Those fatty McFatFat atheists!

Well isn’t this perfect timing? Right after JT Eberhard and I start our little weight loss battle, Conservapedia’s new front page topic is “Atheism & Obesity.” I wonder if LoseIt! will let me log the calories I burnt laughing at their absurd logic. It basically boils down to “We hate atheists and fail at debating their philosophy, so we’ll point out that they’re fat doo doo heads instead.”

Okay, they don’t explicitly say “fat doo doo heads.” Their logic is more like this:

1. Here are five atheists. Two died decades ago, but that’s probably because they were so FAT.
2. Don’t they look overweight? I mean, we don’t have their height, or weight, or body fat percentages, or cholesterol levels, or anything of biological significance, but they sure do look like fatties, don’t they?
3. What? You can provide examples of fat religious people and of thin atheists? Shhhhhhhh!
4. And you know why atheists don’t get married as much? Because the men are all fat slobs. Sorry, ladies (though you’re fat slobs too).
5. And didn’t you know fatties are stupid too? Science says so. No, not that evilutionist science, because they’re fatties too. The good kind of science that we can twist… I mean, interpret to fit our own views.
6. Therefore atheists are wrong and God exists. Specifically the Christian God. QED

I don’t want to waste too much time debunking the intellectual void that is Conservapedia, but let me just leave this here:Curious, curious indeed… With Conservapedia logic, correlation implies causation, therefore religious people are the true fatties! Neener neener! …Well, except Mormons, who are apparently fit machines, obviously making Mormonism the correct religion. Isn’t using fatphobia as a debate tool fun?!

Though maybe they’re right. Maybe as I shed the pounds I’ll become more and more religious! If you want to support this science experiment, or just show your support for healthy atheists, you can pledge a donation here.


  1. says

    I used to argue with the asshats on Conservapedia many moons ago; It was a complete waste of my time, but it was fun. I applaud the work of the people at RationalWiki who document the absurdity that is Conservapedia; someday, there will be a book about it.But really, what do you expect from the son of Phyllis Schlafly? He wanted to make a “conservative bible” for crying out loud.As someone who has struggled with obesity, I applaud your weight-loss competition. America has a nasty dichotomy of extreme overeating, and unrealistic body images; it’s great when people choose a healthy balance.Good luck!

  2. Chris says

    I believe that Conservapedia was not established as a parody site, but I seriously wonder if a lot of its contributors are liberals poking fun at them by seeing how far they can go putting silly things up without getting caught. If that’s true, it is a pretty unique kind of collaborative work.

  3. Brian H. says

    Woah wait – I thought conservopedia was a joke site, like Landover Baptist. That’s kinda scary.

  4. David Spring says

    I can tell you from personal experience as a skinny dude and former Christian, worrying about burning in hell for eternity burns a lot of calories! Being a paranoid schizophrenic and having to constantly stay a step ahead of the “logical opposition” while all the while attempting to appear “normal” is a lot of work….

  5. LOResident says

    Oh? You’re from Freehold?I’d love to meet up some time. We should meet up in the retreat center!

  6. says

    They claim that Christians view their bodies as ‘temples’. That made me literally lol. You know who actually does? Gay men. Which is why they only cite lesbians as being obese.

  7. says

    I’m fat and an atheist. But it’s actually my “faith” in science-based medicine that makes me fat: I’m on anti anxiety meds that make me gain weight. I guess if I prayed instead of depending on these meds to make me healthy and balanced, I’d be skinny again. Praise the lawd!

  8. Hans says

    It is actually quite a legitimate question to ask whether religiosity (or the lack thereof) has an influence on obesity rates, although not for the purposes (as Conservapedia seems to be doing) to denigrate research subjects. From a public health standpoint, it is important to know information like that for designing programs and health interventions. An ecological study, for instance comparing state averages, is rather a method of last resort for these questions. They are often quite misleading. In fact, the question of religiosity and obesity has been studied, although with mixed results. The best study I could find on the subject was Ellis and Biglione (2000) which found no correlation between BMI and religiosity in middle aged and older women (although contrary to the Utah phenomenon noted above, Mormons women in the study actually had higher BMIs which the authors suggested was due to Mormon women having more children)Although it is a legitimate study question for public health, I would hasten to add that obesity is highlighted in the Conservapedia context because it is a stigmatized problem. Thus, the Conservapedia wants to tie the stigma of obesity to stigmatize atheism. The absurdity of that logic was pointed out above, so I won’t go over it here. However it is worth reflecting on the very fact that obesity is seen as a moral failing. It is a trivial philosophical question (since it is a moral claim it can’t be answered by science) about the deservedness of such a stigma (hint, it is rather absurd). However there is good research to suggest that the obesity stigma, like all disease stigmas, has a negative impact on health (Puhl and Hueur 2010).

  9. WingedBeast says

    I’ve been hearing about Poe’s law for a while. Exposing my own ignorance only in order to cure it, what is Poe’s law, exactly?

  10. DES says

    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

  11. says

    I thought the exact same way while reading it. It reminds me of Republic Faith Chat or Fundies say the darndest things…. two pretty awesome satires.

  12. NotThatGreg says

    On the other hand, 500,000 people showed up at Beck’s rally (a widely reported estimate extracted with excruciating accuracy from the nether orifice of a prominent crowdologer), and they all fit into at most 600k-800k sq ft (my est. from photos & Google Earth). So that demographic must be really, really thin!

  13. says

    I believe this is neither an atheist versus nonatheist, nor a fat versus skinny issue.It is more likely that the nonfat anti-atheists in this case are young people commenting on the physical appearance of their elders. I say lets us give them twenty or thirty years of chips and soda combined with a low-fiber, high-fat diet and see how their naked pictures play on the internet.

  14. says

    Czech Republic has only 12% of religious people according to last poll, and obesity rate is ~26% on average (21% for women and 31% for men). So while we czechs are comparatively fat with americans, it seems that being a bunch of blasphemers does not

  15. Georgia Sam says

    Obesity, poverty, low education levels, religiosity — all correlated, and all concentrated in the babble belt more than any other region. Coincidence? You decide.

  16. Georgia Sam says

    Oh, and I forgot to mention hunger. It goes on that list, too, according to a study I saw a couple of weeks ago. It may seem paradoxical that high rates of both hunger and obesity occur in the same places, but it isn’t. Both are related to poverty.

  17. Gus Snarp says

    They’ve got Chuck Norris, we’ve got Lance Armstrong. Chuck looks a little heavy next to Lance, I’ve got to say.

  18. Annie says

    A bit off topic, but I just went to check out Conservapedia… oh my! This was my “favorite” quote… under atheism and morality:”Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality is quite arguably one of the many examples where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time. “Are you sure this isn’t fake?

  19. Rollingforest says

    I went on Conservapedia a while back and started writing about how the Egyptians used dinosaurs to build the pyramids just to see if anyone would believe it. I got kicked off, but they should be more careful about that. It was seriously a situation of Poe’s law!

  20. Rollingforest says

    Well, since CBS used photography from airplanes to put the rally at 89,000 people (about 1/3rd the size of the Jon Stewart rally) I think Beck can fit basically whoever showed up.

  21. Pwguitarded says

    I’m an atheist, and although I find this incredibly funny :), Correlation doesn’t always imply causation. That’s standard Statistics. Nonetheless, very funny haha.

  22. Yoav says

    As far as I can tell conservapedia is a highly moderated site with virtually all content written either by Andy Sfhitfly himself or one of his cronies.

  23. Don says

    Well I’m an thinnish atheist who married a fat Methodist because I think fat women are smokin HOT. Take that Conservapedia.Seriously, are they really arguing that if you believe in God you’ll get laid more?

  24. Eric_Rom says

    I visited Prague, and between the size of the servings and the deliciousness of the food and beer, I am not surprised.That were some seriously good eatin’ in Prague.

  25. Masha says

    I love the sections that are examples of overweight atheists like P.Z. Myers and Christopher Hitchens. That whole article is just…weird.

  26. Brooklyn Reader says

    Obesity as a stigma… hmmm….. That got me to thinking.In many parts of the world, including certain groups in the U.S., being chubby is seen as a sign of wealth, of rolling in the plenty, and paradoxically, of health. Now, take a look at the pentacostal and charismatic traditions of Christianity, out there preaching the “Prosperity Gospel” (gag!). Ipso facto, QED, Evangelicals are the True chubbies, and by choice, too.The maps make sense, if viewed not in the light of religious importance to the population, but in percentages of Evangelicals. Utah is where it is on the charts because they have a very low percentage.

  27. Guest says

    Come to think of it, it’s true. I have never in my life seen a fat Mormon. And I have been to SLC.Not really the point of the blog, I realize, but it struck me once you pointed that out.

  28. Drakk says

    I don’t believe the attribution of, ah…a generous figure, to health, is paradoxical at all.Please correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that this view is held in parts of the world which are, in a broad sense of the term, economically poor. This manifests itself as a population with a significant amount of poverty, and with that the usual unpleasantries – starvation, disease, etc. The common poor person in these regions is likely to be a skinny, malnourished individual and furthermore, likely to at some point see a person not in his state of suffering – and seeing that person to be of greater physical dimensions than they themselves are. I don’t think it is a stretch to assume that their minds would make the logical (or not) connection “I am skinny and hungry, he is not skinny and not hungry, therefore not skinny = not hungry”. And then the extension “more fat = less hungry”.And this was a completely hacked together hypothesis. Please do call out anything I may have misinterpreted.

  29. marc says

    I prayed, said 12 hail Marys and gave thanks to Allah before eating a box of twinkies yesterday. That should have cancelled out any calories, I sure.

  30. says

    Doesn’t matter if you joke about it, fact remains -a huge Gallup found Atheist to be fatter than Christians. Atheists are also less happy according to other polls. That’s Gallup, not Conservadpedia.

  31. Elie says

    No Jews made dinosaurs to make us believe evolution…that could be true in conservapedia logic.

  32. Elie says

    I think the best part is when they link to pictures of FATASS Asimov. Seriously this guy was so fat!!*irony*

  33. says

    Elie: Have you seen the picture? It kind of speaks for itself. He may have been skinny in his youth and later when he contracted HIV, but in between that he clearly had a gut.

  34. Eric_RoM says

    1)  I see they’ve re-defined ‘trustworthy’ too.2) (in the comments here) PZ , ‘sophisticated’????  Have you seen what the man wears?  He’s typical American academic schlub.  I’ll give you Dawkins: as a Brit academic, he actually knows how to dress.3)  When Conservapedia labels something ‘satire’, they really mean ‘snark’.  ‘Poorly executed snark’, to be exact.

  35. Paddy says

    Can you link to this?  I tried searching under “religion obesity” “religion BMI” “religiosity obesity” and “religiosity BMI” on gallup’s own site, and the Conservapedia page (bleh) only links to a poll claiming that religious people reported healthier behaviour (not the same as less obesity, and self-reported behaviour is a weak outcome anyway).Also, other research has found the opposite conclusion (that higher religiosity is linked to higher BMI….

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