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Entry 868, on 2008-10-13 at 21:23:18 (Rating 5, Religion)
A year and a half ago I commented on the latest source of fundamentalist religious nonsense on the Internet: Conservapedia. Today I listened to a podcast which ridiculed this encyclopedia of conservative "facts" and that lead me to want to rant on a bit more about how pathetically childish and dishonestly inaccurate it is. Yes, I know, I'm raving on about creationism again and what's the point. Well I occasionally see signs of creationism trying to gain a foothold in countries where it has traditionally been weak and it is still strongly believed in the US where over half the population don't believe evolution is true, so I think it is relevant.
And I think belief in this sort of superstition is worth fighting against. Even though its not a major issue here in New Zealand I still try to put it down where I can so that when people are exposed to it they are more resistant to its blatant lies.
Let's have a look at what's actually in Conservapedia. I will have a look at the entry for evolution (yes I know that's too obvious but since this is the subject its really all about I need to do this).
The first image I see on the evolution page is a photo of Hitler raving into a microphone. What has this go to do with evolution? Absolutely nothing, but relevance isn't important to creationists. In fact there are 12 references to "Hitler" and 7 to the Nazis even though the subject is irrelevant. I would suggest that the authors of this article should refer to Godwin's law (preferably in Wikipedia because Conservapedia has only a few lines on the subject).
The text follows the usual pattern of creationist lies. They present quotes out of context, list opinions which have been superseded, cherry pick the evidence that suits them, simply include information which is wrong, and reference other sources of propaganda which have no credibility.
But they do all of this skillfully enough that many people would be taken in by the deception. There's no doubt that the Internet is a great way for everyone to have a say and let their opinion be published but the downside of this freedom is that irrelevant and dangerous nonsense like this can also be widely distributed.
Its true that few scientifically oriented or unbiased people would be taken in by this material but it reinforces the silly myths that believers already believe and prevents them from getting a better handle on reality.
But does it actually matter? Well yes, in a democracy it does. I don't trust someone who is so stupid that they believe Noah's flood actually happened to vote sensibly. That's how we get world leaders like George Bush and look where that's lead us! And while its primarily a US problem we know how American "culture" tends to spread to the rest of the world. The last thing I want to see here is a significant number of people living their lives based on fundamentalist Christian nonsense and making their stupid voting decisions based on that.
And its not just about voting. Its influencing the teaching programs at schools, its poisoning their children's minds with fake morality and ridiculous accounts of fake history, its discouraging students from following science, and its a lot of the other outcomes of a fundamentalist Christian worldview.
I'll say this again: I have no problems with moderates. I will debate anyone regarding the validity of their religious beliefs but I won't start saying they aren't real members of society and don't deserve to participate in our society. With fundies I do believe that's true.
Fundamentalists have removed themselves from reality and from how our society works. They should keep out of modern life and live in their silly dream world instead. For a start they could stop using the Internet which is a technology based on the scientific principles they reject. Then they could stop using modern drugs based on the biological science which has evolution at its very core - the same evolution these idiots think is fake. OK, so more fundies will die from treatable diseases but that just means they will get their reward in heaven more quickly, so everyone will be happier!
But strangely enough very few of them want to take this choice. Maybe pragmatism is stronger than principles. Maybe they want to have their cake and eat it too. OK, let them, but people like me will continue to point out how hypocritical fundies really are!
Comment 1 (1736) by Andrew on 2008-10-15 at 10:38:01:
Same old lies have been coughed up for that evolution page. Oh dear how many photos of Hitler does it need. Do they realise that Stalin trained as a priest? Propaganda.
Comment 2 (1737) by OJB on 2008-10-15 at 18:58:29:
Yes, its all about deciding what you want to believe then sifting through the evidence in a desperate attempt to find something to prop up that belief, no matter how much manipulation of the facts that involves. Most religious people rave on about how Stalin being an atheist caused him to be evil, but maybe he got all those nasty ideas from his religious training!
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