Saturday, March 03, 2007

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.


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