- Politics and Social Issues
Conservapedia - They're Not Joking
What is Conservapedia?
Calling itself "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia", Conservapedia is a website that bases itself on the popular Wikipedia. The site's describes itself as an "encyclopedia with articles written from a conservative viewpoint".
Online since November 2006 Conservapedia was originally set up as a way to educate conservative homeschoolers aiming for college.
It has been gaining more press recently as its "interesting" take on social issues and science provide talking points in the media and material for comedians.
Conservapedia - What's the point?
A valid question.
It has been stated that the goal of an encyclopedia is to "convey the most relevant accumulated knowledge on that subject". It should deal in facts and should not allow for conjecture, assumptions or debate.
So what is going on at Conservapedia?
It appears the authors of Conservapedia are concerned by the Liberal Conspiracy. Apparently, there has been considerable corruption by "liberal untruths" in traditional reference sources. The good news is that they do not allow the liberal bias to deceive or distort at Conservapedia.
At conservapedia.com, the "conservative viewpoint" is sold as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth despite evidence to the contrary. If they need to use a study from 1946 to prove a point then that is what they will do. Recent scientific studies are invalid due to "liberal bias".
There is no hint of hipocrisy when comparing the supposed influencing of facts - "liberal bias", to their self proclaimed influence, the "conservative viewpoint". This is likely due to the fact the authors are unaware of the definition as a search for "hipocrisy" at conservapedia unfortunately yielded no results.
Conservapedia - Helping the Cause?
Before we get onto some of the fun examples of their "work" it is wise to point out what is being achieved by conservapedia.
The Conservative cause does not benefit from attempts to disguise a religious agenda in a "factual" reference. The complete loss of credibility achieved by their clumsy attempts to rewrite the history of scientific endeavour serve little purpose. They undermine any other attempts by conservatives at intelligent debate. The outlandish claims are unlikely to "convert" anyone's thinking and liberals, rather than bother to debate the ridiculous, encourage conservapedia and anxiously await new hilarious entries.
Conservapedia - Fun "Facts"
It is very difficult to link to Conservapedia as they continually change the site often watering down some of their more outlandish claims after they are ridiculed. Some of their best articles are the early versions where it appears the author made it up as they went. The discussion pages that frequently feature founder Andy Schlafly make interesting reading.
The problem with the internet is that when a conservative American attorney / internet publisher decides to write an article saying that Einstein's theory of general relativity has been proven to be false, occasionally an actual scientist reads it. I'm not sure if Mr Schlafly thinks he is a world authority on all subjects but this recent conversation with an extremely polite and patient scientist shows him to be painfully out of his depth and quite oblivious to the fact.
Abortion causes Breast Cancer. Well according to Conservapedia it does. I know I will believe the "Trustworthy Encyclopedia" over government organisations and the National Cancer Institute - and I'm sure there was something wrong with the 1997 Danish study that looked at 1.5 million women and found no increased risk. Is there any chance that they are using pseudo-science to push a religious agenda?
Kangaroos are another interesting topic on Conservapedia. The current page offers a brief version of the evolutionary theory before detailing how "modern kangaroos are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood".
Thats cool but not as interesting as a previous version......
"According to the origins model used by creation scientists, modern kangaroos, like all modern animals, originated in the Middle East and are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood."
I wonder what happened to all those Middle Eastern Kangaroos? The "lack of fossil evidence" argument used frequently to deny the possibility of evolution obviously doesn't apply here.
Old versions of the site also reveal more on Einsteins poor work.....
"A prevailing theory among creation scientists such as physicist Dr. John Hartnett believe that the Earth was once contained in a time dilation field, which explains why the earth is only 6,000 years old even though cosmological data (background radiation, supernovae, etc.) set a much older age for the universe. It is believed that this field has since been removed by God, which explains why no such time dilation has been experienced in modern times."
OK - That explains it then.
I'm not sure how these teachings will help you get into a respected College or University but you may be advised to keep certain things to yourself if you graduated from the School of Conservapedia. There are now hundreds of sites detailing the latest wacky advances at Conservapedia. Their claims of massive page views (105,000,000 and counting) I fear are true but not for the reason they hope for.
If you ever want to see life through a Religious / Americentric / Conservative viewpoint (while being backed relentlessly by FACT), check out Conservapedia.com - You won't be disappointed