Saturday, March 03, 2007

Conservapedia, PT III -- Richard Nixon

Why Tricky Dicks, Batman, this must be the work of the Joker.

Richard Milhous Nixon … was the 37th President of the Christian United States… He was the 36th Christian Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, in the administration of Christian Dwight D. Eisenhower.” When did the name of the country change, and which one of my atheist compatriots kept the name change from me? (No wonder I’ve felt so dirty all these years).

Ah, but it gets better. Conservapedia notes that Nixon, “…lost his first presidential race to John F. Kennedy…” No "Christian" appellation here. Oh, I forgot, Kennedy was a Catholic.

Then there is the factual clunker, which notes that Nixon “…was reelected in 1972 by a landslide, but had to resign the following year…” Uh, no, he resigned in 1974, August 9th, in fact. Unless 1973 was cancelled, “the following year” would be incorrect.

And the best (and most confusing): Nixon’s “Christian foreign policy as president was marked by détente with the atheistic Soviet Union…” Now, if you as a good Christian, sup with the atheist devil, doesn’t that consign your soul to the Infernal regions, stoking the sulfurous fires of Hell?

Conservapedia, PT II -- Xerxes the Great

Next up, a Conservapedia article on Xerxes the Great, who is described in a few meager lines: “King of Persia, r: 485–465 BC, chose the biblical Esther (Hadassah) as his wife. Depicted in the 2007 film 300 as being approximately 15 feet tall.” In fact, he’s simply referred to as Xerxes, no honorific -- how anti-Persian.

Now first, Xerxes is only possibly the Ahasuerus mentioned in the Books of Esther and Ezra, nothing definitive there folks. Second, Xerxes was far more important than (maybe) just being the hubby of Esther. He was the son of Darius the Great and grandson of Cyrus the Great; he suppressed revolts in Egypt and Babylon; he brought Egypt under tight control; he invaded Greece, won the Battle of Thermopylae, and then because of his own impatience and misplaced trust in Themistocles lost to the Greeks at Salamis; hell, he even sent one of his military commanders, Sataspes, on a mission to circumnavigate Africa. .

15 foot tall hubby of Esther indeed – but maybe, in the righteous world, that’s all that really matters.

Conservapedia, PT I -- Dinosaurs

Andy Schlafly, son of the doyenne of shrill right-wing Harpies, Phyllis Schlafly, and member of the “elite” Eagle Forum has started a Wiki project named Conservapedia (clever, no?). This Wiki product claims to counter the evil left-wing bias of Wikipedia (I haven’t seen the bias myself, but I’m one of them damned BHL’s).

On its main page, Conservapedia proclaims that it is “A conservative encyclopedia you can trust” – as opposed, I guess to a conservative encyclopedia (whatever that word combo means) that you can’t trust.

Conservapedia then proclaims that it “has over 3,800 educational, clean and concise entries on historical, scientific, legal, and economic topics…” Keenly interested in the righteous ramblings of the ranting right, I decided to have a look-see (after praying to Athena to protect me from inanity). I clicked on “random page” and was taken to “Dinosaur”. In the first sentence I was greeted by this factoid of wisdom, “The word dinosaur was coined in 1841 by Richard Owen[1], from the Latin for "terrible lizard". Uh no, Andy, it’s from Greek. Latin would have been lacerta terribilis.

In the next paragraph we are greeted by the following, “Most scientists believe that dinosaurs lived from 230 million until 65 million years ago and that they are all currently extinct (except for birds, which many scientists consider to be descended from early therapod dinosaurs).” Yes, that is how long ago dinosaurs lived, but there is no “except for birds”. That they are descendants of the dinosaurs is likely true, but that has no bearing on the extinction of dinosaurs. We are descendants of the Australopithecines, but they are extinct. Our existence has no bearing on their lack of same.

Then there is the snidely dismissive, “They [scientists] claim the fossil evidence supports their beliefs.” Beliefs? Uh, no Andy. You might want to study up on Paleontology.

I could go on with the mistakes in this short but terrible article (dinolect?), but, that would be, like, really mean and shrewish in a right-wing Harpy kind-of way.


THE BIG ONE: I couldn't resist bringing up this older version -- note Jesus riding a dinosaur (no doubt on his way to Jerusalem to meet with the Guv'nor (but where are the plalm leaves? Oh, yeah, the dino ate them. ROFL)).

Next up: another Conservapedia article gets shredded.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Beware Norse Design

Ah, intelligent design is all the rage -- gutting science curricula, making up proofs to fit the stories of a bunch of wandering nomads from an entirely different culture, pretending religion and the ooky-spooky supernatural Omniomnis are science. Bah!

But what of the Norse, my beloved ancestors? Check this out: