Thinkingshift wiki watch

May 16, 2007 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

Thai foodTrying to keep up with all the wikis these days is tough going if you ask me. But I came across Conservapedia, which is setting itself up to be an alternative to Wikipedia. Not sure if this is some sort of urban myth, but the name Wikipedia is suggested to be based on Wiccan traditions – ergo it’s evil, anti-Christian and apparently anti-American (because it doesn’t use American spelling). Perhaps some ThinkingShift readers are more alert than me and have noticed that Wikipedia is all of this plus anti-capitalist – if so, this has escaped me. I really haven’t noticed that some Wikipedia entries, for example, prefer the use of Before the Common Era (BCE) over Before Christ (BC).

So some US fundamentalist Christians have set up Conservapedia (The Trustworthy Encyclopedia as it calls itself) to fight against the perils of Wikipedia. And in the interests of research, I delved into Conservapedia to see if it’s shaping up to be a true contender in the wiki space. Being an Australian, I looked up kangaroo – here’s the entry:

“..modern kangaroos are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah’s Ark prior to the Great Flood. It has not yet been determined by baraminologists whether kangaroos form a holobaramin with the wallaby, tree kangaroo, wallaroo, pademelon and quokka or if all these species are in fact apobaraminic or polybaraminic. There is, however, no evidence of a genetic bottleneck in the kangaroo species which would be expected if all kangaroos were descended from two individuals. After the Flood, these kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia”.

Say what?? hope the kangaroos took a first class passage over here! Wikipedia, which is not strong on scientific entries, at least has a more balanced view. I couldn’t wait to see the entry for The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown and it didn’t disappoint me:

“Dan Brown is responsible for feeding millions of readers a pack of lies cleverly wrapped up as a historically accurate novel”.

Conservapedia also launches itself into a diatribe against Wikipedia with its long list of examples of bias in Wikipedia. The Conservapedia Commandments (aka rules for participating) starts off with: “Everything you post must be true and verifiable. Do not copy from Wikipedia…“. Well, given the entries for kangaroo and the DaVinci Code, I don’t think Conservapedia is following its own Commandments.

Now Christians have as much right to set up a wiki as anyone else, but if Conservapedia is going to focus so much energy on attacking Wikipedia and allowing biased entries, then it certainly isn’t a ‘trustworthy encyclopedia’ in my book.

And speaking of Wikipedia, what’s with the redirection to Wikipedia if you accidentally type in Wackypedia in the Google search box??

I’m beginning to suspect it’s a full moon…..


Entry filed under: Wikis.

World without oil I’ll be back

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