Conservapedia has a friend

I've been following that thread on Conservapedia, and I've seen what you scalliwags have been up to, littering the poor site with humorous edits and then coming over here and tittering about it. You do realize that Conservapedia's entries required the indentured labor of 58 homeschooled children who were forced to give up their educations in order to slavishly transcribe paragraphs of their textbooks into wiki articles, don't you? What you so casually deface is the sweat-stained, blood-spotted outpourings of tiny, stunted hands and tiny, stunted brains. You should be ashamed!

Besides, it turns out there is one person who finds Conservapedia useful: that nice, reasonable conservative, Jon Swift. They're also going to have an article in New Scientist* soon, so they must be a serious site.

*I know because the reporter called me up this afternoon, and I told her all about it. It could be juicy.

Hey, now! I just looked at the "Recent Changes" page, and it looks like someone tried to add a "PZ Myers" entry to the site. But look what they did to me:


"Silly and unsupported"? Moi?


More like this

At least, I hope so. The "conservapedia" is supposed to be an alternative to Wikipedia that removes the biases—although one would think the creators would be clever enough to realize that even the name announces that Conservapedia is planning to openly embrace a particular political bias.…
Many of my fellow SBers have been mocking the recently unveiled Conservapedia. Conservapedia claims to be a reaction to the liberal bias of Wikipedia. Ed, PZ, Afarensis, Tim, John, and Orac have all piled on already. But why should they get to have all the fun? Conservapedia has an extensive…
I try to avoid censoring people here, and it takes some persistent nuisance value to get evicted. There are a few people, though, who really don't add any value to the site, even though they haven't done anything (yet) to warrant banning them. A reader sent me this script many of you might find…
Moi? Mentioned in the Waco Tribune? Defending a creationist? I knew that remark would come back to bite me. At least the author misspelled my name, so my shame won't spread too far (except, unfortunately, that I seem to be more widely cited as "Meyers" than "Myers"). Anyway, it's a letter by Robert…

Err... call me uninformed, but anyone have a quick summery of jon swift? i followed the link, but it could have been a parody for all i know.


By Cat of Many Faces (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

oops, my bad. the page had just not fully loaded.

now i feel silly.

By Cat of Many Faces (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

You do realize that Conservapedia's entries required the indentured labor of 58 homeschooled children who were forced to give up their educations in order to slavishly transcribe paragraphs of their textbooks into wiki articles, don't you?

so, PZ, did you change the "about conservapedia" page to reflect that?

better get over there and do it so it's accurate and up to date.

Via Jon Smith:

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the inventors of calculus and the propsed the theory of gravity (It should be noted that gravity, like evolution, is just a theory and has never been proven to be true).

Gravity is a lie pushed on our children by liberal atheists and Wikipedia editors.

Maybe they're referring to this, PZ.

well, that was certainly unsupported, but silly?


Maybe they're referring to this, PZ.


This is a true gem; a goldmine of hilarity. My favourite find so far (actually, it was Mr Swift who found it): Kangaroos!

Like all modern animals, modern kangaroos 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. It has not yet been determined whether kangaroos form a holobarmin with the wallaby, tree-kangaroo, wallaroo, pademelon and quokka, or if all these species are in fact apobaraminic or polybaraminic.

After the Flood, kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether this migration happened over land -- as Australia was still for a time connected to the Middle East before the supercontinent of Pangea broke apart -- or if they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters.


Hey now, I didn't deface anyone's entry. I just added a couple of my own.

There is no excuse for the stupidity on this page: ... it shows a picture of the B-2 (designed in the 1980s... built by Northrop) and then calls it an "F-117", which is the stealth figher, a completely different aircraft!

That particular entry has been edited by Asclafly himself. Why would he be confused about the most expensive military aircraft ever built?

Why would he be confused about the most expensive military aircraft ever built?

hey, all Assfly cares about is "inappropriate", innacurrate is perfectly fine.

The atheism one is quite good, especially the last bit.


Atheism, in common usage, means "lack of belief in any Gods". As Atheism is part of a scientific worldview which is based upon observable evidence rather than dogmatic insistence upon the veracity of superstitious claims which are unsupported by evidence, it also discounts supernatural phenomena such as ghosts, psychics, fairies, and other such ideas.

Atheism is popularly divided into Strong and Weak Atheism: Strong Atheism can be defined as a dogma in itself: The assertion that there absolutely is no God, despite the fact that the existence of the supernatural cannot be disproven. Weak Atheists acknowledge that nothing can be disproven, and while this does not suggest that there *is* a god (no more than the fact that we cannot disprove leprechauns suggests that they exist) it would nonetheless be unscientific to declare a God or godlike being impossible. Because of this distinction, many confuse Weak Atheism with Agnosticism, even persons who believe themselves to be Agnostics.

Atheism is closely tied with Secular Humanism. Popularly known Atheists include Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Stephen J. Gould, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

Atheist morality
Atheist morality is based upon emotion, experience and empirically derived ethics, such as those promoted by secular humanism. Atheists hold that the Bible cannot be our source of morality as it contains countless calls for immoral behavior such as killing any who try to convert you, stoning homosexuals and adulterers to death, and the institution of slavery. Instead, most Christians actually rely on their own innate philanthropic sense (which has evolved as a necessary element of communal living over millions of years) to cherry pick the pleasant parts of the Bible and ignore the rest.

Atheists often subscribe to the secular humanist idea that it is far more ethical to do what is right simply because you feel that it's right, rather than because you fear divine punishment. Such ethical behavior facilitates civilized living and improves the quality of life for everyone.

The common argument that Naziism and Stalinism were atheistic in nature and that their violence stemmed from that nature ignores more recent examples of what they actually were; Personality cults. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, and more recently despots like Kim Jong Il were or are at the center of governments which enforce reverence unto them as though they were deities. Nazi Germany was in fact heavily Christian, as evidenced by Hitler's own words, as shown here: and photographic evidence of his ties with the church can he found here: It is certainly plausible that Hitler was nonreligious and feignin religious belief in order to gain power, but even if Hitler himself was not religious, Nazis on the whole most certainly were.

As for allegations that atheism contributes to crime, here are studies showing that in fact the opposite is true:

Finally, evidence of the inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence:…

Is this satire?

"Quantum mechanics forms the basis for all computers and electronic devices today.

Unfortunately, the idea of non-determinstic physics runs contrary to the Biblical worldview of an omnipotent diety. Thus, quantum mechanics remains a flawed, ultimately incorrect theory.

For a biased, secular discussion of quantum mechanics, see: "


Ha, I looked up their atheism article right away and wasn't at all surprised to see that they had "atheism" capitalized (it's a religion after all, wink wink nudge nudge) and "gods" in the definition of atheism capitalized.

I plan on creating an account there and letting the hilarity ensue...

That was only after a someone edited it. From one of the earlier versions:

Stalin and Richard Dawkins are prominent atheists. Dawkins wrote a book, called "The God Delusion" which supposedly disproves Christianity. However, most critics did not like Dawkins' book, and Stalin is now dead, having killed millions of people.

Go check out the entry for George Washington! Every single sentence ends in an exclamation point! Although there are a couple of sentences that end with no punctuation, and a couple with multiple exclamation points!!! Whoever wrote that article was very excited about George Washington!

The first thing that caught my eye on the recent changes page was this:

Plesiosaur; 23:24 . . TrueReaganConservative (Talk | contribs) (removed stupid alien references. Stick to known facts please)

... "known facts" apparently including this:

In 1977, while serving as Captain on board the fishing vessel Zuiyo-maru, Kent Hovind discovered the decomposing carcass of a Plesiosaur. This was a triumphant find for the Creation-Science movement, since it unequivocally established that dinosaurs had died in the Biblical Flood, rather than being killed by a meteor, as postulated by Charles Darwin.

... While it would be instructive to study the carcass further, the Secular Humanists at the Internal Revenue Service confiscated the remains during the arrest of Dr. Hovind, presumably to prevent further investigation in the name of creationism.


Damn! They've changed the God entry, which I quote here for the record, because who knows what it will say tomorrow!



God is the all-loving creator of the universe, who created man in His image. His creation of man is described in the Book of Genesis.

Retrieved from ""



God is the creator of the universe in monotheistic religions such Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.[1] In the Christian and Jewish faiths, His creation of man is described in the Book of Genesis. He recently began directly relaying His word to the masses on the Blog of the Gods.

It's claimed that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism worship the same God in different ways. This claim is regarded by some as a way to convert Jews and Christians to Islam, since it supports the idea that Abrahamic religion has "grown" from Judaism to Christianity to Islam.[1] However, many are skeptical of this idea.[2]

Common powers attributed to God include omnipotence(the ability to do anything), omniscience(the ability to know anything) although even that level of detail is not common throughout all monotheists. Many believers in God also believe that he punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous in some afterlife and variants of this theme are found in all the Abrahamic faiths.

To create an account follow these steps:

1. Click on the Log in / Create Account button on the bottom-left of the screen.
There's nothing but white space at the bottom-left of the screen. Is the link hiding next to Iraq's WMDs?

Here's the entry for "holocaust" -- and I mean the whole entry:

The Holocaust was the massacring of the Jewish race during World War II. The Germans are not to blame for this but the Nazi are. Besides 6 million Jews dying, 3 million Christians were killed also along with many priests and nuns. This is a very touchy subject for the Jews and is not often discussed amongst them.

So, there's one fact, one sidelong dismissal of German anti-semitism, one jaw-dropping (and inaccurate) misrepresentation, and a weird anecdotal statement.

And that's all the conservative encyclopedia has to say about that.

When, oh when will they upgrade their server? It takes forever to write spoof entries.

And that's all the conservative encyclopedia has to say about that.

yes, a true forrest gump moment.

I think probably the best thing to do (and excuse me if someone's already said this before) is just cut and paste entries from Wikipedia as fast as you can, until you get banned.

Um. This one clearly needs some work....

Piltdown Man

The Piltdown Man was one of many frauds perpetrated by promoters of the theory of evolution. This particular fraud was taught to an entire generation of students worldwide from 1912 to 1953, when it it was conclusively proven to be a hoax. The Piltdown Man was featured in the textbook at issue in the Scopes trial in Tennessee. Darwinists officially announced the Piltdown Man to be authentic and gave it a formal name: Eoanthropus dawsoni. This name honored the person who claimed to have found it, Charles Dawson.
Today promoters of the theory of evolution claim that scientists recognized that the Piltdown Man was a fraud sooner than 1953, but kept quiet. If true, then such silence begs more questions than it answers. How many scientists today recognize the theory of evolution to be fraudulent but keep quiet about it?

Retrieved from ""

They have a discussion page with the unwieldy name "Was_it_wrong_for_him_to_allow_the_attack_in_order_to_wake_up_the_American_public_and_motivate_Americans_to_fight_and_win_the_war". This is, inexplicably, a reference to Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor.

My comment:

Absolutely not. The attack was necessary to gird the hearts and loins of patriotic but unmotivated Americans to win the war against un-American forces. The 3000 innocents killed were a tragic loss, to be sure, but without them a terrible dictator would still be gassing his own people, and developing weapons to use against us. These are the terrible but necessary choices a Commander-in-chief must make.

5 to 1 says it goes unnoticed.

We also learn:

Macroeconomics is the analysis of the economy as a whole, or the analysis of large subdivisions of the economy. Macroeconomics is to microeconomics as forest is to trees.

Macroeconomics is the opposite of microeconomics.

Needless to say, the entry "forest" now reads:

Forests are collections of trees as a whole, or large areas of trees. Forest is to trees as macroeconomics is to microeconomics.

Forest is the opposite of trees.

Of course, I cruised on over to the math section...

Interesting. Nobody has yet denounced algebra as an evil Islamic plot.

I'm disappointed in them, allowing decadent secular mathematicians to claim that letters and numbers can be interchanged. It just reeks of liberal bias! And naming it in Arabic... well, what else can you expect?

I think we need a "BANNED ON CONSERVAPEDIA!" badge. And maybe a t-shirt.

Nobody has yet denounced algebra as an evil Islamic plot.

Give them time, John. I'm sure that al-jabr will eventually be recognized as the world-blighting evil that it is. My students certainly know that (even if it appears that they don't know algebra). After tomorrow's algebra test, they'll be even more certain!

I find most fascinating the articles written by "Aschlafly." Am I correct that he is a spawn of Phyllis Schlafly? So many of his entries are ridiculous, and betray illogical thinking, poor writing, and simple unintelligence. I say this not because I disagree with him, but rather as objectively as I can. Look at his edits to the pages for "moon" and "Theory of Relativity." I don't know how old he is, but he reasons like a child, and a rather dim child at that.

There are so many points that I could bring up and mock that a point-by-point rebuttal is futile. The Moon and the Theory of Relativity were my favorites though. He apparently believes not only that the theory of relativity undermines the bible, but that it has been proven incorrect by experiment! He does this all while making ridiculous mistakes (that he would not have had he checked Wikipedia first!), like confusing the shape of the universe with the curvature of space-time.

It all makes my head spin. Also, I've been banned, so I've taken to editing through proxy servers. If I were the admins, I would put a 2 week ban on new users. They're too busy deleting entries and blocking users to doing whatever it is that creationists usually do with all their time (ID research?).

This is meta. For clarification the post above was mine. I will go by this handle because I see there is already a John posting (I should have assumed, I'm very common). That was my first post, though I've been lurking for 2 years now.

By JohnTheStudent (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

In all seriousness, this Conservapedia is something we should support. We should donate money, servers, whatever, except for knowledge.

Conservapedia is a distillation of the wingnut worldview into a single source: pure ignorance wrapped in poor rhetoric. Think of the value of having a single reference for every bit of dogma in their world. I had no idea, for example, that they have issues with Einstein.

At the next Dover trial (and there will be a next one, inevitably), we can just point the judge towards Conservapedia, and say, "This is what they want to teach our children."

And maybe, just maybe, the challenge of trying to reconcile so many conflicting idiocies will make one or two them actually think about what they believe, and why.

By JohnTheOther (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

This just makes me sick. The worst thing is that there are a lot of kids out there that are going to see this and think it's some sort of reference site. It's bad enough that so many people accept wikipedia as absolute truth... now we have a wikiwannabe with a conservative Christian agenda muddying the waters...

I got into it over evolution about a year ago with a fundi on Yahoo!360, who quoted some of these stupid ID sites AND relied HEAVILY on wikipedia for information. You couldn't convince this guy that "just because everyone says so" doesn't make it so. Some people just don't get the idea that some information is valid and comes from credible sources, and other information is just opinion... and often IGNORANT opinion at that.

HAHAha! My Plesiosaur entry has attracted the attention of one "Dr." Richard Paley. He says this:

This article contains many incorrect facts, not the least of which is that Kent Hovind was responsible for the Zuiyo Maru carcass find. (While Dr. Hovind has done much to popularize Creation Science to the public, he isn't known for his field research. As far as I am aware, with my connections in the cryptid hunting community, Dr. Hovind hasn't ever consulted on an expedition to find extant Leviathans or any other cryptid, much less gone out and found one himself. Also, he is neither a ship's captain nor Japanese!) Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidences causing Creation researchers to rethink the identity of the Zuiyo Maru carcass as a member of the mosasaur baramin, not a plesiosaur. There needs to be a separate section on this controversy.

Someone want to get this guy a clue? Anyway, since I made two fake entries (the Cactus and the Plesiosaur), I made one real one:

And I'm interested to see whether that gets corrupted by the mods (who will no doubt accuse me of not using "elementary proofs") before the Plesiosaur entry disappears.

Stupid is as stupid does... from we have "AMERICAN HISTORY 101

Give your student a real course in American history, starting January 20, 2007! Sign up now and read the first lecture! This free course covers all the major topics in United States history, from exploration to today. This course makes use of the conservative encyclopedia being built by students, parents and scholars at Conservapedia."

Oh, great... there will be people reading that the Puritan Pilgrims landed at Jamestown and the Northrop built B-2 Stealth Bomber is a Lockheed F-117.

Oh, uber joy.


Dr. Richard Paley is a noted contributor to Objective Ministries. You can buy fine merchandise at their LOL (Love Our Lord) site.

By JohnTheOther (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

Hah! How could I forget that? Lambuel is boss. Heh, Paley has really been at it over there. Have a look at his latest contributions on the "Recent Changes" page.

Man, that dude just beat me at my own game.

I would relly enjoy it if someone went and edited the page on jesus to include everything in PZ's last post on the "new" jesus. That would be friggin priceless.

Whoa. Parody? Again, so hard to tell!

"Like all modern animals, modern kangaroos originated in the Middle East..."

Then again, the page cites Ken Ham and, so maybe it's on the level. Yikes.

I'm disappointed that they disabled new accounts before I decided to become a contributor. One thing I have noticed is that, despite its name, it's not really about conservatism, but about Christian fundamentalism. I've also noticed that some fundies don't even know that there is a difference, and that some conservatives are not even Christian, let alone fundy, which really tends to bug the hell out of true conservatives. Just check out the "Conservapedia Talk" page at where they tell a "secular conservative" that he's welcome - so long as he obeys the commandments about being pro-Christian, or else he should shut up! He even calls it "devout christian-opedia", although I know plenty of devout Christians who would also disagree with much of the content. It's also amusing to read the infighting. Even the other Christian editors don't like "Assfly" Andrew much! They've noticed that they were blogged by Brayton's Dispatches, and picked up on T.O, but from what I can tell they've been noticed by just about every science blogger by now. No wonder their servers are bogged!

By John Hynes (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

Sorry Mr PZ..
It was me what tried to make a page about you..
I apologise unreservedly. I also editted to Francis Bacon page to add the vital information that he wore hats.

By Donalbain (not verified) on 22 Feb 2007 #permalink

"I'm disappointed that they disabled new accounts before I decided to become a contributor." Posted by: John Hynes

I'm thumbing back through my old lurking accounts to see if I may have one for there. :)

But stereotypes are the best!!!

See, PZ for example... he's "Silly and Unsupported" --> as can be easily concluded from him being a Minnesooooootan, a scientist peddling this silly theory of evolution (wait, it's a "theory") and using French ("Moi?"), which not only makes him silly and unsupported but also evil.

I am German, which makes me inherently efficient, just as evil and well--educated.

So, I love my stereotypes and prejudices!! Please don't take them away... after all, they are our defining features!

By TheJerrylander (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink

At this point the fun's starting to wear off. With more than half their lifetime traffic coming in the last two days, it's probably safe to say that every entry on the site is now a joke edit by a Pharyngula reader, so editing articles to make fun of them is a little pointless. Already all my edits have been vandalised by people who thought I was serious.

Can we still stereotype if we restrict the term to "cf homeschoolers" (for Christian Fundamentalists, of course)? I know a homeschooler whose recent assigned paper on social studies was to take any Bill O'Reilly topic from the last month, research it, and write a paper on why he was right about it.

Is it just me, or is the acronym 'LOL' for 'Love Our Lord' a new low in unintentional self-mockery?

It may just be a coincidence but since I have become aware of conservapedia it seems I can no longer tell the difference between *real* news and parody.

SANTA FE, New Mexico (AP) -- Three CD players hidden under a cathedral's pews blared sexually explicit language in the middle of an Ash Wednesday Mass, leading a bomb squad to detonate two of the devices.

Authorities determined the music players were not dangerous and kept the third one to check it for clues, said police Capt. Gary Johnson.

By Fernando Magyar (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink

Donalbain: Your comment to the effect that you "...also editted to Francis Bacon page to add the vital information that he wore hats." had me gasping for air.

It appears that non sequiturs can actually *add* informational value, when applied to the numb orthodoxy of articles like these.

I'm thinking "dadaesque" -- am I grasping at the wrong term?

Actually, Conservapedia would be a suitable place to post your articles about basic science concepts, old single-topic science articles, and just general facts that are right, e.g. descriptions of phyla or phenomena.

And things like, "The Book of Mormon: a collection of scriptures that are true because it says they are true." Maybe someone would get the hint.

Looking at this entry and the one below it, I have to wonder: does Mr. Jesus/Miranda have a conservapedia page yet? I mean, it would be a shame if some wily atheist were to pretend to be a devout Mirandist and try to start a schism on conservapedia. Maybe edit the current entries (if any) for "Jesus" and "Christianity" to reflect the Mirandist viewpoint...

By MJ Memphis (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink

Speaking of quasi-parody: Tom Tomorrow Posters

What the...?! If the armed forces are going to be volunteer, there probably ought to be some kind of incentive to join. Any financial incentive is going to be more attractive to people who can't get money any other way than to people who have it - so any deal offered is going to be more attractive to the poor than the well-off. What moron would suggest that the offer needs to be equally attractive to all people, regardless of their circumstances or position? Should we rescind all incentives in order to make the offer equally (un)attractive to everyone? No, obviously we need to impose a draft and force people to serve - that's fair, right?

By Caledonian (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink

Is it just me, or is the acronym 'LOL' for 'Love Our Lord' a new low in unintentional self-mockery?

Follow the link... all mockery is quite intentional, and it's not directed at themselves...

By JohnTheOther (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink

I am German, which makes me inherently efficient, just as evil and well--educated.

So, I love my stereotypes and prejudices!! Please don't take them away... after all, they are our defining features!

Posted by: TheJerrylander

I'm half-German and half-French. Every time I walk past a mirror, I wind up yelling at my reflection until I throw my hands in the air and surrender. Let's just say it makes shaving a real pain in the ass.

I suspect that vandalizing this site will only lead to protestations that the Christianists are under attack once again from "intelligent, educated segment of the culture". Of course they are under attack, but I would argue the best way to deal with site is actually to post documents that are scientifically and historically acurate.

The question is: are we trying to entertain ourselves at their expense, or do we want to engage this bubble of ignorance? I especially like the idea that someone above suggested of posting matter-of-fact technical articles on biology and biological evolution. Readable articles, gently linked to from some of the more obviously inane ones on evolution, etc., might expose Christianist teenagers to some shockingly interesting science and would be completely ethically defensible. PZ's "How to Make a Vulva" would be a great example, though it might need a new title to evade detection for any length of time. :-)

Science is very subversive.

factician asked,

These folks are on fire. How do you tell the difference between a sincere nut and a satirist?

Good question. Ed Brayton can't. Before people get in a lather about this, I should say in fairness that Conservapedia is so ScienceBlogged that it took me about ten minutes to get the article revision history and see who wrote what. Here's the quick version. First, "DrShaffopolis" writes an article called "Judicial Activism" which says the following:

There are two major types of judicial activism practiced in the United States' court system:

1. Liberal judges striking down laws that uphold core conservative American values
2. Liberal judges refusing to strike down laws that subvert core conservative American values

The most famous example of this is Roe v. Wade

Then, DrShaffopolis comes over to Pharyngula and confesses (I'd provide a direct hyperlink, but that would trap my comment in the spam filter — anyway, it's #146 in the first Conservapedia thread). Next, "Earwig" (who I also believe is a satirist) adds the following paragraph:

Other examples include Brown v Board of Education which stripped state powers of control over education and put them in the hands of the federal government, McCreary County v. ACLU in which judges stripped free speech and religious freedom from McCreary County and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in which the Supreme Court sided with terrorists over the protection of the United States of America.

Shortly therafter, "Conservinator" appends to this list, "and that case where the judge decided to murder poor Terry Schiavo, just because she was in a wheelchair." Now for the kicker: the project's Fearless Leader, Andrew Schlafly, reverts the article to its previous state, keeping all the additions of DrShaffopolis and Earwig.

In other words, yeah, the stuff Ed Brayton quoted is a joke — but it sure looks like Schlafly is taking it seriously.

The satire has become the object of ridicule; the map is now the territory.

Can we still stereotype if we restrict the term to "cf homeschoolers" (for Christian Fundamentalists, of course)? I know a homeschooler whose recent assigned paper on social studies was to take any Bill O'Reilly topic from the last month, research it, and write a paper on why he was right about it.

Home schooling got you down? Try un-schooling!

Valerie Fitzenreiter's daughter Laurie never spent a day of of her childhood in a traditional classroom. When she was pregnant with Laurie, Valerie read a book called "Summerhill," about a progressive school in England where students were given such a vast amount of freedom they weren't even obligated to go to class. It changed her philosophy on parenting forever.

If Laurie wanted to spend the entire day reading a book or playing computer games, Valerie allowed it.

Via The Story:

Caledonian seems to have no problem with sending the poor to die in wars that make the rich even richer.

I suppose that would make sense. After all, if one sack of delicious meat can buy the deaths of a thousand others, that just means that the first sack of delicious meat was ordained by God to rule over the others. Especially if he inherited his wealth from ancestor sacks of meat who 'stole' it from the thousand stringy ham-hocks.

(The ancestor sack didn't actually pull the wealth directly from the pockets of the thousand stringy ham-hocks. He bullied the thousand into accepting pennies for their work when it was worth dollars. Then he bought a legislator who eliminated the capital gains tax and increased sales and income taxes on the thousand stringy ham-hocks. Then he cut wages. With even more money, he bought more legislators who eliminated the inheritance tax, so the delicious meat sack wouldn't have to pay taxes on ancestor sack's posthumous gift. Delicious meat sack then bought his own legislators to stop funding programs that helped the thousand stringy ham-hocks and their families survive on their meager wages. Then he cut wages. Then he bought more legislators who empowered the police to throw poor debtors into prison. Then he cut wages. Then delicious meat sack threw a few bucks on the street for any poor ham-hock that would leave his family, pick up a weapon, and fly across the world to kill other poor ham-hocks for his amusement and enrichment.)

Dorid said at #36:

This just makes me sick. The worst thing is that there are a lot of kids out there that are going to see this and think it's some sort of reference site.

It's seems to me that there is a growing, if not already desperate, need to formally educate kids on how to use the internet. Does anybody in the education business have any insight on this?

Another example:

When researchers in the Neag School of Education asked 25 seventh-graders from middle schools across the state to review a web site devoted to a fictitious endangered species, the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, the results troubled them ...


Caledonian seems to have no problem with sending the poor to die in wars that make the rich even richer.

Stogoe, I don't think Caledonian is advocating that; the way I read it, he's saying that making the incentive "equally attractive" is a heck of lot more easily said than done. But of course I could be wrong, and he can represent his views far better than I can.

Regarding your lengthy parenthetical comment, I believe what you're describing is called "The Invisible Hand". Heh.

The trick to preventing the rise of merchants so powerful that they can tip the scales of society in their favor is to not purchase their damned meat products in the first place. You can't make an ill-gotten profit if no one will buy your junk.

Unfortunately, all of the self-satisfied middle-class proles were too busy stuffing their faces with meat to be concerned about far-off consequences.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 23 Feb 2007 #permalink



According to Genesis, Adam (Hebrew אָדָם)was the first human being on the planet. The Lord made him out of his own image and loved him even after he disobeyed him. His wife was named Eve.

Adam lived for 960 years. The Bible mentions that Adam and Eve had two children called Cain and Able. According to Jewish tradition they had 56 children, but this is not mentioned in the bible. Christians consider them to be the Mother and Father of the human race, and on that basis they would've had to have had a daughter for Cain or Able to marry so as to ensure that the human race was true to God's command to be fruitful and to muliply throughout the earth. This was not bad or sinful because this was the pre-Flood world. Mutations had not yet begun to degrade the human genetic code.[1]

Retrieved from ""

Francis Bacon
"A scientist during the Age of Exploration who lived from 1561 to 1626 and promoted research based on experimentation. Bacon was, notoriously, a confirmed bachelor throughout his life. He was however, one of the strange bachelors. One who got married. As can be seen from the illustration, Bacon (like most men of his time) had a beard. Despite this, he was known to also wear a hat."

Retrieved from ""

My favourite part is where 'confirmed bachelor' links to.

Stogoe, I don't think Caledonian is advocating that; the way I read it, he's saying that making the incentive "equally attractive" is a heck of lot more easily said than done.

No, what I'm saying is that making the incentive "equally attractive" is a fools' task: it's impossible unless the incentive were abolished completely, and even if it were somehow otherwise possible, it would be utterly undesirable.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 24 Feb 2007 #permalink

Impossible, I agree. But if it somehow were possible, why do you say it's undesirable?

Imagine we instituted a sliding scale, so the more money and resources (education, etc.) a person had available, the more of an incentive they were offered.

If we raised the incentive at the high end of the resource pool, so that relatively wealthy and educated people were as motivated to enter the forces as the poor and dispossessed, it would bankrupt the country utterly to maintain a sizeable force, and it would cause the poor to resent the lives of the wealthy being valued more than their own.

If we lowered the incentive at the low end so that the poor were just as eager to join as the better-off, no one would join. It's a highly unpleasant job even in peacetime under sane commanders - now, no reasonable person would join if they had alternatives with even a fraction of the economic return. We couldn't maintain even a rudimentary force for actual self-defense, much less the forces we'll need just to deal with the endstages of the Iraqi debacle.

There's also the very simple point that no incentive can be equally attractive to all people, and trying to break fundamental laws of reality is not only futile but wrong.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 24 Feb 2007 #permalink

[snort] This one's going around the Internets:


The existence of unicorns is controversial. Secular opinion is that they are mythical. However, they are referred to in the Bible nine times,[1] which provides an unimpeachable de facto argument for their once having been in existence.

In the original texts, unicorns go by the Hebrew name Re-em whereas the Greek Septuagint used the name Monokeros.[2] Unicorn itself is Latin. All three names mean "one horn".

While popularly characterized as a horned member of the horse baramin, it is likely that the unicorn was actually quite unhorselike. One recognized theory is that the unicorn was actually the rhinoceros,[1] however a growing number of Creation researchers are theorizing that the unicorn was actually a member of the ceratopsian baramin.[2]

Post-Noachian references[1] to unicorns have led some researchers to argue that unicorns are still alive today. At the very least, it is likely that they were taken aboard the Ark prior to the Great Flood.

Via sadlyno:

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) can be found in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America. Their habitat lies on the eastern side of the Olympic mountain range, adjacent to Hood Canal. These solitary cephalopods reach an average size (measured from arm-tip to mantle-tip,) of 30-33 cm. Unlike most other cephalopods, tree octopuses are Amphibian, spending only their earliest life stages and mating seasons in their aquatic environment. Because of the moistness of the rainforests and their well designed skin adaptations, they are able to keep from becoming dried out for prolonged periods of time.(Citation Needed)

Does anyone want to 'fess up to this one?

The worst thing is that there are a lot of kids out there that are going to see this and think it's some sort of reference site

AFAIK, most colleges (and high schools) don't accept wikipedia as a bibliograhical source because its articles can be edited by anyone, and may contain inaccurate (or at least unsupported) information. The same reasoning applies here, only several orders of magnitude more so.

Sadly, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus tricked an awful lot of students, according to a recently published study on how unsavvy kids really are with the internet. It was linked to elsewhere on site here, but I don't remember who provided the reference. All the more reason to make critical thinking skills a more overt part of the curriculum. In fact, it is a standard that New York state colleges are now required to assess, but by then it's often too late.

I have the nightmare that world civilization will collapse and that Conservapedia will be among the only preserved records (don't ask how), rather like Isidore of Seville's Etymololgiae in the Dark Ages. In fact, civilization doesn't need to collapse. We are entering the digital dark ages, where sheer excess of information is making people ignorant because there's no way to assimilate it.

How like the medieval monsters the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is. Medieval authors didn't need to have seen these creatures or to track down accounts based on autopsy; they merely needed to cite an authority. Such as, in the case of the Conservapedists, Bill O'Reilly.

To be fair to classical authors, Herodotus believed in giant gold-digging ants in Bactria (modern Afghanistan), where he had never been.

The Etymologiae is often spoken of as the first encyclopedia. Isidore is often inaccurate on Greek and Roman subjects, but definitely superior to the Conservapedists. I haven't said this at Making Light because some of the Lit Hum folks might defend Isidore.