Debate:Can Conservapedia Succeed?

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Possibly

I'm new to Conservapedia. From my perspective, too much time is spent at present debating the "controversial" articles (Creationism, Abortion, etc) and too little time is spent making a great number of the more mundane articles authoritative. I've flicked through 20-30 articles (free time can be a good thing!) using the Random Page function and it saddened me that many of them are one or two lines long with no proper references or citations. What use is any encyclopedia if it goes out of its way to offer a particular perspective at the expense of containing good factual articles about, well, everything that might be useful to the home schooled or the intellectually curious?

I'd like to see something like this succeed - from an educational perspective it would be a credit to all involved. But, in my opinion, unless time and effort are spent on ALL articles, not just the emotive ones, it will never be functional in the way it deserves to be.

I've made a few scattergun edits so far (mythology and random trivia are my strong points) but there are a whole host of topics that should be informative that clearly no real time has been spent on.

I'll judge Conservapedia to be a success when I see people linking to articles as a source of facts about, well, anything and everything. Whilst people are only interested in certain controversial topics, it will only ever be a limited viewpoint, not an encyclopedia.

Let's face it, people should be able to look at this site as having well written articles on, oh, I don't know (thinks of random things), hamsters, walnut trees and the production of rubber byproducts, not just a select few articles relating to purely Conservative interests. Otherwise, it's not an encyclopedia, it's purely propaganda. Of which the internet already has plenty...--Fingermouse 19:39, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

I'll accept your well-phrased challenge. I've noticed the stub problem myself.
As far as I know, the only forbidden subjects on Conservapedia are those that might primarily appeal to a prurient interest--about which, I trust nothing further need be said.
What sort of mythology are you strong in? Classical? Nordic? Chinese?--TerryHTalk 20:00, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

I'd say my main strengths are in Classical mythology in addition to the myths and folklore of the British Isles. That's what you get growing up in what is historically known as "the witches county" - some fascinating history there. And yes, I'd like to start filling out more of the "stub" articles as I come across them. The Random Page function is a real bonus. --Fingermouse 20:09, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

No

Of course not! Anyone who thinks it will is either a paranoid naive liberal or one of the kooky creationists writeing the handful of articles posted in this project. -- Jirt 10:03, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

Because it is quite frankly turning out to be just as liberal as Wikipedia. --Luke-Jr 14:13, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

I will agree with this because it appears the editing process seems to be slanted towards removing anything that could be considered part of the conservative ideology. Perhaps this could be an effort by liberal subjugators to undermine the integrity of what is supposed to be a conservative knowledge base. --BillOReillyFan
No it is not as liberal as Wiki yet. ALL Wiki articals are up for editing while Conservapedia has blocked some of the most highly debated ones --Ampasand 11:32 29 march 2007 (GMT+12)

No. Not until you reject NeoCon Republicanism and adopt the ideals of Pat Buchanan. He is the real Conservative. Not a group of men packaged and delivered by Carl Rove.

Hopefully not. Wouldn't it be better if there was a source of information that didn't have any bias? Instead of putting together conservative biased information, how about putting together FACTUAL information?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gasmonkey (talk)

?????

What is Conservapedia's goal exactly? I think it will fail as a replacement to Wikipedia, but it is a nice place to hang out communicate to other people, and have debates like this one.

Double Edge

I'm unsure of Conservapedia's mission. I don't think the person/people who govern it have actually focussed on one.
  • One way Conservapedia could succeed is by downplaying its identity as "Conservative alternative to Wikipedia" and by seriously trying to become a useful information resource for a teenaged audience and for Christian homeschoolers.
  • One way Conservapedia could succeed is by trying to become a serious, factual encyclopedia whose policies and governance are tweaked just enough to give it a somewhat different emphasis from Wikipedia. My model for this is the Christian Science Monitor in the days when it was a serious, first-rate daily newspaper. It was respected by everyone as serious journalism, was widely read by people who were not Christian Scientists, and was aligned with the Christian Science church without pushing in-your-face, over-the-top Christian Science spin in every article one every page. I think this might be what Aschlafly wants. I don't give it much chance of getting there. It took Wikipedia about three years to become credible, and I think it pretty much dominates the ecological niche for volunteer-created encyclopedias.
  • One way Conservapedia could succeed is by become a repository for articles that do not even pretend to be serious information resources, but self-celebratory exercises in anti-liberal rhetoric. Not the George WIll of encyclopedias, but the Ann Coulter of encyclopedias. Conservatives would come to it, not for information, but to experience the reassurance of being in among their own mob. It can probably exist indefinitely as a web forum billing itself an encyclopedia, but which nobody takes seriously as an encyclopedia. And there is of course endless fascination to be had trying to figure out of the edits presenting the most extreme points of view are mocking pranks, and which are sincere.
I do ask Conservapedians to entertain the following question: would they allow teenaged children to use Conservapedia as a schoolwork resource? Now? Ever? Dpbsmith 10:39, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
To add to this, and I surely hope someone checks this page because I'm not getting a response elsewhere, I see this particular phrase or a variation of it repeated fairly often:
Ah, but there's a key flaw in your comparison, isn't there? We disclose our point-of-view, while Wikipedia denies it. We're not trying to fool anyone. We give the reader the information, and we let the reader decide. Wikipedia, while pretending to be neutral, is actually far more liberal than the American public and its bias results in censorship of vast amounts of information that readers would like to evaluate for themselves, such as biblical authorities.--Aschlafly 23:05, 14 March 2007 (EDT)" [1] (emphasis added)
But Conservapedia doesn't disclose its POV. It is called "Conservapedia" and it says on the main page that we "we give full credit to Christianity and America" but that surely does not adequately describe our POV. I see lots of logos on the main page with a cross as a significant focus... is this a Christian encyclopedia? Is this an American encyclopedia? What, exactly, is the POV of Conservapedia? Myk 17:15, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Yes:

Yes, it can succeed, and it will. Ironically, the (ahem) user who fired the opening shot (see "No" below) suggested the obvious thing: Disable automatic registration and have people register by invitation and application.

CreationWiki does the same thing. They've set up a special "informational" e-mail account and published its address on their Main Page. Anyone wishing to register as an editor must apply for the job either to info@creationwiki.org or directly to its founder, Christopher W. Ashcraft of the Northwest Creation Network. The results have been very good, if I do say so myself (as an editor of CreationWiki as well as an editor here).

Much of BPearl's opening statement is a rant against conservatism generally, and also a contradiction: he maintains that conservatives argue with reality, and then proposes that reality is arrived at by consensus. Sorry, but that's a non sequitur. Of course, liberals always want to deny absolute truth (which is not a trademark, by the way) because their reality is only what feels like a good idea at any given time.

The rest of it is, frankly, a threat: that vandalism will continue unless we--what--shut down? Trust a liberal to write a claim-of-responsibility and an ultimatum that tries to pretend that it's neither. Your average front-liner in Al-Qa'ida would guffaw.

I make two recommendations to the Bureaucrats and the Sysops:

  1. Make registration by invitation and application. Disable automatic registration entirely, and publish contact e-mails on the Main Page, or a page that links directly to it, so that people can apply.
  2. Recruit in more home-school groups, Christian schools, and other private schools.

This place needs a lot of expansion--and also a firm editorial policy that recognizes that certain (ahem) people are never going to appreciate what we have to offer, because they can't even agree with us on what is real and what is unreal. Why, some of them wouldn't even agree that grass was green until they put it to a vote--and then they'd want a stipulation about whether the word grass properly referred only to fescue. St. Augustine, and other traditional lawn grasses, or whether it could refer also to Cannabis sativa.--TerryH 08:18, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

CreationWiki isn't a serious source of information beyond case studies in logical fallacies and it's peculiar brand of paganism. Nematocyte 06:19, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
Has CreationWiki "succeeded?" At what? In terms of press mentions and Alexa rank, it could be argued that Conservapedia is, at the moment, more successful than CreationWiki. (Incidentally, do people have any theories about the apparent spike in activity that Alexa shows for CreationWiki around the beginning of March?[2]). Dpbsmith 14:45, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

No:

Why Conservapedia is Doomed

Ok, first off, full disclosure: I'm a self-declared Liberal. And I have to say that this site manages to some of my worst stereotypes about Conservatives: A bunch of paranoid control-freaks desperately afraid of (in no particular order) Communists, Satan, Terrorists, Liberals, and their own genitals. And this site is exactly what I expected when I first heard about it: a poorly done effort to create an entire alternate reality out of HTML in an attempt to escape the utter hash you (and the clowns you've elected) have made of the REAL world.

Now, assuming any of you made it this far without hitting the 'delete' button, let me explain why.

The central problem with this site is that it wants to be Wikipedia without any of the things that make Wikipedia WORK: most notably, tolerance for dissenting opinions, allowing half-baked articles to sit around until someone comes along and elaborates on them, and a willingness to let people post on topics that may seem irrelevant to The Cause (because Wikipedia doesn't have a Cause--you do). The syspos here are far too trigger-happy, with the obvious chilling effect this has on posters--who wants to spend a half-hour writing an article if there's a good chance a sysop will revert it or delete it for not being sufficiently "Conservatively Correct"?

To me, this looks like a textbook example of the difference between the "Liberal" view, which tries to include as many conflicting viewpoints as possible, as opposed to your apparent desire to find the Truth(tm) ONCE, and then crush any False Opinions that might contaminate it.

As long as you keep thinking like that, this site can't possibly survive. You are going to be flooded by people:

  • Bored teenagers, pranksters and other vandals
  • Well-meaning Liberals (and Moderates, and Reality-Based Conservatives, and Off-the-Mappers) trying to clear a few spoonfuls of what looks to them like a vast ocean of misinformation
  • Irritated Liberals intentionally making you look bad
  • Scary beady-eyed fanatical True Believers unintentionally making you look bad

These problems are not going to go away, unless you give up on letting new people register altogether, which will make this site stagnate and rot.

The other big problem is that you perceive "Liberal Bias" where the problem is that as of late, the Conservative Movement in the USA seems to have a marked anti-Reality bias. I miss Republicans

Well, I hope whichever sysop deletes this at least reads through it, and gets SOMETHING out of it and gets something out of it besides "Blah blah blah I hate Jesus and America". If you can manage that much, I'll call it a win for both of us. (Forgive me for so drastically underestimating your intelligence, but I accidentally glanced at Ann Coulter's column recently.) --BPearl 06:13, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Spot on, this could not have been said any more clearly. --Realitycheck 07:15, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
Conservapedia is quite a strange concept. The truth is not something that can be saved by ruling out opinions that don't fit into ones concept of reality. It's rather the other way 'round: by ruling out other opinions you can be quite sure you rule out quite a lot of truth. History has shown that many concepts, such as the shape of the earth or the existence of wiches, promoted by religious leaders, had to be revised after being proven false. It took a lot of couragious men and women to challenge widely accepted delusions and replace them with theories based upon facts rather than belief. These challenges are the hart that pumps the blood of truth and wisdom. Ruling out such challenges will keep this project ignorant. It therefore can never be an instrument of exploiting free will, it will be - or at least appear to be - an instrument of intellectual repression. Now, apart from those who wish to remain ignorant, who wants to put his beliefs into such an institute? Mankind will never know the full truth about everything, we will only be able to find little pieces of the Big Puzzle and put them together into a forever changing concept of what truth really is. It's that proces that keep our brains from getting knumb. I don't believe in god, and it is amazing how many people fall from belief when they exploit their natural curiosity. I wish the world will one day be free of religion. Where god begins, thinking ends. An encyclopedia based on the contibutions of those who trade their mental skills for religious ignorance can never be of any value, other than to those who contribute themselves. So maybe Conservapedia cán succeed after all, but only as a database of delusions. TrueBeliever 00:07, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Conflation, must we? Are you, in short, comparing creationism to the sad misapprehensions about witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts? Or perhaps you are trying to suggest that John T. Scopes was a man of courage. He was not, sir. That trial was rigged. William Jennings Bryan simply did not know what kind of wily confidence trickster he faced in Clarence Darrow. Then again, I am not an attorney; I'll let Andrew talk about lawyers, and what sort of lawyer Clarence Darrow was.
Likewise, I'll let Andrew speak for himself. For my part, I want to this project to be correct, and by that I do not mean politically correct. Beyond a certain point, you have to accept the plain fact that two plus two make four--not five!--TerryH 12:24, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
I am not going to look up all the persons and events you mentioned. No need to since you don't reply to the argument that someone who creates his own truth can't be taken serious. I have made the equasion, and when you add it all up, there simply is no god. And the historical lies promoted on this project serve no other purpose than to hide logical fallacies of religion. TrueBeliever 20:06, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Behold! When I provide references, the determined, inveterate atheist refuses to consider them. Furthermore, you exaggerate greatly my own importance, when you imply that I have somehow created the Bible. You force me to disclaim that honor, and to remind one and all that only One Person has ever created truth--and that is God, because God is Truth.
If what you have written is how you believe, then may I ask exactly what, in the name of Clarence Darrow, are you doing here?--TerryH 23:31, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
You don't provide references, you create a lot of smoke to conceal the fact that you don't (want to?) react on the thesis. I think you are the author of lies within this project and call them truth. I don't think you are the author of the Bible. That book itself was written by many contributors, it was not created by god. I am here to asses the importance of this project. I am satisfied. It is quite harmless. TrueBeliever 06:53, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
Again you exaggerate my particular importance. I am merely one of many editors here. I am not an administrator. But while we're on the subject, I answer only to administrators. If you have a complaint against me, then I suggest that you address yourself to one of them. You can take it to Mr. Schlafly himself, if you so desire. He will, of course, ask you to cite your references that say, or imply, that any contribution of mine has been a lie.--TerryH 09:35, 14 March 2007 (EDT)

The Annals of the World

You wrote: It (The Annals of the World). would make a valuable addition to any school or home-schooler's library, for its comprehensive treatment of ancient history alone. Now this is clearly a lie, since it can't be of value as it's treatment of ancient history obviously is a fraud. But don't worry, I will not complain about you. This site doesn't need me and I don't need this site. Cheer up TerryH, I don't hold you personally responsible for accidently ruining lives, just your kind. TrueBeliever 05:05, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Nice to see that you keep up with the recent changes. So you saw my article on The Annals of the World. Too bad no one invented an emoticon for taking a bow (and I don't think MediaWiki software has any emoticon routines, anyway).
Now I have a few nits to pick with Ussher on the length of the Sojourn in Egypt, and the birthday of Abraham, and certainly his treatment of Egyptian chronology must fall to more recent research by someone who knows what to look for. But in all fairness to Ussher, if he were alive today, then he wouldn't make that mistake with Egyptian chronology.
For his treatment of very ancient (pre-Olympiad) Greek history, he relies on others who have attempted the same thing.
But where has he invented history that did not occur? Where is the "fraud" of which you accuse him?
If you want to talk about fraud, then we can talk about Piltdown Man, Peking Man, Archaeoraptor, and the Ernst Haeckel embryo drawings--all of which are frauds, and everybody except the authors of biology textbooks has always known this. Now why, you ask, is this relevant to a discussion of The Annals? Simply because I know your real claim against The Annals: that it posits a history of the earth that is not much longer than six thousand years, and evolution requires a time frame that is far greater.
And if you want to talk about the ruination of lives, you have that backwards. Atheism and evolutionism have been the chief ruiners of lives here, not Christianity and creationism.--TerryH 09:34, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, let's talk about the Piltsown Man. Now that was a case of serious fraud. Mr. Dawson really tried to convince the world that the bones he found were 500 thousand years old. It was quite a shock when it came out they were only 50 thousand years old.
I've never seen an emoticon for taking a bow. And I can't see why you would want to take a bow for me, all I did was looking up a relevant reference, just like I always do. How could I make a statement so pronounced without checking whether there is scientific evidence supporting it? I can't ask you to take notice of something I only believe.
I fail to see how Atheism and evolutionism ruin lives whereas I only have to take a look in the newspaper to read how the first man of the catholic church helps spreading AIDS. How the first man of the United States of America continues a bloody war in the name of (his) god. Anyone, Anyone who puts his faith in a god fails to take proper responsability for his own live and acts at some point.
On the other hand I know that many believers live a healthier live when it concerns their body. There are less smokers and heavy drinkers among believers, most likely they feel that their life is borrowed in a way, they take good care of what they believe is not theirs. (For arguments sake I don't consider the many soldiers who don't hesitate to take someone elses life in name of god).
Haeckel was a crook too. A nice bunch of cons you have dug up. Though Haeckel was a crook only for exaggerating rather then forging.
Well, time's up. Nice talking with you again. Cheerio. TrueBeliever 13:42, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

When liberals spend time refuting an idea ... it's already a success

I remember when FOX News was mocked because it wouldn't make it. I doubt anyone at CNN or MSNBC is laughing now. Everwill 07:24, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

You are exactly right.Bohdan 23:49, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

I've changed my mind. In it's present incarnation, this idea is doomed. Everwill 10:23, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Yes and No

I think it can succeed in recruting large numbers of incredibly gullible users, and also users who want to flame it for being so blatantly biased. Therefore let me provide this link to slightly more trustworthy encyclopedia.[3]

Time is meaningless, thanks to time-zones, for you ppl who included time in your signature, March 31, 2007 ~Icewedge

P.S. allow me to provide another useful link [4]. ~still Icewedge. Too bad for you.

One by one the penguins steal my sanity

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." - Oscar Wilde

From a glance at (the admittedly-liberally-biased) GoogleNews, it would appear that for the past week, nobody has had anything whatsoever to say about Conservapedia. There is precisely one minor and sarcastic reference to Conservapedia in all of the last weeks news, worldwide.

I can only deduce from this that Conservapedia has already failed. This site could hardly be more dead if God had struck it down himself. --Jeremiah4-22 20:09, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Oh come on, it's at least a very active de-vandalization exercise. And a great place to practice technical writing, since WP is a bit, well, full of already-written articles. Human 19:34, 2 May 2007 (EDT)