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Poisoning example[edit]

Arafat Poisoning inconsistent with Death of Yasser Arafat article: Note that liver cirrhosis is inconsistent with brain hemorrhaging etc. Furthermore, the diagnosis of the French doctors does to my knowledge not state cirrhosis as a reason for Arafat's death. Thus: where does the "reputedly" come from? Please do something about that.

Note 12th Jan 05: Nobody seems to object, so I have changed the detail in the article accordingly. JB

13th Jan 05: Changed portion has been reverted. I won't go into a revert war. But note that Arafat's diagnosis does not state liver cirrhosis as the reason for his death, and that there are also people not supporting Arafat that feel that it is unlikely that he was killed by alcohol abusus. JB

Possibly missing: Contact poison[edit]

At the moment the only categories containing the word "contact" are corrosives, acids and bases. I think contact poison (skin contact) should have a section.

Poison is a huge, sprawling topic[edit]

Poison is a huge, sprawling topic. Must of my background is linguistics, and I suffered a bout of logical positivism in my callow youth, so I'm acutely aware of words as they are actually employed as opposed to their more straight-laced, denotative isolation.

Poison suffers from a severe problem of being both scientifically precise, while also conveying—both explicitly and implicitly—all manner of colloquial value judgements (see also weed).

If a lead is going to properly summarize this state of affairs, it needs to leave the reader feeling like this is a big, sprawling subject with many offshoots and overtones.

In bulking out the lead today—besides trying to cram as much of this larger context into the text as humanly possible—I was mainly concerning myself with trying to keep the natural/unnatural beats in close alternation. I've expending more text than one normally might to put forward specific examples of both natural and unnatural analogues. (Adducing parallel specifics is one of the few viable tactics to cut through a predisposition toward ideological categorization.)

I'm not protective of my edits, and I suspect I won't return to this article any time soon. But I do ask that the next editor bear in mind that close alternation is an explicit feature (in service of a certain form of balance), and not a bug. — MaxEnt 20:09, 20 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Created new lead section[edit]

The old lead section was removed when User:JimBob128 made a set of revisions ending 05:58, 7 June 2022. The user made a number of new sections out of the large amount of content that had been in the lead, so this seemed like sensible edits. However they did not create a new lead in its place.

I responded to Lead Missing Template and followed the WP:LEAD guidelines. I produced a three paragraph lead that I hope gives an overview summary of the rest of the article. I also added a few contextual links.

Following earlier Talk comments above, I hope that readers find that this new lead gives an idea of the breadth of the topic, and the fact that poison is quantity dependent. However I tried to get these concepts in whilst sparing the number of words used. Artemgy (talk) 13:07, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

may depend on my poor english[edit]

@Fuzheado: The phrase

Medicinal fields (particularly veterinary medicine) and zoology often distinguish poisons from toxins and venoms. Both poisons and venoms are toxins, ....

seems to me self-contradictory. Should it be corrected as

poisons from toxins and venoms --> toxins in poisons and venoms? (talk) 18:54, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A toxin is poison of biological origin. Therefore, all toxins are poisons but not all poisons are toxins. A venom is (usually) a toxin that is introduced into the circulatory system vs. ingestion (such as a snake bite). This is a big problem on Wikipedia, especially in chemistry-related articles. The terms are lazily used interchangeably when they're not. Valgrus Thunderaxe (talk) 03:24, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Poison is always harmful is a dubious assertion[edit]

Poison is something that causes harm.

While a poison can be harmful, this assertion is dubious as there are benefits to poisoning, for example in the case of poisoning a reaction in order to stop the reaction or to bring it under control. Guns can cause harm and would fall under this loose definition of poison even though that wouldn't make any sense. Beneficial pharmaceuticals could be poisons, depending on the dose or route of administration, etc.

Part of the discrepancy, I think, is that the term poison and the article itself has a bias toward biology rather than chemistry where poison is neutral term. The definition comes off as somewhat moralistic, preachy, or asserting some type of value judgement when none should exist. Valgrus Thunderaxe (talk) 03:22, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm a biologist, not a chemist and I think you make a good point. A poison, as the term is used in biology is always some type of substance that is detrimental to life (usually human life). I don't feel there is any type of moralism ascribed to the term however. A fungicide, for example is a poison that I don't think carries any type of moral judegement. (talk) 11:22, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you ask the fungus what it thinks of a fungicide? Kidding aside, what I'm getting at is this term is relative, depending on if you're the "poisoner" or the recipient of the poison. I'm not a mind reader, but I suspect Vladimir Putin views polonium in a very different light than Litvinenko whos poisoning was a strategic move with benefit to Russia (and detrimental to the decedent, Mr. Litvinenko). Clearly, we can't just call a poison something that is inherently "bad". That's the "moralistic" part of my argument. Someone in Russia thought the Litvinenko poisoning was something positive (and not harmful, as the first sentence in the article alludes to in an absolute and definitive tone). Thus Poison is something that causes harm is an opinion and not a statement of fact.Valgrus Thunderaxe (talk) 11:28, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]