« | Home | »

Resources for Homeschooling

Tags: | |

Everyone knows that Wikipedia is unreliable, though it’s not clear where the evidence for that knowledge comes from – maybe it’s on the internet somewhere – and a study in Nature a few years ago found that a random selection of science articles on Wikipedia sent out for peer review were nearly as accurate as the Encyclopaedia Britannica. But maybe that simply means that the Britannica isn’t as reliable as we used to think. So where to turn? Where else but Conservapedia, ‘the trustworthy encyclopedia’, started in 2006 by Andy Schlafly – according to Wikipedia, he’s a ‘lawyer, conservative political activist’ and ‘teacher of homeschooling classes’ – as a corrective to the ‘liberal bias’ of Wikipedia. Its list of ‘popular articles’ on the homepage include:

Greatest Conservative Songs (top of the list, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by the Beach Boys, because it’s ‘pro-marriage’)

Jesus Christ (‘the person who changed the world forever with teachings of love and faith, using logical parables like the Prodigal Son that flow from the existence of God’)

The Tea Party Movement (‘an ongoing, nationwide mainstream movement of grassroots protesters, encompassing millions of individuals and thousands of self-organizing groups, all united in accomplishing a single goal: returning fiscal responsibility and limited government to the United States through the exercise of political activism’)

Barack Obama (‘President Obama is the first person having ties to a known former terrorist to gain control over America’s nuclear weapons’)

Homeschooling (‘Homeschooled students make up many of the top college and graduate students in mathematics today’)

Homosexuality (‘Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality is arguably one of the many examples where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time’)

Abortion (‘Abortion always ends the life of the unborn child, typically by dismemberment. Abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, future premature birth, and other long-term health problems for the mother, as detailed below. Sometimes women die from abortion’)

Examples of Bias in Wikipedia (‘Wikipedia does not mention until after 600 words that Jared Loughner, like many Wikipedia editors, is an atheist’)

For some reason the good folks behind Conservapedia are nervous about being hijacked by ‘liberal’ hackers. A couple of years ago the site blamed such ‘political terrorists’ for posting a list of Democratic senators in states with Republican governors and the observation that

If these Senators were unable to complete their terms and were replaced by qualified Republicans by their Republican governors, the Republican Party would regain a commanding majority in the Senate.

The satirical blog Wonkette glossed this as ‘Conservative Wiki Offers Helpful List of Senate Democrats To Assassinate’, but surely only a godless liberal could interpret it that way, and besides the whole thing was a set-up by a liberal conspiracy ‘intent upon, dedicated to, mocking our conservative, Christian-friendly encyclopedia’.

These days, Conservapedia is more careful about who it lets in, not only to edit its pages but even to read them. I don’t know what’s so suspiciously liberal about my browsing behaviour – maybe I shouldn’t have called Conservapedia ‘hilarious yet terrifying’ on Twitter – but I keep being locked out of the site: the only way I can sneak back in is by disguising myself using Tor, but even that doesn’t always work. It seems I’ll just have to go back to homeschooling myself with Wikipedia.

Comments on “Resources for Homeschooling”

  1. Check out their Conservative Bible Project, a rewrite into right-wing American English. If the site won’t let you in this Metafilter thread will do. Sample sentence from one of the ‘translators’: ‘Tentatively using “intellectuals” rather than “Pharisees”.’

  2. Samuel Lisi says:

    Wikipedia includes an interesting article discussing, among other things, the Nature review:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_of_Wikipedia#Comparative_studies

  3. lostlit says:

    Ah, another and future generation of American sociopaths on it’s way.

  4. RogerB says:

    See here for something about Conservapedia and blocking

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • mideastzebra on Swedish-Israeli Tensions: Avigdor Liberman was not foreign minister November 2015.
    • lars hakanson on Exit Cameron: Europe will for good reason rejoice when the UK elects to leave. The country has over the years provided nothing but obstacles to European integration...
    • Michael Schuller on Immigration Scandals: The Home Office is keen to be seen to be acting tough on immigration, although I'm not sure that the wider project has anything to do with real number...
    • Geoff Roberts on What happened in Cologne?: The most surprising thing about the events in Cologne (and the most disturbing) is that some 600 incidents of theft, harrasment and rape were reported...
    • EmilyEmily on What happened in Cologne?: The author's argument is straightforward: Sexual violence is one beast; fears about migrants is another - let's not confuse the two. Alfalfa's poin...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement