Critical Thinking

Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Numbers

I know that’s a very vague title for a post because it could be about pretty much anything, but in this particular case, the stupid people of Calgary City Council outnumber the smart ones by a ratio of 9 to 5.  That was the outcome of the vote to consider revising their 2011 decision to stop fluoridating city water.  5 said yes, 9 said no.  Now remember, it was not a vote to start adding fluoride to the water again – It was just a vote on a motion to merely consider the possibility that they might have made a mistake.

Read the article here

From a previous CBC article in February of this year (full article here)

“Lindsay McLaren, the researcher with the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine who led the study, told the Calgary Eyeopener‘s David Gray that there were more cavities in both Calgary and Edmonton over the period of the study, but “it got worse in Calgary, where fluoridation was stopped, than in Edmonton.”

McLaren said the study is clear about the cause and effect at play.

“We designed the study so we could be as sure as possible that [the increased tooth decay] was due to [fluoride] cessation rather than due to other factors,” she told the CBC.

“We systematically considered a number of other factors … and in the end, everything pointed to fluoridation cessation being the most important factor.” 

Still, those 9 councilors for the city of Calgary are not convinced enough to even reconsider their decision.  It was even treated as a “political hot potato” with likely some of those 9 councilors opposing the motion for purely political reasons. “He (Dr. Ghali) said even asking for the information could make it look like they were reopening the “very divisive issue” of fluoridation, just as they enter an election year.”

So I guess for now, politics trumps health concerns.

And this is why you should never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.





6 thoughts on “Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Numbers

  1. Yeah, I heard the tail end of this on The Current this AM and immediately thought of Ken’s ongoing battle against the fluoride deniers over on Open Parachute. The man’s a pit bull for science and these councilors could use a good mauling. Anything short of not fluoridating the public water supply is anti-science denialism in action.


    • Scary when you think about it though. The report outright states that it’s because of not fluoridating water that there are more cavities in children’s teeth – and they still refuse to accept it!
      That’s the definition of a denier. So I guess there’s only one way this is going to change – vote them out and hope the new councillors will be more sensible.


    • I read through large portions of the comments section of the Open Parachute link you provided me. All I can say is WOW. Old James and Billy Boy just can’t let it go can they? They’re persistent, I’ll give them that.
      As usual, I was in stiches reading many of Cedric’s comments.


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