I haven’t written anything here yet about Conservapedia, which is one of those subjects I really have to vomit some bile over before I can truly claim to be blogging with the big boys. If you’re not familiar, this place is hilarious. It intends to redress the unfair secular and liberal bias propagated by
reality Wikipedia, which we are informed is a more anti-intellectual, long-winded resource, which allows “numerous assertions that are based merely on journalists’ (biased) opinion”. Are you laughing milk out of your nose yet? If not, this site must be new to you.
It’s the most brilliant example of Poe’s law in effect: Without a blatant display of humour, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof. (I checked that on Wikipedia, though that one does need a citation.) If someone had had the idea for Conservapedia as a joke, and wanted to set up a fake, satirical site purporting to be a bias-free version of Wikipedia which was actually a right-wing Christian nut-fest, I honestly can’t imagine them doing better than this. You’ll have to go browsing yourself to get the full flavour, but I’ll compare and contrast entries from the two ‘pedias on a few topics. (Given the nature of wikis, things may have changed by the time you read them, but all the quotes are accurate as I’m reading them on September 6th 2008.)
Wikipedia: Common Era, often abbreviated to CE (which can also be read as Christian Era or Current Era), has been used for centuries as an alternative to AD for the system of numbering years. Before then, it derived from vulgaris aerae, a latin phrase translated as “vulgar [or common] era”, first used in the early 17th century. There are 74 references to back things up.
Conservapedia: HISTORICAL REVISIONISM!!!1! Seriously. If we don’t keep using a particular historical event with no significance to most people in the world as a yardstick for all our measurement of time, this is an attempt “to erase recognition for the Christian basis of the calendar”. Even if we still measure from that time, but don’t call it the same thing. The entry also notes that only Christianity gets picked on this way, and the remnants of Norse gods in the days of the week remain. Obviously this system is maintained by a bunch of anti-Christian Thor-panderers who are really running things. There is precisely one reference, backing up a page full of claims like “The established calendar dating system is based on the approximate birthday of Jesus, and no one disputes that” (emphasis mine). That one reference links to a Jewish Information Resource, where one rabbi answering one question doesn’t know where the use of the term CE originates. This, apparently, is enough to establish “that the term “Common Era” did not come from Judaism”. This is a thing they take really seriously, too. They have seven Commandments that govern the use of the site, the third of which is not to use CE or BCE.
Wikipedia: Jesus is an incredibly complex and controversial subject of discussion. His article goes on for many pages, covering a detailed account from the gospels, the many different historical perspectives, descriptions of the way he is seen in various religions, and links to dozens upon dozens of other pages, covering countless major events, perspectives, and aspects of his legacy in more detail. There are 178 references.
Conservapedia: “Jesus Christ is the only Son of God and prophesied Messiah”. Stated as fact in the opening line. Oh, and their first Commandment is that “Everything you post must be true and verifiable”. Sorry, should’ve warned you that was coming so you’d have a chance to recalibrate your irony meters; hope they didn’t just explode and cause too much damage. Most of the page is an account of his life simply as described in the Bible. There are twelve references, four of which are Bible verses.
Wikipedia: Atheism is a rejection of theism, or an active disbelief in gods, which atheists support in a variety of ways. There’s a discussion of the history of the term’s usage, a lot of detail about the thinking behind it and arguments made over the years, and of related philosophies like secular humanism and naturalism. 124 references.
Conservapedia: The biggest section of their article of the year is “Criticism of Atheism”, which includes links to whole other pages on “Atheism and Mass Murder” (with a nice picture of Stalin next to it), “Atheism and Morality” (under the heading “Atheism and Immoral Views” – that one gets off onto a bizarre digression about how amazingly prophetic the Bible was to warn against homosexuality, because it’s so unhealthy, you see), “Atheism and suicide”, “Atheism and deception”, an irrelevant paragraph about “Evolutionary Position Gradually Losing Public Support”, and “Causes of Atheism”. This last begins with “Moral depravity”, includes “Poor relationship with father”, and just goes downhill from there. 201 references, and I can’t find one that actually links to anything representing the other side. Don’t forget, they don’t censor “any facts that comport with the basic rules”.
Wikipedia: Unsurprisingly sensible and detailed things to say on evolution, which I won’t go into here in detail.
Conservapedia: “…a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists”. There are “many”  who are against the theory and assert that it has “a multitude of serious problems”. The first such problem listed is that most Americans don’t believe it. If you look more broadly, of course, the majority of the world would find a similar problem with the theory of Jesus’ divinity, but, y’know, that’s totally different. Somehow. And: “The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution”, it is stated flatly, with three supporting reference links, which I’m sure sum up and analyse every argument and perspective conclusively. I’m lying, they don’t, this place is fucking retarded and I’m getting too tired to find it funny any more. Their page on evolution has pictures of Hitler, Stalin, and Darwin’s head on a monkey’s body, for fuck’s sake. Fuck these fuckers.