Friday, February 23, 2007


The blogging world (well the sentient part of it) has been all over Conservapedia this week making some hilarious discoveries. For those of you that have been under a rock for the last week Conservapedia is the wingnuts attempt at making an "unbiased" version of wikipedia, by which they mean a version which is totally biased towards the right-wing creationist fundamentalist Christian demographic. For various other blogs on the subject try, here, here, here and here. Unfortunately the site is running extremely slowly, probably because so many bloggers are now causing mischief by editing the entries. Beware when reading it though, not only is it often (unintentionally) funny but its also incredibly difficult to read, the entries generally read like a 9 year old wrote them for a school project.

Some of the entries are very funny, it must be pointed out that its difficult to know how many of these articles are legit and how many were actually put up by people taking the piss. For example here is part of the entry describing a Democrat, as in a member of the Democratic Party:

According to leading conservative thinkers, no good Christian would ever be a Democrat. Catholics identify as Democrats more than Republican, but the opposite is true for Evangelicas. The major tenets of the modern Democrat platform include cowering to terrorism, cocaine presidents, corporate profits, and establishment of an aristocratic, faux-religious state. However, contempt for all the founding principles of America is not yet an official prerequisite for entry into the Democrat party.

Or how about part of the entry on Charles Darwin.
While often regarded by the majority of modern biologists (who accept evolution) as "the father of modern biology," Darwin himself was aware that some aspects of his work were not as scientific as he wished. However, this theory is promulgated by extremely biased groups not recognized as real science, or, truly, advanced critical thought.
This part from the entry on Bill Clinton is clearly a piss take. I guess they have been too swamped to change it yet.
Bill Clinton managed to serve two terms without botching the prosecution of two wars, manipulating intelligence, engaging in a systematic program of torture, or mishandling the federal response to flooding of a major American city. Obviously, he is the devil incarnate. Clinton also attempted to use the American military to kill Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, an action which was properly seen as a mere attempt to distract the nation from the Monica Lewisnky scandal.
Some entries are well somewhat lacking in content, take this one, which is the entire entry for France.
A country in Europe. Thrived during the middle ages. The capitol is Paris, France, which was founded in the Middle Ages.
Thrived during the Middle Ages, thats it? Or how about Germany? Again this is the whole entry complete with spelling mistakes.
A country in central Europe that was blamed for both Wolrd Wars and claimed to be the dominate race of mankind.
So there we have it the conservative view of everything you need to know about two of the most powerful countries on Earth. Kind of explains US foreign policy for the last 6 years doesn't it?

You can see how the site descended into a free for all as there we're people being banned at a rate of about 1 every ten minutes, in fact they have suspended new accounts now. Surely they could see that this was always going to be the outcome? Their ideas can only survive because they are so insular (its meant to help home schooled kids), any technology that allowed free discussion and presentation of the facts was clearly going to lead to articles that were reality based and hence not at all what they were looking for.


IbaDaiRon said...

You're aware that the ADiots have a wiki of their own, too, right? I've never seen a link (also haven't looked that hard) and assume it's somewhere in their "members area".

Thanks for the info; hadn't heard about this yet!

Anonymous said...

You make fun of the spelling mistakes of others but manage to misuse the apostrophe twice in your last paragraph (once omitted, once incorrectly included). Dude. Glass houses.

These people are deeply, dangerously ignorant *and* they are prone to typos. Somehow, the latter doesn't much bother me.

Mark Norris said...

Yeah I wouldn't mind finding it, guess they keep it tightly locked up. My big AD post should be done tomorrow btw.

Thanks anonymous. I don't claim to be a reputable source of grammar or spelling, I'm certainly not aiming for encyclopedia standard. I'm an astronomer and have never studied English to any significant level. I do at least hope to make my sentences readable and avoid obvious typos, I won't be losing any sleep over dodgy grammar or the wrong choice of there, their or they're (I think I've got that now) etc. To be honest picking up the typos in conservapedia makes me a bit uncomfortable because most of the articles were clearly written by children.

I would be more concerned if you had seen something factually incorrect in what I have said as I do at least aim to tell the truth, something you're right they have absolutely no intention of doing.