Essay:Creationist Behavior on Conservapedia
Over 100,000 page edits on Conservapedia provides much data to study and analyze creationist behavior and trends. Several important characteristics emerge:
Point by Point to the Companion Article, Essay:Liberal Behavior on Conservapedia
- Creationists are much more closed-minded and unwilling to debate, invoking "talk page privacy" whenever their ability to defend their perspective weakens to the point of utter collapse. However, since concession is not the creationist way, debate cloture is the preferred method of "victory," either by protection, blocking, or refusal to engage in conversation.
- Creationists declare most things to be impossible, and are incredibly stubborn on these points: anything other than literal Biblical interpretation is flawed, to them. This leaves much of the realm of human thought simply impenetrable, and creationists will not give way to the responsive meaning that the Bible is viewed to have by most Christians, instead.
- Name-calling - that is, attaching the label "liberal" to a concept or fact - ends the debate. It is used as the primary argument against most of science, which is "secular," "liberal," or "atheist."
- To be a part of the in-crowd on Conservapedia, and not be subject to constant derision, blocking, etc., one must not be just conservative, but a fundamentalist Christian. That is to say that the ideological tent of Conservapedia is quite small, with entry only to creationists.
- Creationists here enjoy greatly tautologies and selective ignorance, as well as other fundamental logical errors. An example would be the article Faith, which for a great time proclaimed proudly that Christianity was the only religion to have a Christian concept of faith, or circular argumentation on the Carbon dating page, by arguing, "carbon dating must be flawed, because the earth is young, so as a result, since carbon dating is flawed, the earth must be young."
- Overbroad concepts are attributed to "only" liberals, such as, deceit. Where editors seek to note examples of creationist deceit, such as outright lies to a federal judge, the examples are stricken without anything more than righteous indignation as an explanation. In this sense, liberals (which, remember, are everyone who is not a creationist) are the definition of evil, a larger-than-life force for wrong.
- Attribution of vandalism to liberals only, and definition of liberalism as inherently a philosophy built on destruction.
- Creationists implement rules designed to discourage debate, such as the "90/10" rule. Editors are told to stop talking, and start working, but when they are then forced to defend their edits against absurd objections (see stereotype), and the talk-page edit count goes up, the editors are then told to go back to work, and move on, abandoning their previous work. The same rules are also selectively enforced. Many administrators do not engage in productive article creation.
- Creationists use bad math to score ideological points, and employ professions of a misunderstanding of basic ratio mathematics, followed by a blocking of all dissenters, to defend absurd numerological constructs.
- Creationists rely on the word "liberal," a term of derision to them, to be an argument-stopper, and an immediate way to discredit any evidence that might point against their causes.
- Fact may be transformed into opinion by adding the words, "but, Young Earth Creationists assert... and can cite... and allege... and dispute." For example, see the article on stars. No matter how ridiculous the assumptions or arguments are, by using them, the transformation from fact to opinion is complete, and unassailable, since any counter-argument is "liberal" and flawed, as a result (see supra for further commentary).
- Creationists are willing to buck common knowledge, expert opinion, and the laws of physics just to get to the preferred result. They then claim to be objective.
- Creationists oftentimes prefer to deliberately spin facts, widely publicize known half-truths, and lie outright to gain popular support. This has been widely documented, a textbook example being immoral creationist Kent Hovind.
- The terms "conservative" and "young earth creationist" are conflated, such that everything that disagrees with creationist viewpoints is automatically "liberal." Since most of science disagrees with creationist, quite a lot of the world is "liberal," per se!
- The victim complex is alive and well. For example, the real victims of discrimination against gays are not the gays, but the discriminators, since society has begun to frown on them for discriminating.
- Facts are fungible. For example, the laws of physics are subject to sudden change (like the speed of light, or the half-life of carbon) to be shoe-horned into the overused, discredited framework of ancient mythologies.
- Creationists engage in denial of "real world" perceptions of the project. Conservative's edits are hailed as examples of prime writing, since they draw so many visitors. However, a quick look at the incoming traffic reveals that the visitors come from blogs mocking the articles. Also, the project's founder often proudly boasts of mentions of Conservapedia in the papers, without noting that the articles mock the project's narrow perspective.
- Creationists believe that one objection, no matter how unreasonable, wholly discredits a theory. Thus, where planet formation is not fully explained, the theory must be flawed. Where a single gap in the fossil record exists, the theory of evolution falls apart. This stems from a basic misunderstanding of the nature of science.
- Any countervailing fact is automatically "opinion." For example, binding Supreme Court law (as in, the Opinion of the Court) is not factual law - rather, it is a judge's simple, flawed understanding of the law (opinion of the Court). This applies so long as the law works against creationists (that is, most of the time); where it works in their favor, it is authority which must be obeyed.
- Creationists hold up their "faith" in creation as unassailable. They then abandon it immediately, seeking to justify it by flawed science. When the science fails them, they turn back to faith, but will come creeping back to science as soon as all editors who would disagree with them have been blocked.
- Non-neutral points of view, often extremely inflammatory, are treated as fact so long as they fall into the right ideological camp. Roger Schlafly is a prime offender, but articles such as reparative therapy are no better.