The neutral point of view attempts to present ideas and facts in such a fashion that both supporters and opponents can agree. Of course, 100% agreement is not possible; there are ideologues in the world who will not concede to any presentation other than a forceful statement of their own point of view. We can only seek a type of writing that is agreeable to essentially rational people who may differ on particular points.
Some examples may help to drive home the point I am trying to make.
1. An encyclopedic article should not argue that corporations are criminals, even if the author believes it to be so. It should instead present the fact that _some people_ believe it, and what their reasons are, and then as well it should present what the other side says.
2. An encyclopedia article should not argue that laissez-faire capitalism is the best social system. (I happen to believe this, by the way.) It should instead present the arguments of the advocates of that point of view, and the arguments of the people who disagree with that point of view.
Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic, is to write about _what people believe_, rather than _what is so_. If this strikes you as somehow subjectivist or collectivist or imperialist, then ask me about it, because I think that you are just mistaken. What people believe is a matter of objective fact, and we can present _that_ quite easily from the neutral point of view. --Jimbo Wales
Relying on testimonials is inherently willfully dishonest, because we have known about the placebo affect for years and have proven it beyond a shadow of any doubt. To continue to cling to testimonials after knowing about the placebo affect, and knowing that placebo-controlled studies of something have failed, is negligent. Yes, many traditional scientists also have egos and can deceive themselves. That's why real journals have peer review. What I'm saying here is that Wikipedia articles should act as peer review, and clearly identify such deception when we see it.
You can claim something "has been repeatedly tested and failed" but should put that claim in context - ie, it "has been repeatedly tested" with available methods, which is not to say that available methods are infallible or capable or detecting or measuring all things. A little humility goes a long way. It is the most valuable quality for an experimental scientist to possess, in my view. "We are SCIENCE and we declare that assertion to be PURE BUNK," holds no water with me. "I tested it with every method which seemed reasonable to me and I cannot verify your assertion" is honest and says all that needs to be said. If history is any indicator, time will eventually reveal whether the assertions were at fault or the experimenter's methods or observations were. It is not up to us to foreclose the possibility that more may be discovered on the basis of what has not been discovered.
So - in your articles you will openly declare things hokum and bunk. I will call them unverified. And we will be free to tinker with each other's articles. And in some future age, we will all know who was on the right side of which of today's contentious questions.
"Unverified" is fine if that's the case; other things have been tested and failed, and that's different. And article should point out such failures.
I will go ahead and beat this to death: Let's look at my re-treatment of Numerology. I said generally "numerologist believe..." and noted that independent verfication of these beliefs is lacking. I went a step further and mentioned what I see as a nearly insuperable fallacy in the belief in the validity of numerology as it applies to the names of things (unrelated numerlogic values in different languages for the same exact thing) and mentioned this as a question which remains unexplained. In my mind, that fallacy may be just about adequate to invalidate the entire field. Numerologists will differ. It is not my job to tell them they are full of it. Let reasonable people look at it objectively and draw their own conclusions.
I have no problem with that article. It's exactly what I'm talking about. What I'm warning against is the treatment of such "alternative" ideas on an equal basis with verified ones. That article clearly states the case that the belief is unfounded, and that's good.
OK - stepping off the soap box...
See Creationism/Talk for lots more debate.
See also Positive tone.