Tuesday, April 03, 2007,10:33 PM
Conservative Bias
Posted in the "this can't be real, can it?" category.

Apparently the liberal media bias has overtaken Wikipedia and conservatives can no longer associate themselves with it. And so we now have Conservapedia an online encyclopedia that's safe for the whole family and untainted by liberals. Here are a few of the reasons why it doesn't like Wikipedia (the asides are mine) -

-Wikipedia allows the use of B.C.E. instead of B.C. and C.E. instead of A.D. The dates are based on the birth of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise? Conservapedia gives the credit due to Christianity and exposes the CE deception.(wow, that will get you far in the academy)

- Polls show that about twice as many Americans identify themselves as "conservative" compared with "liberal", and that ratio has been increasing for two decades.[6] But on Wikipedia, about three times as many editors identify themselves as "liberal" compared with "conservative".[7] That suggests Wikipedia is six times more liberal than the American public. (what??)

- Wikipedia features an entry on "anti-racist mathematics" that "emphasizes the sociocultural context of mathematics education and suggests that the study of mathematics (as it is traditionally known in western societies) does exhibit racial or cultural bias." (um, yeah)

- In the mid-20th century, a Soviet encyclopedia contained the assertion that Jesus was a myth.[10] Wikipedia's entry on Jesus has the following: "A small number of scholars and authors question the historical existence of Jesus, with some arguing for a completely mythological Jesus."[11] But no credible historian makes such a claim. (credible=agrees with you?)

- There is a strong anti-American and anti-capitalism bias on Wikipedia.

- Wikipedia claims about 1.5 million articles, but what it does not say is that a large number of those articles have zero educational value. For example, Wikipedia has 1075 separate articles about "Moby" and "song".[33] Many hundreds of thousands of Wikipedia articles -- perhaps over half its website -- are about music, Hollywood, and other topics beneath a regular encyclopedia. This reflects a bias towards popular gossip rather than helpful or enlightening information. (and this list isn't gossip how?)

- Wikipedia removed and permanently blocked a page identifying its many biases. Wikipedia omits any meaningful reference to political bias in its 7000-word entry Criticism of Wikipedia. (um, see below)


Granted, I fully understand that Wikipedia is biased and influenced by popular opinion. (Stephen Colbert's attempts to alter facts are an amusing case in point) But generally, it is self-correcting enough to balance out. What the conservatives seemed to have their panties in a bunch about is that Wiki doesn't agree with them all the time. It actually gives a variety of viewpoints on certain topics. For point of comparison, here are a few entries from both sites on some hot-button issues. (At least the Conservapedia ones are current as of 4-3-07. The amusing entries the Tribune ran of their this morning had all been changed by this evening).

Church
Conservapedia
- A church is a building in which worship, usually of a Christian nature, takes place. A Catholic version of a church is a cathedral.

Wikipedia - A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system.(I'm with Wiki on this one)

AIDS
Conservapedia
- The illness was first recognized in the early 1980s [6] as gay men presented to their doctors with a rare lung disease called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Early on, the syndrome took on a variety of names, including "Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID)". In the US, the early epidemic was primarily spread by homosexual sex, intravenous drug use, and blood transfusions. In Africa, transmission was almost exclusively by heterosexual sex.

Wikipedia - AIDS -Most researchers believe that HIV originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the twentieth century;[4] it is now a pandemic, with an estimated 38.6 million people now living with the disease worldwide.[5] As of January 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on June 5, 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. HIV/AIDS stigma is more severe than that associated with other life-threatening conditions and extends beyond the disease itself to providers and even volunteers involved with the care of people living with HIV.

Illegal Immigration
Conservapedia
- Illegal immigration is the act of immigrating to a country without the right to. The amount of people immigrating to the United States illegally is at epidemic levels. Conservatives oppose illegal immigration because it allows for immigrants to fall between the cracks of society and they are thus more likely to commit crime or experience poverty. Illegal immigration is also damaging to countries because "illegals" will work illegally for below minimum wage, resulting in job loss for legal citizens.

Wikipedia - Illegal immigration refers to migration across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. In politics, the term may imply a larger set of social issues and time constraints with disputed consequences in areas such as economy, social welfare, education, health care, slavery, prostitution, crime, legal protections, public services, and human rights. Illegal emigration would be leaving a country in a manner that violates the laws of the country being left.


And for a few more gems from Conservapedia's "unbiased" encyclopedia -

"The controversy surrounding global warming is, at root, a controversy about environmentalism as a source of moral values, and the allegation that humans in general, and/or some humans in particular, have transgressed against the environmentalist moral standard." (In the SIN entry)

Scientists - Scientists are people who are devoted to the study of science. (whole entry)

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English atheistic philosopher who created the concept of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism means that government should do whatever maximizes overall "utility" (benefits minus costs). If killing one innocent man saves ten other lives, then utilitarianism would favor it. Under utilitarianism there is no Christian morality, and it is replaced by comparing benefits versus costs. Under this view government should experiment on embryonic stem cells today if benefits are greater than costs.

Socialism has never taken root in the United States, except perhaps in certain industries such as health care. Socialism is prevalent in Europe today.

The entire entry on "The Fall of the Roman Empire" - The causes of the decline of the Roman Empire are controversial. Many posit that immorality and homosexuality so weakened spirit of the Empire that it was unable to stand firm against the Barbarians. Certainly poets such as Catullus and Juvenal describe many unnatural practises that may well have contributed to the final collapse just four hundred years later. However, this theory was sensationalized by the (at the time) popular British writer Edward Gibbon, who wrote the influential Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbons, though, was highly biased, in his attempt to analogize between the fall of Rome and what he saw as a lessening of moral strength in his own England. This theory is widely discounted by modern historians. One influential writer theorized that the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire are simple - it never was strong. Rather, it simply had no strong enemy prior to 300 A.D.[1] Prior to this time, a complicated system of "buffer states" and sedentary provincial legions could hold such a vast territory - however, with the advent of the first comparable military unit, the Visigoths, led by Alaric.

Plesiosaur - According to evolutionary scientists, who use relative dating methods that rely on the strata fossils are found in, plesiosaurs lived in the Jurassic period and are now extinct. According to creation scientists, who use the Bible, plesiosaurs were created on the fifth day of the Creation Week[2] and lived concurrently with Man. It is also widely held among creation researchers that the leviathan mentioned in the Bible[3] was a type of plesiosaur, specifically the kronosaurus[4]. Like other aquatic animals, according to the Bible plesiosaurs were not taken aboard the Ark during the Great Flood[5]. Because of this, some creation researchers believe that not all of them perished in the Flood and that populations survive to this day[2], hidden beneath the icy waters of seas and deep lakes. The most often cited evidences for this theory are the many modern sightings around the globe of creatures that fit the description of a plesiosaur, the most famous of which have been reported at Loch Ness, Scotland (the so-called "Loch Ness Monster" or "Nessie") and Lake Okanagan in British Columbia (known as "Ogopogo").

U2 - Bono has done great works for Our Lord in Africa, bringing missionary zeal to international affairs campaigning. He has frequently appeared at the United nations and his speeches in support of the people of Iraq played a small but important role in the liberation of that country. (since when did Bono support the Iraq war???)

Mexico (entire entry) - Mexico is a country in North America, directly south of the United States. Mexico is noted for its poor economy, which makes it the main contributor of illegal immigration to the United States. Further, Mexico is the source of most illegal drugs used in the United States.

Nelson Mandela (entire entry) - Nelson Mandela was the 11th president of South Africa. He was in office from 1994 to 1999. In 1962 he was arrested and spent 27 years in prison on conviction of sabotage with the African National Congress. Mandela has received numerous awards, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Nelson Mandela was the 11th president of South Africa. He was in office from 1994 to 1999. In 1962 he was arrested and spent 27 years in prison on conviction of sabotage with the African National Congress. Mandela has received numerous awards, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Vagina - This page has been deleted, and protected to prevent re-creation (wtf! Biology is now off limits)


And my favorite -
"Examples of bias in Conservapedia" - This page has been deleted, and protected to prevent re-creation.

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posted by Julie at 10:33 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


5 Comments:


  • At 4/04/2007 08:39:00 AM, Blogger gerbmom

    Hey Julie - was this the one started by a student? I heard about it about a month ago on K-Love. And just shook my head. I meant to check it out, but I never did. Sad.
    Think I'll amuse myself with it's entries when I get bored later today....

     
  • At 4/04/2007 09:05:00 AM, Blogger gerbmom

    btw - any topic/entry that is of a "Controversial Nature" is locked and can't be edited.....eg. Global Warming. Hmmm

     
  • At 4/04/2007 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    They obviously haven't worked out the kinks. Do "random page" searches and you land on a lot of "banned" pages and pages that seem to be conversations between the editors. I landed on one page that was a debate if they should include an entry that had been posted about a Christian homeschooler garage band - big issue.

    I love how the entry on Mexico was like three lines, but they have full biographies for most republican politicians, ever.

    I also loved how the entry on women only mentions biblical roles for wo men.

     
  • At 4/04/2007 10:38:00 AM, Blogger gerbmom

    apparently if you need Bible verses for any subject you go to this site!

    As for, clean, clear, and unbiased, not the last sentence in paragraph one here:
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Jean_Jacques_Rousseau

     
  • At 4/05/2007 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Katherine

    I wonder if the vagina page wasn't deleted and protected to prevent procreation...

     

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