Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Adopt-a-Page

Many of you may recall a while back when I introduced you to Conservapedia, the "conservative alternative" to Wikipedia that is founded on the basic principle that, if we wish hard enough, we can make it so. Since my first discovery of Conservapedia I've been checking in now and then, watching it grow much as I imagine a proud parent watches his child mature doctor watches a cancerous lesion metastasize.

Indeed, the changes have been remarkable. The tiny little entry on evolution, for example, has blossomed into a wealth of disinformation and religious propaganda, including such howlers as:

A claimed lack of any transitional forms in the fossil record:

Currently, there are over one hundred million identified and catalogued fossils in the world's museums. [6] If macroevolution occured, then there should be "transitional forms" in the fossil record reflecting the intermediate life forms. Another term for these "transitional forms" is "missing links".

...

Evolutionists have had over 140 years to find a transitional fossil and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has ever been found - only a handful of highly doubtful examples of transitional fossils exist.*


and

The fossil record=creationism!

Creationists can cite material showing that there is no solid fossil evidence for the macroevolutionary position and that the fossil record supports creationism:


If we check out another entry say, for example, abortion, we find a similarly bizarre/inarticulate/factually incorrect wad of prose. From the initial description of abortion:

Abortion is the induced termination of a pregnancy.[1] The father of medicine, Hippocrates, expressly prohibited abortion in his ethical Oath long before Christianity. Today abortion is a billion-dollar industry[2][3] in the United States and Western Europe except for Ireland, Malta, Poland and Portugal, where it is generally illegal. Here is a discussion of the position of the United States National Cancer Institute on Abortion.


To the "fantastic" section, abortion and breast cancer:

The vast majority of scientific studies have shown that abortion causes an increase in breast cancer, including 16 out of 17 statistically significant studies.[4] Studies showing that abortion increases breast cancer predate the political controversy.[5] It is undisputed that having a baby protects against breast cancer, and thus early termination of pregnancy must increase the risk of cancer for the mother compared to carrying that same pregnancy to birth. Yet the abortion industry conceals this increased risk, just as the tobacco industry concealed its cancer risk for decades.


Indeed, conservapedia is "fun" like no other website I have yet encountered. Its disconnect from reality is so strong that NPR recently interviewed the founder to ask about the quality of Conservapedia entries. The answer, basically, was that since a lot of people believe that something is true we should present it as a viable alternative. Fascinating logic that would, indeed, be capable of resurrecting Elvis from the grave.

So, what to do? Well, what I'd like to suggest is this: The Total Drek Adopt a Conservapedia Entry activity! I'd like my readers to pick a Conservapedia entry of their fancy and begin editing it. I don't want you to propagandize or to insert offensive material but I do want you to try to bring that page in line with reality. Then, report back in every so often on how it's going. Your donation of just twenty minutes once a week can help a conservapedia entry reflect reality, develop proper spelling and grammar, and incorporate legitimate sources. Just send me an e-mail or leave a comment announcing which page you're adopting and I'll compile a list and talk about your findings every so often- say once a month or so.

And just to start things off, I'll adopt one of my own. Say hello to my newly adopted Conservapedia entry: Atheism.

This should be exciting.


* The passage then devolves into the sort of quote-mining typical of creationists. So, to give them their just due, allow me to "quote" their arguments: "Currently, there are over one hundred million identified and catalogued... transitional forms" in the fossil record..." Now wasn't that fun and informative?

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