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Conservapedia Does the Olympics

Looking at the Conservapedia entry for the 2012 Summer Olympics is almost enough to convince me that the entire site is one big Poe. There’s so much stupid piled into this entry that I fear it may hit critical mass and explode. The entry declares that “the pagan origins of the Olympics have been replaced by faith-based achievement by the participating athletes” and then goes on to compile a huge list of the great political questions they think surround particular events by asking questions like this one:

will atheist nations underachieve in team sports?

In women’s soccer, France finished with two wins and a loss and came in second in their group, which also included the United States (see below). They will face Sweden in the quarterfinals. Great Britain finished with a perfect 3-0-0 record and will face Canada in the quarterfinals.

On the men’s side, Great Britain won their group with 2 wins and a draw. They will face South Korea in the quarterfinals.

Australia failed to qualify for either soccer event. This was their first time attempting to qualify out of the Asian Zone instead of the significantly weaker Oceanic Zone, so this may have been a factor. They will, however, send teams in most other team sports, since they qualify from the Oceanic Zone in those.

In women’s basketball, France is 3-0, Australia is 2-1, and Great Britain is 0-3. All three are in the same six-team group, from which the top 4 advance to the quarterfinals. The French are guaranteed to advance, and the Australians almost certainly will as well.

In women’s handball, Great Britain is 0-2 and France is 1-1. The top four in each of the two groups advance to the quarterfinals.

In men’s basketball, Great Britain and Australia, both in Group B, are 0-2. France, in Group A, is 1-1. The top four in each group advance to the quarterfinals.

In men’s volleyball, Australia split its first two games, while Great Britain is 0-2. The top 4 in each group advance to the quarterfinals. In women’s volleyball, Great Britain is 1-1. Again, the top 4 teams out of 6 advance to the quarterfinals.

So apparently, Great Britain, France and Australia are “atheist nations.” And that apparently has something to do with how successful they’re likely to be at team handball. Or something. And along those same lines:

Similarly, will atheist nations underachieve in general?

Increasingly atheistic Great Britain did not win its first gold medal until Day 5 (August 1), despite having all the advantages of being the host nation. China, an officially atheist and communist country, leads the standings with 13 gold medals. Despite having more than three times the population of the United States and despite having a national program designed to produce champion athletes, China is trailing the USA in total medals (24-23) part of the way into Day 5, and has 13 gold medals to the United States’s 9. Somewhat atheistic France is a distant third in total golds with 4. Australia has 1 gold and 6 total medals.

So in other words, two of the top three nations in terms of winning medals are “atheistic,” which obviously has a direct effect on their performance in every event, right? Or not. And then there’s this bizarre question, which is clearly answered in the negative with their own data:

Will almost no athletes from public school sports programs win any gold medals, despite how public schools spend more than $500 billion annually to teach and train Americans?

American 2012 Olympic gold medal winners (as of 8/1/2012)
Public schools: Michael Phelps (but his swimming was with a private club, like most public schooled swimming medalists), Nathan Adrian, Allison Schmitt, Shannon Vreeland, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, Ricky Berens
Private: Missy Franklin (Catholic high school), Conor Dwyer (Catholic high school)
Homeschooled: Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney
Unknown: Dana Vollmer, Vincent Hancock, Kim Rhode, Jordyn Wieber,
Other: Kristin Armstrong (high school in Japan)

So in fact, the overwhelming majority of the gold medal winners have been public school students. I can’t imagine what that has to do with anything, but apparently there’s someone at Conservapedia keeping track of such things for some weird, unstated reason. And yes, it gets even weirder. About the U.S. women’s soccer team:

ranked #1 and won the gold in the last two Olympics, most recently with a foreign coach. Now that this U.S. team is politically correct, will it underachieve?

Okay, so having a non-American coach makes the team “politically correct” and therefore it’s worth keeping an eye to see if that makes them lose … to another team that would be made up entirely of non-Americans. Okey dokey. But when it comes to men’s handball, they’ve got the real scoop:

Will heavy underdogs Tunisia overperform in Group A? Group A should perhaps be dubbed the “Group of Left”, since the other five teams are Sweden, Iceland, and Argentina, where same-sex marriage is legal, and increasingly atheistic Great Britain and France.

They lost to Sweden in their first game, 28-21. This was followed by a 32-22 loss to Iceland.

ZOMG! They lost to liberal countries that don’t hate gay people! This must prove … well, nothing. It proves that Sweden and Iceland are probably better at handball than Tunisia.

Comments

  1. oranje says

    I’m assuming part of the “politically correct” notion for the women’s soccer team is that one prominent player recently came out.

  2. Trebuchet says

    So in fact, the overwhelming majority of the gold medal winners have been public school students. I can’t imagine what that has to do with anything, but apparently there’s someone at Conservapedia keeping track of such things for some weird, unstated reason.

    Andy Schlafley HATES the public schools with a purple passion. Apparently because they occasionally teach actual facts about stuff like evolution. He actually started Conservapedia as a “trustworthy” resource for homeschoolers.

    As I always do when the subject of Conservapedia comes up, I will recommend a visit to RationalWiki for the curious. Lots of articles about CP plus the ongoing craziness documented for you in their WIGO (What Is Going On) pages. They click on the crazy so you don’t have to!

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

  3. Jordan Genso says

    I’m surprised to see them posting these questions prior to the results being known. But since they aren’t going to let the olympic results change their pre-determined answers to the questions, I guess my surprise is unwarranted.

    will atheist nations underachieve in general?

    Predetermined answer: Yes. Now they just have to figure out how to define “underachieve” in a way that makes the results fit that answer.

  4. ShowMetheData says

    U.S.(God’s people) defeated Canada with egregiously bad refereeing
    Therefore: God’s a dick

  5. doolittle says

    Ooh, they are tricky over there. Since you pulled the quote, they’ve moved most of the public school gold medalists to a new “College or adult” category. All the while claiming at the top of the page:

    note especially the growing list of lack of public schools for the gold medalists below
  6. matty1 says

    I’m not normally a fan of either jingoism or sport but I must admit to enjoying these Olympics, I even find myself watching the medal table and it does seem to have changed a bit since they announced that the results on day 5 as some sort of final verdict.

    I also note that by their own responses they seem to be wrong on 12 out of the 15 bizarre issues they chose to highlight.

    Incidentally there was a piece on BBC 1 last night on sports psychology that pretty much said religious athletes are using faith as a placebo to give themselves confidence.

    Also I have always assumed Conservapedia is a Poe.

  7. morsgotha says

    Wierd, since ‘atheist’ Team GB is third in the medal table with as of writing this comment 19 golds, equal to their Beijing olympic gold count. And still 6 days to go (admittedly with home advantage).

    I guess Team GB is doing so well because of the more religious Northern Ireland is part of it….dragging the evil atheistic England, Scotland and Wales to gold.

  8. doolittle says

    My favorite (concerning wrestling):

    have feminist Title IX quotas destroyed the U.S. team?

  9. arno says

    So the UK, which not only has a state religion, but a head-of-state that simulteneously is head of the religion, is an atheist country?

    And Argentinia with a political landscape dominated by Peronism, a kind of mild Facism, is a left wing country?

  10. helenaconstantine says

    I can’t believe you missed the implication of the last item. Tunisia is winning at Handball because god loves Islam. It follows as clearly as night the day.

  11. morsgotha says

    @arno #9

    I never thought of that. Perhaps the UK’s bumper gold haul means the CofE is the one True(tm) religion.

  12. dean says

    They are just pointing out the anti-Americanism rampant in the Olympic system, just as Fox “News” did with a comment that was aimed initially at Gabby Douglas, but which later expanded.

    Douglas’ pink leotard, Fox host Alisyn Camerota lamented, was emblematic of an Olympic “trend” (one that, Fox wants you to believe, is part of a liberal-left conspiracy to rid the world of red, white, and blue) of athletes wearing colors that don’t appear on the American flag.

    It gets better(?)

    Some folks have noticed that the American athletes’ uniforms don’t carry the stars and stripes look as much as they have in past years,” Camerota complained, without any evidence of who “some folks” might be. “The famous flag-styled outfits worn in year’s past replaced with yellow shirts, gray track suits, pink leotards.” Radio host/Tea Partier David Webb later chimed in with a sad tome about how America has “lost over time that jingoistic feeling” because “a soft anti-American feeling that Americans can’t show their exceptionalism”

    Wait until these ass-clowns find out that Curiosity has parts supplied by Toyota. (Not really, but wouldn’t it be great to send them an email stating such?)

  13. steve84 says

    Not only is the US women’s soccer coach a foreigner. She is also a lesbian. That must make them doubly bad.

  14. matty1 says

    20 golds now, although whether ‘make my horse walk funny’ is a real sport is another question.

  15. says

    WTF? The top countries in the medal count, roughly in order, are China, USA, UK, Russia, France, Japan, Germany. I’m guessing by Conservapedia’s ridiculously broad definition of atheism, only the USA is non-atheistic, which means that atheistic countries are dominating the show.

    Are they now, finally, willing to admit there is no god?

  16. eric says

    Here’s my favorite. Its from the men’s tennis:

    will one of the Greatest Conservative Sports Stars — such as Novak Djokovic — win the gold medal? Will Andy Murray of atheistic Britain underperform?

    Well, first, Djokovic is ranked #1 in the world. Picking him to win is not exactly going out on a conservative limb.

    But more to the point, he lost. He didn’t even get in the final, which was a socialist Swiss (Federer) vs. an atheistic Scot (Murray).

    Murray won. Exactly the opposite of what conservapedia predicted.

  17. eric says

    Ack, was ranked #1 in the world for about the last year. I forgot, Federer regained #1 a few weeks ago, in Wimbledon.

  18. cathyw says

    Will almost no athletes from public school sports programs win any gold medals, despite how public schools spend more than $500 billion annually to teach and train Americans?

    …umm, so gym class was actually an Olympic training program? Somehow I missed that.

  19. Moggie says

    Have they managed to weed out all the satirists from their contributors? It certainly used to be the case that some of their articles were written for the lulz.

  20. yoav says

    Will almost no athletes from public school sports programs win any gold medals, despite how public schools spend more than $500 billion annually to teach and train Americans?

    Even if that was true I’m sure it will have nothing to do with public schools being starved and having to slash cost in anyway possible, such as eliminating athletic programs.

  21. says

    will one of the Greatest Conservative Sports Stars — such as Novak Djokovic — win the gold medal?

    I was curious about this, so I checked those godless liberal sources, Wikipedia and Google, for signs of Djokovic’s conservatism. Nothing.

    The only link in google that proclaims him a conservative is to… Conservapedia. Their evidence? He makes the sign of the cross when he plays. That’s all I could find.

    What really gets me about Conservapedia is that it’s a complete intellectual muddle. It doesn’t hold itself to a high enough standard even to be wrong half the time, it’s just gibbering, drooling nonsense. I’m actually stunned that the few remaining conservative intellectuals out there who have an ounce of self-respect don’t go and kick Andy Schlafly in the balls, but I guess there aren’t enough of them to account for each testicle.

  22. says

    Do atheist countries underachieve in the Olympics? The only officially atheist country I can even think of is China, and IIRC they’re ahead of us by one in both gold and total medals.

    NK, Vietnam and other “communist” countries haven’t won squat, but then neither have a lot of devoutly Christian or Muslim countries.

  23. Ben P says

    Even if that was true I’m sure it will have nothing to do with public schools being starved and having to slash cost in anyway possible, such as eliminating athletic programs.

    There’s also the point that the vast majority of the olympic atheletes in “school sports” are far beyond where high school matters.

    A handful of olympic sports, mainly the team sports (Vollyball, Soccer, Basketball) and a few individual competitions (Track and Field, Wrestling, Swimming) are widespread school sports.

    But in those sports the average competitors are well into their 20′s. A collegiate athlete who is competing in those sports is usually a extremely talented standout.

    The sports with very young competitors are almost exclusively club sports where the athletes (and their parents as often as not) deliberately sought out a high performing athletic club to train.

  24. imrryr says

    @Raging Bee – I don’t know how “atheist” these countries were during the Cold War, but remember how well nations like East Germany, the USSR, and Romania used to do in the Olympics? The USA used to get crushed in terms of gold medals received when compared to the Soviets.*

    *Well, as long as one of the nations wasn’t boycotting the other’s games (as in 1980 and 84).

    Check out the 1988 Olympics gold medal table:

    USSR – 55
    East Germany – 37
    USA – 36

    Naturally, Conservapedia’s “point” is completely ridiculous.

  25. says

    few remaining conservative intellectuals

    I think the problem is that conservative intellectual is kind of a contradiction in terms. An intellectual is someone who thinks deeply about a topic and examines it carefully, and examining and thinking carefully about conservatism reveals that it’s laughably incongruent with reality.

  26. interrobang says

    although whether ‘make my horse walk funny’ is a real sport is another question.

    As someone who used to do dressage at the national level, fuck you.

    (FWIW, a lot of that “walking funny” is actually the natural movement of the horse — at the very high levels, they can afford that kind of thing. The essence of dressage is learning how to do and memorizing a complicated routine of movements based on the letters in the ring and executing them, while making it look as though you’re not doing anything. I was never very good at the mental part; since I’m dyscalculic, memorizing sequences of anything — including dressage or dance routines — is really hard for me, so I had to really work at it. The physical part takes a lot of practice and some core, shoulder, and leg muscle.)

  27. JustaTech says

    @dean: Well, given that the US women’s soccer team looks like Where’s Waldo, I don’t blame everyone else for wearing things that don’t look like flags. Also, I noticed that most of the women swimmers and divers have their fingernails or toenails painted to look like the flag of their country (or an abbreviated version).

    Besides, most of the uniforms are on the small end. There’s no way you could get a whole huge flag on there without chopping it up, and that would be wrong.

  28. says

    North Korea: 4 Gold, 0 Silver, 1 Bronze.
    Vatican City: 0 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze.

    Advantage: Crazy, Real Dictator.
    Loser: Crazy, Fictitious Dictator.

    Sweden: 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze.
    Vatican City: 0 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze.

    Advantage: Gay-marrying, godless country that probably doesn’t
    even have a summer.
    Loser: Traditional marriage and babies.

    Great Britain: 22 Gold, 13 Silver, 12 Bronze
    Vatican City: 0 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze.

    Advantage: Little old lady with a funny hat.
    Loser Little old man in a funny hat.

    God didn’t even make it out of his preliminary group.

  29. says

    The same distortions/cherry picking/abuse of data regarding other equivalent competitions (best vs. best) can be used to support basically the opposite. Although concerning a winter sport, the only person in the history of ice hockey to score two gold medal winning overtime goals is Nancy Drolet. Both were against the US (“God’s team, in wingnutese). Drolet is also a lesbian. Therefore, God loves lesbians. QED.

  30. d cwilson says

    Also I have always assumed Conservapedia is a Poe.

    Honestly, I don’t think even they know most of the time.

    I haven’t watched much of the Olympics this time around, but I hope that America never had to go up against Israel for the gold. However would gawd choose between his two chosen people?

  31. slc1 says

    Re d cwilson @ #32

    Not very likely as Israel has never won a gold medal in Olympic competition. The best they have managed to do is a bronze in 2008 in, get this, wind surfing, whatever the fuck that is.

  32. davem says

    although whether ‘make my horse walk funny’ is a real sport is another question.

    As someone who used to do dressage at the national level, fuck you.

    Sorry, have to agree about dressage. Yeah, it may be physical, but then so is hopping upstairs on one leg, but it ain’t a sport, however you put it. And, really TEAM dressage? WTF?

    If making horses do tricks is a sport, then so is teaching a dog to water-ski. Give the medals to the horses; they’re the ones doing most of the work.

    get this, wind surfing, whatever the fuck that is.

    Well, I rate that as a sport, certainly more physical, and way more interesting than sailing. As I’ve now discovered, watching sailing is only slightly more interesting that watching paint dry. Yet the old farts who run sailing have pushed the windsurfers out of the next Olympics.

  33. says

    davem “Sorry, have to agree about dressage. Yeah, it may be physical, but then so is hopping upstairs on one leg, but it ain’t a sport, however you put it.”
    Oh really? This bronze medal I got in Nagano for in Singles Rhythmic Leg-Enhoppening says you’re wrong.

  34. dingojack says

    Hotape (#30) – That’s little old Bond Girl in a funny hat to you, snooks!

    :) Dingo
    ——-
    Conservatpedia’s detailled theologically-robust and statisticaly rigourous analysis is based on how one Muslim country does in handball? Couldn’t they have found an actual sport rather than a kids’ game?

  35. matty1 says

    Yet the old farts who run sailing have pushed the windsurfers out of the next Olympics.

    In fairness they replaced it with kite surfing, which is not exactly a sedate activity.

    22 golds now, and I withdraw my comment on dressage I’m pleased with every medal we won.

  36. slc1 says

    Re yoav @ #36

    I stand corrected. I was mislead by an article on one of the Israeli newspaper websites which said that the fellow in question won a bronze medal.

  37. Pen says

    Somewhat atheistic France is a distant third in total golds with 4,

    France and Britain seem about equally atheistic at street level, but the French and their government are militantly secular to Britain’s traditionalist apathy. Conservapedia really should try to get these things right, think of the impact it could have on the medal count!

  38. Michael Heath says

    davidperry,

    That’s a candidate for link of the decade!

    I’m kicking myself for not thinking of looking up the record for Poe’s Law on Conservapedia prior to reading your post.

    Your link inspired me to look up their page for Godwin’s Law: http://www.conservapedia.com/Godwin%27s_law
    I’m very disappointed, it’s not nearly as entertaining as their Poe page.

  39. ericblair says

    “The famous flag-styled outfits worn in year’s past replaced with yellow shirts, gray track suits, pink leotards.”

    It is, in fact, against the law (4 U.S.C. Chapter 1) to wear the flag (or any part of it) as clothing. A flag patch or pin can be worn on the uniforms of military, law enforcement or patriotic groups.

    Conservapedia is a bad joke.

  40. chriscork says

    Ethiopian athlete Meseret Defar crossed the line brandishing a picture of the Virgin Mary. Why didn’t Conservapedia make a deal of this and complain about it being ignored by the lamestream media?

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