Difference between revisions of "Debate:Can conservapedia become the next Wikipedia, is this good or bad"

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(View from a longtime Wikipedian: Thanks, Tony)
(reply to Tony)
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Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tony. You have given me food for thought. --[[User:Ed Poor|Ed Poor]] <sup>[[User talk:Ed Poor|Talk]]</sup> 08:51, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tony. You have given me food for thought. --[[User:Ed Poor|Ed Poor]] <sup>[[User talk:Ed Poor|Talk]]</sup> 08:51, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Tony, you're right about one thing: the "policies and focus" of Conservapedia and Wikipedia "are fundamentally different."  Wikipedia, in my humble opinion, is not a legitimate or helpful educational resource.  It is a mixture of gossip, trivia, and [[censorship]] by atheists.  I'd guess that you're an undisclosed atheist who is typical of the editors who dominate Wikipedia.  Most of us wouldn't send our children to an atheistic school, and for same reason most of us have abandoned Wikipedia for any real learning.
Feel free to compare Wikipedia and Conservapedia in five years.  All atheistic countries and organizations unravel, or worse.  It will be like comparing the atheistic former East Germany to the United States.  It won't be a pretty comparison for Wikipedia.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 10:31, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Revision as of 09:31, 7 January 2009

! THIS IS A DEBATE PAGE, NOT AN ARTICLE. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Conservapedia.
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Someone is going to have to explain to me what bias is in the context of this argument. When I look at the Wikipedia pages for Barack Obama and John McCain I see what I would call relatively straightforward narratives of their lives and careers. There are things about each which could be questioned but nothing too substantial. When I look at CP I see a similar portrayal of Senator McCain but I see something quite different about Senator Obama. It's nothing short of a hatchet job, filled with unsubstantiated rumors about his birth certificate and stating as fact that he Muslim. It also says if he's elected it'll be because of affirmative action.

I understand that liberals and conservatives have different worldviews but this is beyond the pale. The page about Senator Obama doesn't look like a conservative view of agreed upon facts but is simply a recounting of wild accusations.

At some point liberals and conservatives are going to have agree on what constitutes a fact. I need help understanding how Wikipedia's Obama page is liberally biased and upon what actual facts CP's Obama page has to back up the accusations.

What is needed is something different than each. Something that is actually unbiased. CP is certainly biased, so is wikipedia, the difference is that on wikipedia the bias is pretty much accidental; people edit wikipedia from all over the world, people of every conceivable religion, certainly liberal beliefs would come from such a diverse background. Most people haven't even heard of CP on the other hand, and it's unlikely that many people that aren't passionately conservative would bother with the site. Certainly the American flag is not going do draw many people from the rest of the world. Most of the articles that have any real content are from the domain of religion/politics, and this obviously is going to create a huge bias in CP. You would be missing knowledge from more than half of the American population, and that isn't good either.-gendoikari4

Conservapedia in it self is a good idea, but it does have its own flaws, short articles (the page on G W bush on conservapedia is at least 1/8 the size of the wikipedia version) practically no articals on Popular culture(artists, video games, tv shows ect.) the articals are short and could never be used for informative purposes. My question is how can cp ever even compare to wikipedia. what do you think needs to be changened to help Cp thrive?- Serg1

One of the biggest concerns of Conservapedia is to counteract a perceived bias of Wikipedia. What this does not address, however, is that Conservapedia is inherently biased in the opposite direction. If it the concern is that it is believed that Wikipedia is biased, then the best counteraction can be to present true objective articles, not ones simply biased in the opposite direction. If Conservapedia can accomplish this, then it can succeed in it can find truth. Otherwise, it is just doing the same things it hates Wikipedia for. -Casi
Quite so. Wikipedia bias is incidental and reflects the contributors, so that sc-fi is elevated far too highly. However, the aspiration is to impartiality. The intention here is for bias. -Stevendavy
Size alone is not the determining factor for Conservapedia. Articles that put together a coherent and factual base of information are more strongly sought. As is apparent, we don't wish to become Wikipedia; we feel there are many shortcomings in the way that system is run that prevent it from living up to its potential. We don't want to compete with what they are, but would prefer to be what they should have been.
CP has continued to both grow and fill out articles. Pop culture is not our primary concern, but that area has been growing as well. While we certainly have areas where continued improvement is sought, many of the predictions of doom sounded in debate pages back around February and March are rather laughable when read today. Learn together 01:53, 27 December 2007 (EST)
I do understand that CP is a good idea(the conservative versiion of wikipedia) but really it hasnt met my standards of any wiki(the information on it is too short) I wish that CP can shadow other wikis and (as learn together stated) become what wikipedia should have been And stay that way. Another question is manifested through this conclusion though; How?-Serg1 07:27, 28 december 2007
How do you eat an elephant? -- one bite at a time. While there are a number of short articles, especially in helping to fill out categories and wikilinks, many of the articles that were short 9 months ago have been substantially expanded. Any editors making positive contributions, yourself included, can have a hand in turning this site into the resource that was envisioned upon its creation. Some areas, such as a fluid linking and category structure, have already seen great improvement and are becoming top rate. With each day we continue to improve. Learn together 20:42, 28 December 2007 (EST)

Conservapedia is far too liberal to be any good. --Cranky Joe 06:43, 3 January 2008 (EST)

Oh dear. I can't agree; Joe, I dare say you almost remind me of the obnoxious type of person that goes around claiming the New York Times has a conservative bias. In any case, I agree with Casi. The point here should not be to right a conservative article or go on a rant Because We Can. It should be to write an unbiased truth about something. And if we go off simply writing rants, then we will not be considered reliable. Unfortunately, I do think that 65% of the population will be uninterested in any site that openly identifies with an ideology, so that alone will disqualify CP from contention with WP. TheEvilSpartan 23:03, 3 January 2008 (EST)

Freethough13: ( i hope the name doesn't get me kicked off). if i may, it would be a tragic loss. i'm not argueing that wikipedia is liberal (which there is a reason. liberals are consiterably more likly to use the internet. ergo, they/i must at at least one time have a shift one way or another. the supposide liberalness of wikipedia is simply an effect, not an intentional fault itself. i back this off of me testing the theory of a liberal wikipedia. when i put in "Bush Sucks" on the Republican party, hell, even backed it up with sources, it blocked me.), but simply because of the outright, obveouse, pround, and incresingly strong right-wing bias. at least wikipedia has a less stringent intention of holding one political line or another.

I agree with the unbiased truth. However, I think that Conservapedia is not fulfilling its function as unbiased. For example, the article on Feminism states that "Feminists prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses," which is not true since I know many Feminist women who prefer to wear skirts and dresses as is the overall trend. Feminism falls along a spectrum, which is why the article is polarized. Also, Conservapedia has a considerable amount of internet references rather than scholarly peer-reviewed articles, which significantly undermines its credibility.--Skeem 23:01, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

It should never seek to become Wikipedia, and it never will. Wikipedia tries to be neutral as much as possible. Conservapedia is conservative by definition. Therefore, it will not be used by anyone who isn't a conservative American citizen. People from anywhere else in the world with any other political orientations will not use it. CappyR 22:41, 6 January 2008 (EST)

Conservapedia can certainly become as BIG as Wikipedia if not BIGGER. But CP should possibly consider renaming itself to something less biased than Conservapedia. Even though Wikipedia is extremely liberal, the name itself doesn't imply it. CP on the other hand announces it in it's name as a conservative only source. Perhaps CP should rename itself BiasFreepedia.com. That's my TWO cents. --Watchman 23:21, 8 January 2008 (EST)

I agree, the name(CP0 doesnt seem non biased

I definitely agree with Casi, and coming from sort of the same direction is that Wikipedia is trying to be a real encycopledia with true information, not true information that is edited to make it suit someones views on how that information should be represented. It is twisting the truth, and that alone makes it unreliable as a mainstream encyclopedia. With that said I am sure many people come here to get the type of 'information' that they seek. I actually think it is rather sad that an encyclopedia used to be something you could rely on, and now it is just another forum for people with a certain way of thinking who are trying their best to make sure others end up with the same belief system as them. Information has nothing to do with opinions...--truce 20:38, 23 February 2008 (EST)

to Watchman, I doubt Wikipedia intended to be 'liberal'...it is just the way it has come about. This site intends to be conservative, so I don't think the name should be changed. If the name was changed to something less suspicious it would be deceiving people, unless that is of course what you want...just because you view the information here as being accurate because it accurately expresses your opinions on a subject doesn't make it the truth. --truce 20:38, 23 February 2008 (EST)

I do not believe Conservapedia could ever become as big as Wikipedia and if it ever did I think it would be a great shame. A site condemning the 'liberal bias' and condoning conservative and Christian bias, discussing homosexuality, liberal views and atheism in a blatant negative manner only shows how small minded some people are. The fact that the site only allows for American English to be used only supports my theory that it has been organised and created by a group of fascists; whatever happened to freedom of speech? As a British atheist I can't say that I am a fan of this site and I dare say that the majority of British people, regardless of religion, will not be fans because of the site condemning the use of British English; this is why Conservapedia will never be as big as Wikipedia; they are cutting themselves off from potential users. Though I am sure they wouldn't want people who use the British spelling of the English language using their site...funny that us British are being told that our spelling of a language created by us is wrong, specially when the majority of English speaking country spells things our way; not the American. Also funny that Conservapedia exclusively promotes and supports creationism which would suggest that 'God' is omnipotent yet is against homosexuality...if one believes 'God' is omnipotent then one is saying that he/she/it created all life including those homosexuals but if homosexuality is right then surely one is criticising the work of 'God' and saying he/she/it made a mistake; I find that most interesting.

Dear Brit--- Homosexuality is not the work of GOD, Homosexuality is a choice made by human beings. GOD has given us freedom of will to follow HIS teachings and will or not. You are assuming, without any scientific foundation, that homosexuality is genetic or biological, which the article on this site does not support nor does the scientific community. Reading the complete article first, so you can make an honest and intelligent argument, would be wise, so as not to look the fool. Concerning the English language, their are many dialects, which result in multiple pronunciations and spellings of words. Your assertion that the rest of the English speaking world follows the British example is rubbish and purposefully deceitful.(a practice commonly used by liberals, due to their lack of core values, lose morals and low intelligence. And in your case, the lack of guts and fortitude to at least sign your online name.) The roots of the English language were indeed "invented" by the Anglo Saxons, with heavy influences from old Norse, German, and French. And as with many languages it has evolved over time, many words used in the U.K. are of American origin and vice versa. Further more, I am forced to use your spelling when I frequent British sites as well, but I'm not whining. Where is Winston Churchill when you need him? Majorpain a.k.a. Mike.

If the criteria for becoming as big as Wikipedia is as the angry atheist Brit has listed, then it's well worth NOT becoming like Wikipedia. Perhaps, it's the Brits that are polluting our online Wiki-resources with such liberal trash. Go George Washington! Cheers! --Watchman 22:37, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

So many people coming to support the site are not welcome. This is why the site is in decline, the pointless anger against people who would support the poject. It is a problem. I acknowledge that some of my spelling has had to be 'corrected', but the deep suspision of anyone not like enough goes against the broadness stated in the word encyclopedia.Stevendavy 20 March 2008 (EDT)

I don't think this site should be as big as Wikipedia, since it's simply a free online resource. No gimmicks. I'm a British atheist, and I'm not here to critize the idea behind this site. It's what makes the internet so wonderful: different opinions. However, this site is dangerously on the verge of becoming another parody of convervatist christians. You, the users, are blantantly making this site hostile to anyone with a different ideal, how will it ever grow or be taken seriously? Not everyone will agree, I don't, I personally think it's extremely homophobic, racist, elitist, sexist, shows bias and mispresents facts, but that's one opinion. In order to grow as an idea, embrace other ideals, no-ones asking you to stop being tories. But just lashing back with anti-foreign, hypocritcal retotrts is what makes me and everyone else dislike your ideas. Don't be like that. Embrace, isn't that what Jesus would do? Don't dare force ideals on anyone. Chris Roberts/chrisroberts

For a start, articles should be licensed under GFDL or CC. Why should anyone be motivated to edit an encyclopedia for free when their work ends up being owned by that encyclopedia? If I edit conservapedia, can anyone guarantee that my work will not someday fall into someone's hands who will claim exclusive rights over it, without giving me compensation? No. The reason I edit wikipedia is not because I trust the people who run it, but because GFDL guarantees that this will never happen. The wikimedia foundation only owns the servers, not the information on them. If they became corrupt one day and decided to use wikipedia to their personal advantage, somebody would soon create a fork that isn't corrupt. The GFDL allows this. With conservapedia on the other hand there is no guarantee. Cambrasa 12:22, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

The problem currently is that various articles are far too biased, and there are too many religious fundamentalists registered on this site. Case in point, historical articles such as "paper" barely has a single paragraph, whereas religious articles such as intelligent design/creationism/etc has many pages. Intranetusa 14:12, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

If you really want to get people to read these articles for more than entertainment or a good laugh then you have to take the subjective entries out of your article text. Too many of your articles on controversial issues end up being nothing more than politically and religiously charged attacks or refutes of direct text from Wikipedia. Every article on here that has more than one line of explanation sounds like nothing more than an argument worthy of the opinion page of a bad news paper. It’s not about being bias or not, it’s about presenting both sides of an argument with as much information as possible and allowing the reader to decide which side they believe. This web site is a giant debate fueled by hate and promotion of fear. For as much respect and love for religion that is expressed here there sure aren’t very many people that have learned from it. So the truth might set you free but a strong opinion despite the facts just makes for good entertainment. --FactMan 21:52, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

This place can't be the next Wikipedia. Wikipedia doesn't have to shut down every night for fear of SUBVERSIVE VANDALS. --Gulik5 21:56, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

A perceived bias and a genuine bias are two completely different things. Conservapedia tells you about a bias up front, which would scare away anyone looking for a neutral source of information. But those on conservapedia feel that Wiki is biased the other way so they must compensate by leaning conservatively. Typically, those who edit wikipedia are fairly tech savy and probably are fairly young. However, as more people age and they become more familiar with the internet/blogging/etc. , they want to make their voice heard. This argument essentially comes down to older users vs. younger users. Now, I know there has been a trend lately of younger people being more conservative. However, I don't think the trend has changed significantly enough to swing the demographic of young voters over to the Republican side. I don't know who said it or where it is attributed to, but I believe the quote is "If you are young and not liberal, you have no heart. If you are old and are not conservative, you have no brain." Thank you for enduring my rambling. And no, it cannot become the next wikipedia. Anything with a bias up front is not going to gain mainstream attention, especially considering the exposure Wikipedia already has. But hey, articles like this just Conservapedia larger. -ITfreq51 19 April, 2008

No. It does not matter whether you view this as good or bad. But the two wikis are based on completely different attitudes and perspectives. Conservapedia is from a conservative, Christian point of view(correct me if I'm wrong), while Wikipedia highlights NPOV, which stands for Neutral Point of View(by that it means that so the articles will not offend a particualr group of people). Both Wikis see each other as biased. Wikipedia appeals to all people because it is intended not to target a specific group or to make specific comments about a group. COnservapedia will appeal to Conservatives, but then maybe not the mainstream. (P.S. If you are against this could you also leave your comment on my talk page? Because my Watchlist is flooded. Thanks)--Faizaguo 12:43, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

Can CP become as big as Wiki? Certainly. But we need to point out the outrageous bias that wikipedia stands for and embraces. This bias can be found in almost all articles dealing with issues of contention. NPOV in their eyes is the extreme liberal view, the one that militants will tell you is the only truth. The sad thing is that if we were better organized and had more committed members, Wiki wouldn't be able to get away with the garbage and biases that are so rampant. --Irpw

I think it would be difficult, because, wikipedia is already so big, and conservapedia is not really that well known.Red4tribe 12:33, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Stout heart! In AD100 the Roman Empire was very big, and Christianity little known. Out of little acorns, great oaks grow. We may yet be of small consequence (though that is debatable), but in the future...! Bugler 17:52, 23 August 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I agree. In term s of quality articles, we have already overtaken the liberals!--American78
One major difference here is that original research is allowed (instead of relying on experts in fields that largely have liberal points of view) and instead of neutral POV, a conservative POV is implied, as I understand it. So no, this site won't become wikipedia. Userafw 17:52, 4 September 2008 (EDT)
Because we focus on the truth and eliminate liberal bias, you're right that that site won't become wikipedia.--Aschlafly 17:59, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

I think that the entire point of Conservapedia is to be conservatively biased. We don't want to become the next Wikipedia. Wikipedia is full of liberal propaganda. In order to counteract Wikipedia's effect, we need to write articles from a conservative viewpoint. Neutrality and impartiality are impossible. Without going into any specific issues, I think that I can confidently say that our content is completely factual and true. If Wikipedia is different from us, it's because they're wrong (probably because they let just anyone edit their articles). Not us. --GunsandaBible 12:34, 8 September 2008 (EDT)

CP serves to show what it regards as the underepresented conservative point of view on many current affairs, but there are two forseeable problems with this. The first is that whilst CP claims that Wikipedia has a liberal bias, Wikipedia is not infact overtly or completely biased whereas conservapedia is. Wikipedia does at least present conservative opinions or arguments in some cases, (after all, a conservative user can edit an article just as much as a liberal can) whereas CP makes sure to portray only the conservative arguments. Therefore it makes sense to promote a "Liberellapedia" to go the whole-hock and present pure liberal opinion, at least in the interest of "honesty and fair-play" in debates.The second problem is that CP only appeals to other conservatives, and has little support or contributions (except from liberal vandals) from anyone else. Being British and of no decisive political or religious conviction, I found the articles of CP unappealing, as would many other Non-American people. Infact to me many of the articles seemed so absurd that I can only laugh at what appeared to be crude jokes. Because of this I and many others would never consider supporting CP. The fact that only a specific demographic is encouraged to (and would wish to) contribute means that conservapedia will never grow at the same rate as wikipedia. An encyclopedia's job is to cover as much breadth of knowledge as possible, and as a smaller and less detailed, more discriminating site, CP in my opinion will always be inferior to Wikipedia in that respect.--Maninahat 01:28, 23 September (GMT)

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.-- 50 star flag.png jp 20:35, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

Conservapedia will never become the next Wiki unless the extreme bias and outright lies/fabrications it allows and in fact seems to encourage are addressed. Wiki is not perfect but it at least strives for some semblance of balance. It's understandable that folks on the Right want a site that leans right but Conservapidia is so fatally flawed that it's actually kind of sad that there are people who believe this is a valid and or accurate site for information on the topics posted. Until the bias and honesty issues are addressed Conservapedia will continue to be nothing more than a curiosity and object of derision from people who are actually interested in the truth.

Conservapedia is unable to become the next Wikipedia unless several serious issues are resolved:

  • Copyright. GFDL or CC as Cambrasa said. People want to know their work won't be appropriated unfairly. There is no assurance of this. No one is going to put serious effort into articles when they have no control over how that work is re-used.
  • Lack of depth. People refer to Wikipedia because it has a wide spread of articles in great depth. Operating for over 2 years, CP has less than 30,000 articles, most in very little detail, lacking citations or lacking accuracy, and often all three.
  • Bias. CP does have a bias. There needs to be a strict NPOV policy.
  • Academic credibility. Articles without references should be tagged or deleted, with the exception of stubs, which should be marked as stubs to encourage creation of an in-depth article.
  • CE v AD. Academia has now all but universally adopted CE/BCE system. Having an encyclopaedia that insists in using the opposite is begging to do the way of the dodo. It is also rubs non-Christians up the wrong way, who may well have good items to contribute, and I include myself in this category, especially since all my articles elsewhere use the CE/BCE convention, as I was taught to do from day 1 in school. It's tradition!
  • Global reach. The US flag logo will stop CP ever having a reach even approaching that of Wikipedia as long as it is regarded as US-centric or overly patriotic. You can only grow with international interactivity, both readership and contributions.
  • Use of the term liberal in a derogative sense, as an insult by admins doesn't play into the idea of a lack of bias. CP needs to be apolitical, and a document of record if it is to live up to it's own hopes. Much of what I have read does not fill me with confidence, but I am willing to work to contribute good articles if CP is willing to work to live up to it's own claims. As a writer of articles for an encyclopaedia I put aside my own politics, my own religion and my own ideology. The administrators need to do the same.
  • Finally, time restrictions. A website that isn't 24/7? It is a major headache for many contributors, and is really something that needs to be addressed poste-haste. --Krysg 19:02, 28 November 2008 (EST)
No, Krysg, we're not going to become another liberal wiki that denies or distorts the truth. We'll stick with A.D. here and you can promote the atheistic, unhistorical CE/BCE somewhere else. You won't be fooling anyone here.
Suggest a name change to your first and last initial for your account, and I'll move it. The truth does not hide behind phony names, and neither does scholarship. If Wikipedia simply changed its policy about that, then it would immensely improve.--Aschlafly 20:06, 28 November 2008 (EST)

Why do I need to change name on my account? It is in accordance with the rules. I have no idea what you are talking about with phony names. I am here to contribute articles, not engage on online role play games. Please check my user page and my contributions, and they will prove my point.

I do not understand what you mean by "becoming a liberal wiki". CE/AD, as far as I see it, is about academic integrity, not ideology. If you wish to hold it as some ideological point, that’s fine. As far as I am aware, all my entries use the BC/AD system this website requires. If any are not changed, it is purely an oversight on my part and not part of same hidden agenda. Suggestions were requested in this debate and I gave them. I'm not saying you must obey them, they are merely my observations, as requested.

Conservapedia was, I understand, created to be an academic resource that avoided some of the pitfalls of Wikipedia, such as anonymous editing (which I am glad this encyclopaedia avoids). However to be an effective academic resource, and certainly if it wishes to achieve a status of being able to be cited in academic work, then academic conventions need to be adopted, such as rules of citation, use of CE over AD, and copyright. None of these things are the preserve of liberalism, or some kind of liberal agenda. They are simply however the minimum standards that any publication needs in order to gain academic credibility. I don't make these rules, I am merely stating what I have seen to be the case in academic publications, which is what an encyclopaedia is meant to be. --Krysg 08:46, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Still waiting on a reply to the above, paticularly the username comment, which I really don't understand at all. --Krysg 15:58, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Krysg, your contributions have been meager here; your name hides behind anonymity; and your suggestion that "CE" instead of "AD" is necessary "in order to gain academic credibility" is absurd. Unless you raise the quality and quantity of your contributions and statements, this will be my last reply to you. Pursue your quest to spread "CE" (which denies the historical basis of the calendar) far and wide somewhere else, not here. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 10:48, 2 December 2008 (EST)
Why is CE necessary? CE IS the preserve of liberalism, as who else would change a 2000 year old system (and moreover, one which works and everyone is used to) to appease 1% of the population who haven't yet realised that AD and BC is supposed to offend them? AD and BC offend no-one, and the craven liberals who seek to appease all minorities at the expense of majorities are imagining things. AGAIN. CE has no academic credibility; before CP, I had never heard of it and hope never to hear of it again. I find the idea of CE offensive, but who will defend my rights? Not liberals. NeilEG 12:53, 2 December 2008 (EST)
CE and BCE were introduced to ease discussions in academia with those of other faiths where forcing the purely Christian dating would be offensive. Markr 11:00, 2 December 2008 (EST)
Markr, you're not fooling anyone here. "AD" is historically correct and if anyone is offended by it (which is doubtful), then they are unsuitable for learning history. CE and BCE are transparent attempts to censor Christian history.--Aschlafly 11:19, 2 December 2008 (EST)
This is a serious question, even though it'll probably come off as sounding sarcastic: why not endorse the Jewish calendar, with the current year of 5769 (possibly modified to use months/days from the Gregorian calendar with the year from the Jewish calendar)? That seems like it'd be the most historically correct from a religious/creationist standpoint. Is it just because 2008 is the more universally recognized year, and using the Jewish calendar would create confusion, or do you think that 2008 AD is more accurate than 5769? Mikek 12:04, 2 December 2008 (EST)
So how many people in the world use the Jewish calendar? Listen, if AD and BC offended the Islamic world, use of the Jewish calendar would be viewed as a virtual decleration of war upon Islam; you know how they hate Israel. If you, like a typical Liberal, are ignorant of current affairs in the Middle East, blinkered to facts by your obsession with tolerance and multiculturalism. The use of CE is similar to those who thought that a new language could be taught all around the world, in the name of goodwill and understanding and rainbows and etc. Why should a new language be created and taught when many people already speak English or Spanish or Chinese? Why not teach one of those instead of making up a foolish new one 'to prevent offense'? It's the same with CE; why make a new system when the world already has some it's comfortable with in the name of so-called 'tolernace'. It's just liberals making up problems again. With any luck, CE will fail as terribly as those artificial languages did too. NeilEG 13:04, 2 December 2008 (EST)

CE has academic credibility; it's just not a necessary change, especially for American authors. Our audience is not academics, so we don't have to use their date formats. In years to come, we can make the change if our relationship to academia warrants it. --Ed Poor Talk 13:04, 2 December 2008 (EST)

  • (haven't read all the above posts...pardon the certain faux-pas's that I now make) Unless something seriously changes with the way the leadership of wikipedia forms it's relationships, I don't see how that place is going to keep going. Jimbo Wales figuratively and literally jumped the shark when he allowed User:FT2 to be a member of its "arbcom," or arbitration committee. When legitimate concerns were raised about FT2 personal interests--however untactful and poorly chosen the phrase "dog lover" may be--these were ignored and the editor was blocked [1]. It's only now come to light because of a possible procedural/process violation, which is apparently no laughing matter over there. Maybe I'm still too much of a country mouse--no pun intended--but I can't see how anyone could support leadership who given full knowledge and evidence of moral bankruptcy, nevertheless, sees no reason to be far more careful with his relations or those of his organization. --RickD 15:27, 2 December 2008 (EST)

It's interesting to see the comments above. One of the biggest things that I would change is to adapt a more neutral stance on the topics. This is a big thing.

  • As to the suffix AD or CE, I was taught to use AD. So for me it's easier to use. I prefer AD to CE because, as someone said it above, it worked for 2000 years.
  • As to whether or not this site can become as big or bigger than Wikipedia; I am a college student and my instructors told my class that using Wikipedia as a source is not allowed. I find this interesting. I've run across numerous articles that don't list a source or another place to find the information.
  • As to citing web articles, I think that's fine as long as the articles are properly cited. Defining what citation needs to be used (AMA, etc.) may help this problem. And citing numerous different sources is better than citing all conservative sources.
  • As was noted above, try to prevent both sides of the subject. You should be able to present your view in a more positive light by presenting both sides of the subject and then stating why you believe your side is better. While this may venture into opinion, it prevents having a strictly conservative bias.
  • My main purpose for visiting this site is to get an unbiased version of different topics. I've run across several severely biased articles on Wikipedia, so I won't go there for that topic. Other topics, like robotics or astronomy, I would go there for because they have lots of information about that topic that is common knowledge (like the formula to change Celsius to Kelvin) or is easily verifiable (such as physics or astronomy). I go there because this information is in one place. It also includes external links that I can start from to search for that topic off-site. For example, when researching robotics, there are 62 citations and changing to robot, several external links including encyclopedias and research societies. While robotics may not be as hot a topic as creationism, it would be a reason for someone to come here and do research. Maybe conservatives hold a different view of astronomy or robotics. How will I know if it's not listed?
  • As I'm reading this particular topic, some of the responses come across as vicious attacks on people. I don't care if your are from India, Britain, or the U.S., your comments should be responded to in a professional manner. This is NOT liberal media where responses are shouted down or changed. This is supposed to be a conservative view of popular topics. If you can't keep this professional, then you will lose lots of subscribers as well as persons just happening on this page. Eliminate Liberal bias? What about conservative bias? Ask [2]Bob Dudko from 103.5 in southeast Michigan how to present both sides of a topic while still defending what you believe. He does an excellent job.

Summary... If you can present both sides of the topic in an intelligent manner with several citations, people will be more apt to use this site. Otherwise it will become a haven for extremists and fall off the map of every day people with conservative views.--KevinSSr 22:34, 4 December 2008 (EST)

View from a longtime Wikipedian

Wikipedia succeeded because of three things, one of which Conservapedia possesses, the other two of which it could easily possess.

  • A dedicated body of core editors
  • Open editing
  • Open content

Conservapedia already has a quite sizeable body of people who edit daily on a diverse range of subjects. This means that there is something to read on Conservapedia and the content grows as time goes on, and there is a sense of community about Conservapedia. Having some of the most experienced Wikipedians, like Ed Poor, around the place can only help in this regard.

But one thing that is missing is open editing. It is this aspect of Wiki editing that Wikipedia successfully imported (with significant modifications) from traditional "Meatball-style" wikis, which means Wikipedia's rate of growth took off and its use became viral.

At the moment on Conservapedia editing is closed, in the sense that if you discover an error or omission in an article, then you have to make an effort to register an account just to make a little tweak, add some new content, or even make a comment on the talk page about something that needs attention. It is impossible to overstate how costly that is for an encyclopedia.

Okay, Conservapedia doesn't want to repeat the complete openness of Wikipedia, perhaps because of a perception that it would tend to fill up with trivia the way so many Wikipedia articles do, perhaps because of a feeling that this would invite vandals to trash the content, and perhaps because of a feeling that letting everybody edit every article would tend to dilute the political focus or even end up with what the Conservapedia community perceives to be a liberal bias in Wikipedia.

But putting people through that routine just to make an edit is costly. In May, 2008, just over 1100 people took the trouble to create an account. About the same number created new accounts in October. That's not bad, but remember that accounts for every single edit by a new editor in each of those months. Worse, a good proportion of new editors never even get as far as editing. For whatever reason (perhaps they only wanted to be able to set preferences) they never got to the point of editing an article, so the number of first edits by new editors is probably less than 1000 per month, or about 30 per day. Spread across the articles that is a really tiny number of edits.

Most of those who do edit only make one or two edits but that doesn't matter. The point is that they saw something that needed fixing and they fixed it. With open editing you'd get many more edits, and that would bring new content.

There is a myth, sometimes encouraged by Jimbo Wales, that most of Wikipedia is built by just a few editors. That's wrong. Most featured articles are written substantially by a tiny subset of the tiny subset of people who come to Wikipedia and edit regularly--the community. After nearly eight years there are less than 2400 featured articles, and that accounts for less than one-tenth of one per cent of all Wikipedia articles.

Actually there is evidence that most Wikipedia content seems to come from those so-called "anonymous IPs" that are so often denigrated as mere vandals by the regular users. See this blog piece by Aaron Swartz.

The downside of open editing is that it does let in a fair amount of unwanted edits. You get a lot of good content but not all of it may be relevant or of suitable quality, and of course some of it is vandalism. It's a cost-benefit equation and you have to decide whether you're prepared to accept the culture changes that happen when, like Wikipedia, your community tools up to handle the unwanted material.

Open content is another thing missing from Conservapedia, and it beats me why. Logically if I wanted to start a specialized website like Wikipedia but with different quality standards, I'd take a subset of Wikipedia's content and modify it. You can do that with Wikipedia's content because of the open license. It's a great way to get a lot of basically good content and bring it up to your own standard.

Anyway, those are two suggestions for how to improve the way in which Conservapedia works, which I've learned as a Wikipedia editor. --TonySidaway 22:04, 4 January 2009 (EST)

I do not think Wikipedia is a viable educational resource. I find it to be a a gossip tree, a smear machine, and a trivia database. None of that is educational in a meaningful sense. Anonymous IPs are great for gossip, smears and trivia; they are destructive for education.
Conservapedia has always been an educational resource, and will continue on that path. We teach teenagers and adults. Hundreds and thousands of them. We learn ourselves in the process. Conservapedia is a place to share insights, advance knowledge, and open minds that are closed. I think we do that far better than Wikipedia, and will continue to do so.--Andy Schlafly 22:10, 4 January 2009 (EST)
I think some of your criticisms of Wikipedia are valid (the Wikipedia article Criticisms of Wikipedia documents most if not all criticisms that have been circulated in the mainstream press). But on most academic subjects, particularly science, the quality is extremely high, and the articles would be yours to take and modify to correct any imbalance if you adopted an open content policy compatible with their licence.
Wikipedia does cover popular culture but that's a matter of deliberate policy, not an accidental result of permitting open editing. As for the notion that Wikipedia performs no educational function, that's unsustainable even on a cursory examination. Compare Wikipedia's and Conservapedia's articles on the metal Zinc, look at Wikipedia's and Conservapedia's articles on the Hundred Years War. As for Twelfth Night, the difference between this article and this one could not be more graphic.
The notion that having open editing would necessitate low quality just doesn't hold up. Wikipedia aspires to very stringent quality standards and the results, on the most important articles, is impressive by any measure.
I won't venture further to criticise the quality of Conservapedia's content, because I think many of the site's users and admins have already brought this out. I do think you could do better. --TonySidaway 23:12, 4 January 2009 (EST)

I agree with both of you equally, and I'm not just saying this to be "neutral". Here at CP we have no "neutrality policy": the core requirement is for articles to be trustworthy.

We certainly do need to be able to share insights and advance knowledge. By doing this, we provide the opportunity for the undecided to maintain an open mind. It is only the far left and the far right that hope for the closing of the American mind (with apologies to Allen Bloom).

I spent nearly all my spare time helping Wikipedia to grow, because I was learning in the process of helping others to learn. It also provided the basis for the success of the New World Encyclopedia.

Tony, you are right when you stress the ability of anyone to edit any article any time. That is one of the essential elements that led to Wikipedia's exponential growth. But Andy is also right when he criticizes Wikipedia's viability as an educational resource.

The bias of Wikipedia against religion (in general) and against non-leftist ideology (in both politics and science) is just as crippling as having a leg shot off with a cannonball. The anti-elitism, which Larry Sanger pointed out so eloquently, is like having the other leg cut off with a sword. Forgive the violent imagery, but this is a debate page, so I figure I'm entitled to a little slack, eh?

Tony, you are also right when you say that Wikipedia has acknowledged most of the criticisms. This is crucially important, as it will determine when and if Wikipedia can ever reform. Wikipedia took a big hit when the arbcom decided to brand me a "tendentious" editor, when all I was doing was correcting violations of NPOV policy. I could have appealed to Jimbo, but I chose not to. Now, I'm not saying I'm a particularly important person; I'm more like a "poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage". But it was the Principle which they violated. Instead of thanking the revealer, they condemned him. (Once again, remember that this is not about me: I am not claiming to be a martyr. I'm fine.) They repeated the mistake of the Greeks who condemned Socrates.

Wikipedia is not going to go away. But it will not be respected as an encyclopedic resource until it solves its chief problems. And Conservapedia can help it, if it is willing to accept this help.

I applaud the high quality of Wikipedia on most academic subjects, but "most" means 51% - not 99.9%. There are glaring errors in every politicized science article, and materialism (disguised as "methodological naturalism") fuels this. Users like FeloniousMonk and KillerChihuahua actually prevent the very open editing you espouse. All edits on significant scientific subjects are subject to the liberal filter of what Wikipedia itself calls "tag team editing". Its article series on global warming is the laughingstock of the scientific community. How can you have the gall to say there is a "scientific consensus" in favor of blatant pseudoscience? What percentage of climate scientists have to sign a petition or be surveyed before Wikipedia will admit that the science isn't settled? By failing to apply NPOV to the world's most prominent scientific debate, Wikipedia shoots itself in the foot (or would, if it had legs to stand on ;-) and nullifies all its other work. People judge an encyclopedia by its most glaring mistakes.

Wikipedia has profited from open editing, and it will continue to do so to the extent that it lives up to its own creed. But using the "undue weight" policy to undermine neutrality has the effect of censoring minority opinions - even in articles dedicating to describing those minority opinions!

Anyway, I'm glad you're here and that you have (apparently) forgiven our initial lack of welcome. I look forward to more conversations with you about how CP and/or WP can improve. And bring your friends! :-) --Ed Poor Talk 06:56, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Taking your complaint about a "liberal filter" operating on Wikipedia, well if you think about it that gives a counter-argument to the notion that open editing leads to anarchy. Your experience is that a policy you disagree with (due weight), and editing practices you don't like ("tag teaming"--which incidentally is not considered to be a problem by Wikipedia's policies) has led to an outcome you think reflects badly on Wikipedia. This demonstrates that open editing is a relatively weak force in the presence of strong motivation and policy. It introduces diversity, but not (in the case of Wikipedia's science coverage, at least) at the expense of control.
And of course I don't want to see Conservapedia become like Wikipedia. I don't think open editing and open content would make Conservapedia Wikipedia, because its policies and focus are fundamentally different.
We could argue about the quality of science coverage on Wikipedia, but I don't really want to hijack this page for that side issue. Suffice to say that an analysis published in Nature found the quality of the science coverage on Wikipedia (including the article on global warming) to be comparable to that of Britannia. The notion that Wikipedia's coverage of global warming is anomalous can be exploded by a cursory examination of Encarta's article on the subject, and Britannica's. There are subtle differences of emphasis in all three articles, but they all reflect the IPCC consensus and all provide a good introduction to the subject. --TonySidaway 09:45, 6 January 2009 (EST)

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tony. You have given me food for thought. --Ed Poor Talk 08:51, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Tony, you're right about one thing: the "policies and focus" of Conservapedia and Wikipedia "are fundamentally different." Wikipedia, in my humble opinion, is not a legitimate or helpful educational resource. It is a mixture of gossip, trivia, and censorship by atheists. I'd guess that you're an undisclosed atheist who is typical of the editors who dominate Wikipedia. Most of us wouldn't send our children to an atheistic school, and for same reason most of us have abandoned Wikipedia for any real learning.

Feel free to compare Wikipedia and Conservapedia in five years. All atheistic countries and organizations unravel, or worse. It will be like comparing the atheistic former East Germany to the United States. It won't be a pretty comparison for Wikipedia.--Andy Schlafly 10:31, 7 January 2009 (EST)