Another major paper has a story on Conservapædia. I’m sure Andy is proud of his accomplishment — the truly stupid would be proud of promoting stupidity.
Schlafly, 46, started small, urging his students to post brief — often one-sentence — entries on ancient history. He went live with the site in November. In the last six months, it’s grown explosively, offering what Schlafly describes as fair, scholarly articles. Many have a distinctly religious-right perspective.
There’s some complaining at the end—there’s a rival wiki, RationalWiki, that comments on Conservapædia silliness, and some of its members also edit Conservapædia, prompting much outrage at those liberals who want to “destroy” them. I don’t think we can blame liberal mockery for these entries, though:
Take the Pleistocene Epoch. Most scientists know it as the ice age and date it back at least 1.6 million years. But Conservapedia calls it “a theorized period of time” — a theory contradicted, according to the entry, by “multiple lines of evidence” indicating that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, as described in the Book of Genesis.
“We have certain principles that we adhere to, and we are up-front about them,” Schlafly writes in his mission statement. “Beyond that we welcome the facts.”
Conservapedia defines environmentalists as “people who profess concern about the environment” and notes that some would want to impose legal limits on the use of toilet paper.
Femininity? The quality of being “childlike, gentle, pretty, willowy, submissive.”
A hike in minimum wage is referred to as “a controversial manoeuvre that increases the incentive for young people to drop out of school.”
And the state of the economy under President Bush? Much better than the “liberal media” would have you think: “For example, during his term Exxon Mobile has posted the largest profit of any company in a single year, and executive salaries have greatly increased as well.”
What a mess. I refuse to accept papers turned in to me that cite Wikipedia, and I tell students that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. I haven’t warned them about Conservapædia so far, but maybe I’m going to have to start, and let them know that I’ll flunk them if I spot the kind of credulity that would think Conservapædia has any credibility at all.