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Marshall’s Law

by Archives March 14, 2007

Do you know what a kangaroo is? Symbol of Australia? 1982 Commonwealth Games mascot? Sure, but it’s so much more. “According to the origins model used by creation scientists, modern kangaroos, like all modern animals, originated in the Middle East and 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.” This definition comes straight to you from the new “pro-Christian”, “pro-America” online encyclopedia Conservapedia, brainchild of Andrew Schlafly.

If you don’t find anything wrong with this “scientific” definition of a kangaroo, then you must be one of the scores of Americans who are tired of the “liberal bias” and “anti-America” feel of Wikipedia. Along with these poor oppressed souls, you too can find solace with Schlafly’s way of catering to conservative Christians on the web. Annoyed with having his edits on Wikipedia removed, Schlafly decided to make his own version of the online encyclopedia.

Schlafly believes Wikipedia just doesn’t offer objective and true definitions. He told The Guardian “In one case my factual edits were removed within 60 seconds – so editing Wikipedia is no longer a viable approach.” This is a problem I can relate to. I’ve tried editing Wikipedia to reflect my belief that rocks are actually hibernating aliens, but unfortunately this thing called “science” keeps getting in my way.

Coming soon, ‘Marshallapedia’ where I proclaim myself ruler of track-suit wearing gnomes and condemn the colour fuchsia. Unlike Conservapedia though, I probably won’t be hoping that someday teachers use my website as a resource tool.

Conservapedia is “student friendly.” According to the site, “You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of “political correctness”.” If by “political correctness” they mean defying logic, the website succeeds greatly. Consider an excerpt from the definition for “judicial activism”: “Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in which the Supreme Court sided with terrorists over the protection of the United States of America.” This begs the question how long after the terrorists filed an appeal to the Supreme Court did this decision come? The terrorists must have been using Wikipedia, which we shall duly rename Terroristopedia.

To save you a few (albeit very entertaining) minutes roaming through Conservapedia, here are other excerpts from some of the definitions. (Note: some of these definitions may have changed since press time.)

Abortion: “The vast majority of scientific studies have shown that abortion causes an increase in breast cancer, including 16 out of 17 statistically significant studies.”

Evolution: “Creationists can cite material showing that there is no real fossil evidence for the macroevolutionary position and that the fossil record supports creationism.”

Gun control: “However, this privilege was granted to us by our founding fathers during the formation of our country, via the Bill of Rights.”

Homosexuality: “Homosexuality is a sexual attraction between members of the same sex. It is condemned by the Bible as an egregiously sinful act.”

Islam: “There is some evidence that traditional Muslim scholars have been suppressing this information as well as various recently-recovered scrolls that hint at early Muslim human sacrifice, which was also a part of early Judaism which ended after the Genisis (sic) story of Abraham and Isaac (e.g., at Uhud).”

Showing you the flagrant faults of Conservapedia is not to say that its “liberal”, “anti-Christian” counterpart is flawless. Wikipedia should come with a caveat. It is not a completely accurate resource and should not be used as one. It is, however, good preparation for that Trivial Pursuit game coming up.

In a country where creationism is still taught in some schools, sex education a taboo in some places and where Fox News is considered a reliable news source, should extreme conservatives really feel that oppressed?

Fox News: “Fox News is viewed by conservatives as being less biased than other news channels, possibly because they report in a way that is percieved (sic) by some to be more moderate then (sic) most news channels; additionally, because they do not attack George W. Bush or the Iraq War, choosing instead to support the White House under any circumstances like all good Americans should, they are a more American news station than CNN or MSNBC.”

Cue the eagles and the patriotic music, Conservapedia shall shed light on our wicked ways.

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