highlight that this a matter of perception rather than certain fact. Here is the edit:
Parapsychology is the study of paranormal psychic phenomena, including ESP. Parapsychologists generally regard such tests as the ganzfield experiment as providing compelling evidence for the existence of ESP. The mainstream scientific community rejects ESP due to the perceived absence of an evidence base, the lack of a theory which would explain ESP and the perception that there is a lack of experimental techniques which can provide reliably positive results. For this reason, organizations such as the National Science Foundation declare Parapsychology to be a pseudoscience. Jdsg1 (talk) 02:44, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Here was the response from Wikipedia:
“Sorry, but your proposed edit violates many different Wikipedia policies in many ways. Please read up on the following policies and guidelines:”
These are the guidelines referred to:
“In Wikipedia, verifiability means that people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source. Wikipedia does not publish original research. Its content is determined by previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors. Even if you’re sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it. When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view.”
“Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it.”
There are many articles published in peer-reviewed journals that contain evidence for ESP, so there are reliable sources. By refusing to make any of the edits, they demonstrated a violation of what they purport as their fundamental principle. Fortunately, most good schools and publishers will not let Wikipedia be the source of citations for papers… hopefully, it will not close minds.