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back to article Need hard facts? Try Conservapedia

The Wikipedians among you should take note that your days of punting liberal bias may be numbered. Enter stage right Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust", which has been enjoying a certain amount of attention stateside for its unashamedly and decidedly non-liberal content. Conservapedia (Motto: "The truth …

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Decided?

Surly it will be decided, then edited, then decided, then edited......

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Really...

That is actually quite chilling.

My first destination was to the evolution page (obviously!)... Have you seen the number of references to creationism (I refuse to call it a science). Just check out those links at the bottom...!

Amusingly enough, the Flying Spaghetti Monster does actually have an entry!

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Anonymous Coward

Everywhere girl

will she feature?

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Anatomy

I believe the chuff to be the back bottom; it's the front bottom on a nun that would be the most arid section.

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Anonymous Coward

wrong + wrong = right?

Quote: "While Wikipedia was "written and edited by self-appointed experts worldwide" and "riddled with liberal bias"".

So, in an effort to set things straight, they will make a site 'written and edited by self-appointed experts worldwide*' (one must assume) and riddled with conservative/creationist bias?

Assuming Wikipedia is biased, and knowing that Conservapedia will be biased (self evident), does that mean that two wrongs DO make a right?

(I hope it's not a FAR right).

Regards

Rob

*) "worldwide" here being; 'all over the the US', I trust.

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Anonymous Coward

Yawn...

Slow news day?

We've been chortling about this garbage at b3ta for several months...

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Silver badge

Here we go again

Another nutcase web site for a bunch a fruitcake ideas. As if we needed right-wing Bible-thumpers to be pitched against left-wing Bible-thumpers. In end, neither of the kind admit any criticism from anywhere.

I hate opedias. From now on, I'm only reading Universalis. At least there, the angst and arguments get handled BEFORE I read the article.

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But in true "conservative" form

They're quite happy to use the evil liberal hippy terrrorists' wiki software to create this particular orgy of stupidity.

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BCE isn't new

It's a sign of the blinkered nature of Schlafly that he hadn't previously come across BCE, and leapt to the conclusion that it's a Wikipedia invention. The term has been used in non-Christian circles for at least 20 years to my personal knowledge.

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how does that work??....

'an objective, bias-free piece from a conservative perspective'

surely that's an oxymoron????

still if they do believe all that creationist BS, doubt they could find the entry in a dictionary to look up oxymoron, (although they could probably tell me which pages of the bible the word doesnt appear on, chapter and verse and all)

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Anonymous Coward

Change the name to...

I don't really like the name 'Conservapedia' plus it doesn't seem to fully convey the content of the site. Personally, i think 'Propagandapedia' has a far better ring to it :)

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What was ever wrong with H2G2

Sure, its not anywhere near as comprehensive, but at least it doesnt make the mistake of taking itself too seriously....

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They reference the Reg

Lucky lucky Reg... http://www.conservapedia.com/Wikipedia

What's that bit in the Bible about even the devil quoting scripture for his own infernal ends? Hmm. Wonder if the flying spaghetti monster quotes scripture for his pastanicous ends.

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wikidiff?

I guess you could pull up the same article on all three sites, run them through a diff tool, and only read the sentences that match. Maybe dump the matching sentences in a fourth site called wikidiff. I guess that could give us an unbiased wiki.

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Silver badge

Huh?

"objective...from a conservative perspective"

Definition of objectivity from Conservapedia: "The basing of knowledge on empirical data."

Since empirical data precludes subjective perspective, by their own definition* the above quote is contradictory.

* To be fair (and to underscore the irony), I must admit that Conservapedia does mark their definition of objectivity as "disputed". Perhaps once they finish debating it, they'll have replaced "empirical data" with "conservative dogma" to maintain consistency.

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All encyclopedias are biased

There is no such thing as an unbiased encyclopedia. As soon as you cover such things as politics and religion or even science, what to one person is an unbiased account is to another person a strongly biased opinion.

The mere attempt to represent several opposing views will by some be considered as biased, as it gives "the other view" an unfair advantage by even being mentioned.

On the flip side, not mentioning every conceivable crackpot idea will be taken by some as bias, as it ignores their favorite Truth. This has been used as an argument to include creationism in science classes, as not giving it equal credit to Darwinism and cosmology is seen as a bias.

On a similar note, while "a strong liberal bias" is seen a left-wing in the US, the same would be considered right-wing in many European countries. I'm reminded of a scene in "Russia House", were an US officer asks Sean Connery's character "You're not a liberal are you?" and SC answers "Oh, god, no!", which seems to satisfy the general, though it is obvious that SC implied that he was nowhere near as right-wing as a liberal.

So, maybe being accused of a liberal bias is a sure sign of not being biased? ;-)

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Oxy? Moron?

Maybe it's just me, but isn't "liberal bias" itself an oxymoron?

My OED defines "liberal" to mean a bunch of different things, but one of them is "open-minded, not prejudiced".

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Anonymous Coward

well

I got a small factlet from it I didn't know - it's article on the kangaroo taught me that some roos have "unleaded" and "leaded" teats if they are suckling joeys of different ages.

Having said that it is a pile of steaming poo.

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Looking forward to

.....Islamopedia?

Creationism can hardly be considered science, where is the evidence..... oh sorry, its called the bible. My bad.

"Some creationists believe the spines on its tail were to stop other dinosaurs from treading on it before the Fall." - That has to be some big ol' Dino' doing the stomping.... a Godosaurus Rex perhaps?

(of course I am taking my source from wikipidia that a stegosaurus is 4m tall)

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Anonymous Coward

Chuff it!

Chris - sorry mate, you believe wrong:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chuff

The above linked is the usage I've always heard in my 33 years of life in London and Manchester..

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Love the comment on a flat earth.

"The Flat Earth theory was mostly invented and promoted by evolutionists for the purpose of slandering Christians."

Rolls eyes...

Still, I suppose it keeps them off the streets.

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Anonymous Coward

And to think I was hoping...

'Conservapedia' would be a wiki with an academically conservative setup. As in caring about crazy things like credentials, authority, and other trademarks of the oppressively hierarchical academic machine. Sadly this hope was crushed upon reading the first paragraph of the article.

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Out of the rough with the Lord

I'm amazed to discover that Jesus is so interested in golf, though I suppose his special skills must be invaluable when a water hazard needs to be parted. No wonder Johnson won, with a caddy like that.

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Chuff?

Yeah, but number 4 is the common usage I'm used to on that link.

And the I believe the correct phrase is "dry as a Nun's c*nt" :P

tell it like it is..

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Diff-o-pedia

Just a manual diff :

WikiP: The word Islam means "submission," or the total surrender of one's self to God

ConsyP: The word "Islam" means "submission."

-

The Conservatorianistas or whatever, must really think Islam is run by a 7ft whip-cracking latex-clad mistress ....

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All just rumours file

Why is any of this important to anybody. Nothing in any wiki is authoritative -- by its architecture, anything can be edited by anyone with any kind of random agenda/bias/mental disorder, just as it can be edited by the most brilliant minds in the business.

As entertainment, they are all pretty good. As a source of facts, you're pretty much at sea for any of them -- any fact there is only there by virtue of the last sane person to touch it, and subject to change at the whim of the next editor.

All of the vitriol for the conservapedia is just as valid for any of these information sources. Watching these entries is like watching people on opposing mountains of sh*t, flinging sh*t at each other and pronouncing 'their source is better than the other guys' source'. Evidently, volume and nastiness are acceptable debate styles, and no longer a disqualification from the discourse.

However, in terms of intellectual debate, I see more tolerance of alternative opinion in the conservative ideology than in the others -- where else can you have several opinions that so wildly differ from each other? The fact that some don't make any sense whatsoever is more than balanced to me by the fact that differences of opinion are tolerated. I refuse to march in lock step with anybody else just because I agree or even understand none, any, some, or most of what they say.

Debate is messy. You have to suffer through the opinions of people that p*ss you off. Some of what they say makes no sense to you. Remember, some of what you say p*sses them off, and makes no sense at all to them. A little more tolerance from people who think of themselves as tolerant is in order -- tolerance is more than just agreeing with people you already agree with.

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Cinservative?

Conservative my ass. This makes conservative look like far left wingers. This is written by and for the wing nut fringe. I'm a NRA lifer. Maybe that credential will help make me a "trusted" editor. At least until I edit the scurolous entry on breast cancer. My wife had breast cancer last year and I have come to know many breast cancer survivors. Most of whom have never had an abortion. I wonder if this applies as libel.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm so glad segregation is coming back

I'd hate for people to ever have to read an opposing viewpoint. I think we should have sanitized and slanted versions of the truth for every political party and religious sect!

That's not enough, though. We should force them all to live in different neighborhoods, strictly separated by race, religion, and political affiliation. That way, we can be sure no one will ever have to risk being confronted by knowledge that scares and confuses them.

It's the only way!

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Anonymous Coward

7ft whip cracking...

How do I join that Islam club ?

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Wrong guy

@vtThinblot: "his special skills must be invaluable when a water hazard needs to be parted"

I thought that was Moses? Or has history been changed again while I had my back turned? Bloody Christians, can't trust them to stick to just one story. We really should introduce them to Discordianism, at least then their stories would seem quite normal and believable. Mu. Fnord. Etc.

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Re: how does that work??....

" 'an objective, bias-free piece from a conservative perspective'

"surely that's an oxymoron????"

Remember: They're only oxymorons as long as they're still breathing.

Personally, I think I'd prefer them as DEoxymorons.

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Jim

"...tolerance is more than just agreeing with people..."?

I would view tolerance as disagreeing with someone but not excluding them because of it.

Re: Moses. My understanding is that Moses made a request for help, God/Jesus/whatever did the real work. Move along people, no revisionism to see here.

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All I can say to this is DRAGONS

And I quote directly from Conservapedia...

"Descriptions of dragons are widespread and match descriptions of dinosaurs, suggesting that dragons were real creatures and were actually dinosaurs."

I don't need to read anything else.. I'm just delighted to know that dragons are real, were mistakenly called dinosaurs and are no longer extinct..

"That dinosaurs* are not known from the fossil record above the Jurassic strata is not reason to believe that they have not survived until more recent times.

Living specimens of orders of animals that were believed to have been extinct for millions of years have been found before, such as the Diatomyidae Squirrel, the Wollemi Pine and the Coelacanth"

...hooray!!.. I want my pet Dragon and I want it now!!

*Remember by dinosaurs we mean Dragons..

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Admins

Ive dabbled in conservapedia editing, for a little entertainment - entering facts which would be awkward for conservative positions, and discrediting information on prominant conservatives, all backed up with reliable sources. I had a couple of run ins with the editors.

Conservative is one of the founders. He is a young-universe creationist with a liking for pseudoscience, and a hatred of relativity. He blocked me for two weeks because I claimed that light travels at a fixed speed of approximately 3e8 m s-1. Actually he banned me for not citeing my source on that, after rejecting my references to some papers by Maxwell and Einstein. Conservative believes that light does travel at that speed, but used to travel many orders of magnitude faster. How else could you observe things more than six thousand light years away in a 6000-year universe?

Another admin, whose name I dont recall, is a scientologist. His main interest is in systematicly purging anything negative said about scientology from the cite, usually by dismissing everything as 'unsourced', 'rumor' or 'anti-religion.' These reasons were used even when the material was sourced from credible sites - including a first-hand account by a BBC reporter.

Plain sarcastic-vandalism usually draws very little attention. The site is so full of rediculous nonsense already, its impossible to tell what is serious and what isn't. There was one particually entertaining bit about how the Nazi Party was pro-homosexual... and that wasn't intended as a joke, one of the editors really does believe that.

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I base my review on ..

goase

one has deleted it and will not alow it to be re-created (will try again in 7 days)

and one has a simple entry that you CAN edit - pfft - to dinos and god type ppl - I know whe gets my vote ::D

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BCE

The terms BCE/CE (Before Christian Era/Christian Era) have long since the terms BC/AD (Before Christ/Anno Deo) in historical circles. This is due to the fact that MANY cultures have MANY different calendars and it was felt that none of them should have a nomenclature which makes it sound like it is the "one true calendar system".

The fact that this... person... was not aware of this fact makes me wonder what the... heck... he is doing teaching.

The rest of his statements (ie, no mention of God in a golfer's Bio) removes the wonder. This is a person which tells us the Truth will set us free and then contradicts himself by ofering us the existence of God as fact. Erm... sorry, no such things - What we have (at best) are facts which can be taken as evidence that there is a Deity. Note the wording - EVIDENCE. Unless God appears in public, evidence is all we have.

No, I am not a Believer in any religion - never saw the need to believe in a Deity... I really don't care how the universe was created (curious, granted) as it will not affect how I live. Neither will any post-death reward of Heaven/punishment of Hell - I consider anyone who is "good" in this life because they hope to get rewarded/afraid to be punished (rather than because they truly believe this is the proper way to act) in an after-life to be the worst of hypocrits.

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I think I'll wait for

scientologyopedia, which will be the ultimate reference. Especially for psych matters </sarcasm>

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Kangaroos

If all animals come from the Ark, how did Kangaroos get to Australia?

Conservapedia has the answer!

"After the Flood, these kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether this migration happened over land[5] with lower sea levels during the post-flood ice age, or before the supercontinent of Pangea broke apart[6], or if they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters.[5] The idea that God simply generated kangaroos into existence there is considered by most creation researchers to be contra-Biblical."

I'm glad they dismissed that last theory. That one was just silly.

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"The Truth Shall Set You Free"

Am i the only one that find that motto incredibly creepy and disturbing?

I cant help but draw similarities to the motto above the gates of Auschwitz "Work Will Set You Free"....

Oh and as far as i know BCE/CE stands for Before Common Era/Common Era. Not Christian Era. Or maybe thats just how its taught here in Aus...

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re: Anything can be edited by Anyone

Not quite.

I just created an account on Conservapedia, initially to see how the editing works. Naively, I decided to create a page about Andy Schlafly. All I put in it to start was :

Andy Schlafly is the "editor" of "Conservapedia".

which was duly saved. I then selected to edit the page (e.g. change "editor" to "creator") and expand it.

Within a few minutes, the following message popped up on screen :

"User is blocked

Your user name or IP address has been blocked.

The block was made by Dpbsmith. The reason given is Strange edit: created article for Andy [sic] Schlafly, calls him "editor" of CP (within quotations).

You can contact Dpbsmith or another administrator to discuss the block. You cannot use the 'email this user' feature unless a valid email address is specified in your account preferences. Your current IP address is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, and the block ID is #xxxxx. Please include either or both of these in any queries."

So, I created an article, and was blocked from it, because I put quotation marks around "editor" !

(Now this article seems to have disappeared).

Then I saw I had a message, which read :

"Hi. I've blocked you for two hours because I'm puzzled by your recent creation of the article Andy Schlafly, and I'd like to be sure of your intentions. Your article looks a little bit like a joke, or like carelessness. We already have an article on Andrew Schlafly, and you really should have checked that before creating another one. I don't understand why you called him the editor, which is not the way he refers to his role here (Conservapedia has many editors) or why you put the word editor within quotation marks.

We're always interested in serious content. Were you planning to add more to the article?

What sorts of things are you interested in doing at Conservapedia?

Dpbsmith 09:30, 21 June 2007 (EDT)"

Well, I couldn't tell then what I was "interested in doing at Conservapedia", 'cos they'd never let back me on their site if they knew !

And, I Had searched for "Andy Schlafly" (which gave no results), first. (Maybe I'd spelt it rong !)

So, I went to the page for the user "Dpbsmith"

From here, I tried clicking on "Email this user" and got

"You must be logged in and have a valid e-mail address in your preferences to send e-mail to other users."

Since I WAS logged in WITH a valid email address, this was rubbish.

Anyway ...

I searched for "Evolution", and surprise, I was redirected to the "Theory of Evolution".

(NOTE that this page is locked and cannot be edited to correct it)

The first sentence of this page says :

"The theory of evolution is a naturalistic explanation of the history of life on earth"

If you click on the word "naturalistic" you go to the page for "Naturalism".

The description for "Naturalism" ends thus :

"John Morris, PhD., wrote:

Naturalism (i.e., naturalistic evolution) is often desirable, for it seemingly

frees us from the authority of a Creator God. Without a God to whom we are accountable, we are free to live as we choose. College students, often surrounded by hedonism are particularly ripe for wrong thinking, and many never recover."

Would you believe it? Many college students "never recover" from wrong thinking !!!

And, presumably, WITH a god, we are NOT free to live as we choose.

Well, that's no god for me then, please.

Looking at the entry for "Bible"...

That, too is locked, but looking down the page, Genesis runs from 1440-1400 BC.

But, if you go to the entry for Stonehenge, it says "secular scientists" say t was started about 8000BC, but most of the present structure was added about 3000 BC.

So, God created the heavens and the earth about 1500 years after StoneHenge was finished !

Q/. Why do we bother with this crap ?

A/. Because unfortunately, there are LOADS of people who not only believe it, but will do anything possible to force their way of "thinking" (it's true, I read it in a book) on other people.

By the way : lookup "Thinking" on conservapedia, and the nearest entry is "Critical Thinking".

It's definition finishes :

"Critical thinking uses many aspects of formal logic and informal logic. It also focuses on discovering bias, propaganda , delusion and deception both in the sources of ones information and ones own views and approaches to reasoning problems out."

It's a pity the "authors" of Conservapedia don't apply some of this to their site !

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Bias

This will fail because "Reality has a well-known liberal bias".

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