Resources To Help Understand and Refute Anti-Science Arguments:


I am a scientist, and I been examining anti-fluoridation arguments –– in addition to other anti-science beliefs like vaccines are harmful and ineffective –– for several decades.  I have been actively and publicly engaged in countering anti-fluoridation arguments since 2015 when Fluoridation Opponents (FOs) launched a serious effort to stop fluoridation of Denver Water –– which I and my family drink. Fortunately, the Denver Water Board members carefully researched the issue, trusted the overwhelming majority of experts and the scientific consensus, and they voted to continue fluoridation.

In addition to countering FOs' comments to news articles on the web, I have assembled a number of resources that outline the specific tactics used, not only by FOs but by all Anti-Science Activists (ASAs) worldwide, to scare and mislead caring and unsuspecting people (who are not trained in science or health care) so they trust their opinions over the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of science and health experts.

The arguments of FOs and other ASAs are often persuasive because of the following facts:
  1. Science-based conclusions (a scientific consensus and scientific theories) describe cause and effect relationships and behaviors in the natural world/universe.  These conclusions are frequently based on a large body of very complex scientific evidence that requires significant training and experience to understand.
  2. A science-based conclusion (consensus, theory) represents the best interpretation of the existing scientific evidence by the majority of relevant experts, whether it concerns: health issues (vaccination, fluoridation, medical treatments, pandemic mediation, etc.); or climate change theories; or physical science issues (Physics, Chemistry, Earth science, Astronomy, etc.); or Life science issues (Biochemistry, Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Ecology, etc.). 
  3. Every scientific consensus or theory is subject to continual review and change with the introduction of new relevant, legitimate evidence.  A consensus of experts is critical, otherwise every new study, regardless of quality, relevance or reproducibility, would change the course of scientific conclusions and practices resulting in complete chaos.
  4. A Science-Based Conclusion is absolutely nothing like personal, NotScience conclusions that are based on political, religious, artistic, ethical/moral, philosophical and/or legal beliefs.  Although many non-science, personal beliefs can be based on science-based conclusions (or someone's interpretation of those conclusions), the difference between an evidence-science-based conclusion and all conclusions based on personal beliefs is not understood by the majority of non-scientists.
  5. FOs, other ASAs, scam artists, quacks and conspiracy theorists:
    • Dismiss the relevant scientific consensus and create their own 'reality'.
    • Exploit the complexity of the scientific processes and evidence. 
    • Take advantage of their targets' lack of relevant training and misrepresent (or fabricate) the evidence knowing that most of their audience won't notice or understand.
    • Blur the differences between how science-based conclusions and personal beliefs are established and validated
    • Employ fear mongering and other tactics discussed below to convince many well-meaning citizens (who aren't trained and experienced scientists) to fear and distrust any scientific consensus or theory (and the scientists) they personally disagree with.
    • Several specific anti-science examples:  Creation Science (Cosmic Calendar Example), Alkaline Water, Magic Water, 'Hidden Messages'
Bottom Line:  If you are not a trained and experienced scientist or health care provider, Trust the Science/Health Experts.  Ignore the claims of an extremely vocal, very passionate, fear-promoting minority of individuals who have inflexible, deeply-held beliefs that differ from the overwhelming majority of relevant science and health experts who care far more deeply about protecting the health and well-being of you, your family, our fellow humans and our planet than the ASAs.

Resources:

Note:  Although most information below focuses on the specific arguments and tactics of FOs, the tactics employed tend to apply to the arguments of all ASAs.  I wish it were easy and effective to just state the fact that anti-science claims are nonsense and have the majority of non-scientists believe that claim.  Unfortunately, the claims by ASAs are often very complex and can appear to have solid scientific backing –– at least to non-scientists.  Consequently, it generally requires a very complex, in-depth discussion, which most people won't understand, to counter all the anti-science claims.  That's why my primary argument to those without relevant scientific training is to trust the overwhelming majority of science and health experts and accept the relevant scientific consensus as accurate.  Trust that the overwhelming majority of these professionals are capable, fully informed and have the best interest of their fellow humans, other living organisms and the planet in mind when they convene to evaluate and draw conclusions based on legitimate scientific evidence.   
Details of why one should place trust in the majority of experts are discussed in detail below:
  1. First, as noted above, it is critical to understand the difference between science-based conclusions and conclusions based on personal beliefs.  Without that background, it is very easy to simply believe anti-science claims because they might sound very legitimate and seem to support a personal belief.
    Reference:  What is Science?  In this article I describe how trial and error and scientific experiments are related, explain the difference between Science and NotScience and describe the characteristics of PseudoScience and BiasScience.  It is also critical to understand the concept of Scientific Consensus and how ASAs must dismiss/ignore it.  Also important is the ability to Distill Facts from Fiction and Fraud
  2. Once the difference between science-based conclusions and NotScience conclusions is understood, it is important to recognize the tactics FOs, other ASAs and scam artists world-wide utilize to manipulate reality and promote their beliefs.  The Discussion of Anti-Science Tactics addresses this topic.  Since the anti-science opinions are not based on an accurate presentation of actual, legitimate science-based evidence, ASAs 'adjust reality' to fit their beliefs and try to convince members of the public to trust their interpretations instead of the actual science.
  3. My discussion of the Safety and Effectiveness of Fluoridation contrasts the scientific evidence and conclusions with the arguments of FOs and describes my reasons for continuing to accept the scientific consensus after several decades of study.  The last several years have seen anti-F arguments focusing on claims that recent studies prove drinking optimally fluoridated water reduces IQ and causes other neurological damage.  They fail to adequately explain the fact that none of that "Anti-F evidence" is accepted by any respected science or health organization as legitimate.
  4. The following references provide solid evidence of a nearly universal acceptance of the scientific consensus that drinking water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure for reducing the risk of dental decay and related health problems.  Over 100 Respected Science and Health Organizations World Wide, the Health Agencies of all 50 states in the U.S., Health Insurance Companies and the States/Provinces in Australia and Canada
  5. There are no such science or health organizations that support the opinions of FOs.  There is the same overwhelming scientific support for each established scientific consensus, for example: vaccination is safe and effective; climate change is real and dangerous; the universe, solar system, earth and life are all old and evolving; the earth is ellipsoid not flat; etc.  Those who disbelieve the science-backed conclusions have no backing from any legitimate, reputable science-based organization.  CWF Opposition
  6. 36 Reviews/Studies that support fluoridation:
  7. Over 200 studies supporting fluoridation:
  8. Additional information: Criticisms of 2019 Green, et al. F/IQ study; Gish Gallop ad Nauseam; IQ studies that do not demonstrate fluoridation lowers IQ;
Legitimate Science vs. Anti-Science – Additional References:
  1. 2018 Fluoridation Facts - American Dental Association
  2. "Just a Theory": 7 Misused Science Words
  3. When PublicAction Undermines Public Health: a critical examination of antifluoridationist literature
  4. Michael W. Easley, DDS, MPH:
  5. Quackwatch, Tactics of FOs
  6. Some anti-science-related images
General Drinking Water Resources: