Theory Of Evolution8/21/07
The authors of the Conservapedia entry on evolution have definitely read their creationist literature. Not very surprising since creationism is big business in publishing these days. But like a lot of creationists, this also means that their ideas about the actual Theory of Evolution tend to veer far to the left or right of what the theory is actually supposed to be about. I'm especially keen on spotting this weirdness because of my investigation into the Watchtower Society's Creation Book years ago. (Which was kind of embarrassing ... will they ever replace that thing??) I was a little shocked to find that the Creation Book wasn't mentioned in Conservapedia's bibliography as a reference since it seems so popular among creationists on the web. To Conservapedia's credit, their bibliography is far more complete than the Creation Book's, so that makes it easier to see if they are quoting people fairly. That's something. It also avoids making some of the easier to spot mistakes that the Creation Book makes.
But like I said, there's plenty of weirdness to be found there as well.
First, Conservapedia tries to argue why the theory doesn't matter. We get some quotes from one whole scientist to support this, so that pretty much nails it down as irrefutable. As further proof, they offer us some comments and statistics meant to show that most Americans don't believe the theory is true because they prefer to believe we were made from clay or dust or something like that. Which really does seem more reasonable when you think about it. Why the majority of opinions from non-experts on the Theory of Evolution has any impact on its truthfulness doesn't make so much sense, but whatever.
Note that a "majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since World War II have been atheists." So that obviously makes it scary as hell for them.
After explaining to us that Darwin's evolution is about survival of the fittest, where the traits of the most successful organisms are passed on to their offspring, Conservapedia (almost) correctly points out that Lamarckism "asserted that evolution occurs because organisms are able to inherit traits acquired by their ancestors" and that this idea "has been rejected." This clearly suggests that Lamarckism and evolution are the same, and that evolution should also be rejected. But they ain't the same, ya know.
Lamarckism is sort of like your middle school biology teacher's version of evolution, where they told you that giraffe's grew longer necks so they could reach leaves other animals couldn't ... instead of the other way around. (Thanks for that, middle school!) Basically, the efforts of individuals were believed to be the driving force of change in Lamarckism. You evolved because you wanted it bad enough. Meanwhile, there are many driving forces in modern evolutionary theory, including natural selection. Lamarckism, as a scientific theory, is total crap because no amount of effort will change your genes by itself! So the rejection of Lamarckism has no impact on evolution at all. The comparison is more than a little bit unfair.
Critics of the theory of evolution state that many of today's proponents of the theory of evolution have diluted the meaning of the term "evolution" to the point where it defined as or the definition includes change over time in the gene pool of a population over time through such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
If by "diluted" they mean the theory has continued to change (or evolve ... heh heh) from the day it was first proposed a century and a half ago by Darwin, they would be right. This is what some people (scientists for example) call progress. Oh, give me a break people. They didn't even know about DNA in Darwin's time! Changes in the gene pool couldn't be a factor in his original theory because people didn't know what genes were! Anyway, the authors support this statement with a quote from an entire (single) person named Jonathan Sarfati, who just happens to be a big time creationist as well as a scientist. Curses! How will our evil plan to convince the world that evolution is real ever succeed with evidence like this?!?
Well, the whole thing just sort of goes on from there. I'm tired and I've got other crap to do. I'll let others swoop in to shame Conservapedia's entry if they have the time. This all seems like the same sort of inflated (but paper thin) stuff we always hear from creationists determined to prove that evolution is some sort of weirdo conspiracy being played on us by thousands of scientists throughout the world over the last 150 years, or that creationism itself is scientific. I have to ask: why bother? They're only preaching to the converted on this one. The rest of us are just rolling our eyes.
I really think they would serve their cause better by letting this angle go entirely. The conspiracy business just makes them sound kinda crazy. If the Bible is their basis for pimping creationism, then why can't they just believe what it says over the evidence and let it go already? After all, just because something is scientific doesn't make it automatically true. Yep. I said it. And I think I'm right there.
Don't get me wrong, though. Being scientific does - in my opinoin - make evolution the most accurate bit of knowledge we have on the subject to date. Since I think it's the best, I'll take it over the Bible any day. (Sorry, I just think there are too many reasons not to believe that the Bible is the infallible word of a supernatural, all knowing deity)
But my point is that I don't think many creationists believe in creationism because they truly believe that evolution isn't scientific. I'm sure many of them do believe it isn't scientific, but I don't think that matters. I think they believe in creationism because they want to believe in the Bible (or a similar holy text) or because they want to think they were made special by some god. Evolution and hypotheses about abiogenesis sort of fly in the face of both of these wants. So deep down, I doubt they care if either idea is scientific.Isn't it enough that they believe it all? Or is that how Satan gets ya or something? I dunno... My puzzler hurts. Me sleepy now.
Featured Conservapedia Entry Of The Week
George W. Bush8/14/07
least favorite President! Yippee! (Note: I originally tried looking up sex on Conservapedia for today's entry... but I couldn't find anything! Why am I surprised? Oh, the shame...) So what does Conservapedia think about President George W. Bush?
As part of the fight against terrorism, he received Congressional approval to invade the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the military has successfully effected regime changes in those countries.
Sounds pretty awesome, huh? They do remember that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks, right? Well, so long as they have Osama in custody and...
By the way, I would have to call "successfully effected regime changes in these countries" a bit of a stretch. Thanks G.W.
In a show down with Congressional Democrats after taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in the 2006 Congressional Midterm elections, Democrats retreated on their pledge to end the Iraq War early and bring the troops home.
Yeah, you just can see old George riding his horse into Congress and kicking everyone's ass like the Lone Ranger or something. Bet he even had his cowboy hat on, eh? Actually, I don't think it was nearly that exciting.
The deal cut with Democratic leaders in exchange for their acquiescing to fund the troops calls for the President to sign legislation raising the minimum wage.
The fact the Democrats even had to pull any tricks to get the President ... our President ... to sign off on this makes my tummy ache. Is 2008 nearly over yet? Please, somebody, help us!
Though the liberal media continues to disparage Bush's handling of the economy, they often neglect to report the many aspects of the economy that Bush has improved. For example, during his term Exxon Mobil has posted the largest profit of any company in a single year, and executive salaries have greatly increased as well. This is due to changes in the stock market that lead to a record high in 2006. Corporations show profits growing by double digits growth. Even the working class is benefiting from the Bush economy, as unemployment hits an all time low in March 2007. Bush worked with Democrats to raise the minimum wage to a more livable level.
I nearly blew a gasket when I read this. What multi-millionaire had time to write this crap? Attila the Hun didn't have these kinds of balls.
I don't have space enough to get into this one. But let's review a few other sources on Wikipedia so you can judge for yourselves.
Wikipedia Article on George W. Bush
Criticism of George W. Bush
Public Perception of George W. Bush
Movement to Impeach George W. Bush
And finally, to let the healing begin: Fictionalize Portrayals of George W. Bush
That's it. I'm going to get drunk now and hit someone. More later.-the Atheist Geek-
This entry on God seemed like an obvious choice for another look at those nutty-nut-nuts at Conservapedia. So what do they have to say about the big "G?" It's a surprisingly short entry. Even more shocking is a lack of an objective viewpoint, one that is required by Wikipedia. You know Wikipedia, right? The one with the supposed liberal bias according to Conservapedia?
The word "God" is the general term used to refer to the Creator of the universe.
How could they not get this one! Turns out that god (lower case) is the generic reference to any hypothetical ruler of the universe. God (when capitalized) is just the name that a lot of Christians use to refer to their version. People believe in all kinds of different gods ya know!
What we know about God comes from three main categories: creation, conscience, and revelation. God has revealed himself in several ways, including through the Bible.
Hold the phone. I don't know who wrote this line, but if you actually know something about God, you should really let the rest of us in on it. We certainly do know things about the universe (which they call creation), our own conscience (there's a book someplace that tells us that "the heart is treacherous" and not to be trusted, though...I think it's called the Bible or something like that), and revelation (I was just talking about the Bible!). But no human being I know of actually knows anything about any gods at all.
Anyway, this is followed by a list of God's awesome attributes. But ones like cruelty, prejudice, intolerance, anger, and jealousy (did I mention anger yet?) don't make the list at Conservapedia even though the Bible offers us plenty of examples for them. And that's just the short list! I think I might actually be sensing a tiny bit of conservative bias here. Aren't you?
God exercises eternal and righteous judgment of the wicked in hell, because of an inherent problem in the human heart, namely Sin.
They can say what they want about the "eternal" part (I don't think God ever existed to begin with, so I obviously don't agree with that one) but righteousness? I gotta raise an eyebrow to that one. Isn't God supposed to be the one who created us? Being all-powerful and everything, why doesn't he just sorta...you know...fix the very flaw he's judging us for? If he exists, if he really is judging us for this flaw that he could easily remove, then I can't really call God righteous.
And I've read numerous translations of the Bible, so I know all about Job and whatnot. No need to write in and threaten me about it. I know some of you were thinking it, but that one's just too easy. BTW, isn't that another example of why God isn't all that righteous? What did Job do to God, anyway?
The next line tells us that Jesus's sacrifice on the cross "is God's merciful and gracious response to the problem of the human heart." Really? Why did God need to torture and murder his only son (or himself, depending on who you ask) to forgive our sins? He could just forgive us and be done with it. Or he could even fix us as I mentioned before.
So this is supposed to be the online encyclopedia that's more accurate than Wikipedia? Hmmm...
If you're curious, why not compare the Wikipedia entry for god and help them fix it? Looks like there's a neutrality dispute over the article.-the Atheist Geek-
AtheismDid you just feel a chill go up your spine? I did.
Posted on 7/29/07
Intended for 7/31/07
I'd like to incorporate hilariously inaccurate Conservapedia entries into the weekly submissions at Atheist Geek News. In case you didn't know, Conservapedia is the right-wing answer to Wikipedia, which they seem to think has a liberal bias. (Reality itself has also been accused of similar learnings, but I digress) It's not as funny as The Uncyclopedia, but it can be darn close at times.
To kick things off as a sort of place holder, I've included their latest entry for atheism. Gasp! It's not as hilarious as I'd hoped, but there are a few subtle jabs and obvious signs of right-wing bias. I implore anyone reading this not to change anything at Conservapedia because I'd prefer to let their version of reality speak for itself. Know what I mean?
Minor gems of ignorance include:
Atheists often equivocate that they actually have a lack of belief in any God, as opposed to having the positive belief that there is no God. This equivocation stems from the fact that if they hold positive beliefs, then their worldview can be categorized as a religion.and this old conservative favorite
The Bible states: "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God. - Psalm 14:1 (KJV)
In addition, the Bible states:
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - Romans 1:20 (KJV)