Column 15: Open Letter to SharonS, by AmesG

The following letter was first posted on RationalWiki by User:AmesG as a response to certain statements in the L.A. Times article from June 20. It was unsuccessfully attempted to bring this to the attention of the recipient at Conservapedia.

I personally agree completely with the contents of the letter, and am reposting it here to ensure that as many people as possible see it, hopefully including SharonS.

-AKjeldsen/lanfranc

– – – – –

 

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by petty statesmen…
Whoso would be a Man must be a nonconformist…

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Dear SharonS,

I saw the quote attributed to you in the LA Times today. Of course we knew instantly it was you; your interests are fairly unique, and we’re not as dumb as we look. However, some of your statements saddened me. I would like to take the time to address what I feel are misconceptions about the RationalWiki and Conservapedia projects. I thank you, in advance, for your time in reading this. I write this only because I care about the education that you are receiving through Conservapedia, and as an American and a man of some education, there is nothing that I consider more important than the proper education of those younger than myself.

I.

First, I apologize for the vandalism attacks on Conservapedia. I can say categorically that I have no hand in them myself. I can also say that this site is not the launching point of the more recent or persistent ones. Certainly there is a small vandal group here, but that is not all this website is. As a smart person, I am sure you can see past that small facade into the rest of the goals of the project.

II.

Because it always bears repeating, I want to enumerate again the goals of this project and of the Conservapedia “resistance.” We are not pushing an ideology. We are not pushing a world-view. We are not suppressing faith. We respect faith. However, we do not respect the use of ideology and shallow Biblical literalism to confine the world to a narrow frame of reference, ignoring all of the contrasts and questions that otherwise enrich life, and we do not respect the same shallow literalism, which also confines faith in too narrow a frame of reference. We will continue to spend our time resisting those evils.

Here is the problem. At Conservapedia, you are getting one perspective, and one perspective only. Worse, you are being sectioned off from anything that might challenge you. You are isolated from controversy and told that, where debate exists, the answers have been solved in black and white in your favor. But the world is much more complicated than that: so little is black and white in the world, and most of the great questions of our day are shades of gray. And these shades are what make life compelling, and interesting. By shielding you from the shades of gray, and teaching you only one perspective, Mr. Schlafly is doing you a great disservice. For the mind to grow, it must be exposed to shades of gray. Not only are you not learning; you’re also not learning how to learn! To become a full person, you must grapple with dissent, and all of the myriad complexity of the world, with full academic freedom.

III.

You said in your interview that RationalWiki seeks your destruction. We do not seek your destruction; rather, we seek your growth, and the growth of all of humanity through free academic discourse. But we are in favor of some forms of destruction. In brief, insofar as we seek the destruction of barriers to free learning, we do seek Conservapedia’s destruction. Insofar as we seek the destruction of ideologies that discourage free thought, the exchange of ideas, and valuable learning (God’s gift to Man), we do seek the destruction of Conservapedia. Insofar as we seek the destruction of groups that abuse religion to force a political agenda and keep their followers willfully blind to the world around themselves, we seek the destruction of Conservapedia.

However, we do not seek the destruction of Christianity or Christian beliefs. Religion is a powerful force for good. When followed as God intends it, it impels the human spirit forwards to great heights of charity and grace. The truly devout and truly religious do great things in this world. However, no good is ever accomplished by suppressing independent thought, or by approaching the world from a narrow perspective which assumes the preferred outcome. Rather, that is the great evil of all of human history. I will always encourage religion in its pure, unadulterated sense, but where religion goes too far – in seeking to control public policy or redefine science – religion harms those disciplines and itself. We at RationalWiki, as members of the scientific community of freethinking adults, seek to separate religion from science and politics not for the preservation of science and politics, and the hindrance of religion, but rather for the protection of religion, science, and politics jointly and severally. Only when the mind approaches the world free of religious agenda can the mind be free, and only when religion confines itself to the truly spiritual can it reach the levels of transcendence of which it is capable.

IV.

To conclude, I urge you to look beyond Conservapedia, and beyond what you have read before, and read what you have not. I urge you to challenge yourself: pick up an “evolutionist” textbook, and wrestle with the text and the ideas it contains. Pick up a volume on Christian history, or a volume of early Christian theology, and see how St. Augustine of Hippo himself spoke against unifying religion and science. Read about other religions. Read about other countries, and other lifestyles. Expand yourself’, and see how you think of the world afterwards. If, after all is said and done, you remain firm in your convictions, then your convictions will be firmer for the testing. But if they have changed…

V.

Please feel free to write to any of us at RationalWiki. I can answer any questions you have about the law, society, Christian history, and ancient history. My e-mail is Ames@NYU.edu. Many other people are willing to help you, too. You have only to ask. We have nothing to hide.

AmesG 00:46, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

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85 Responses to “Column 15: Open Letter to SharonS, by AmesG”


  1. 1 Johnson June 21, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    The fact that Andy deleted the letter speaks volumes.

  2. 2 Flippin June 21, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    That’s because Andy writes volumes; he doesn’t read them.

    I’ll say again, I really enjoyed reading this letter and, like Ames, feel genuinely saddened by the quality of this young person’s education through the CP lens. How difficult it must be to think, at 15, that people in the world want to destroy the metric by which you understand the world. I am heartened by the fact that she is young and still has time to make up her mind. However, it pains me to think that people like Andy, Karajou, TK and RobS are her guides. In fact,that really scares me.

    Their view of the universe, divinely inspired and yet plagued by doubters and non-believers, can do nothing to develop confidence in this young person.

    The fact that people there wanted to hide his words from her should tell her a little bit about who she’s dealing with. I wish her the very best.

  3. 3 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I think there are two things at work, depending on Andy’s level of sincerity and belief.
    1) He truly believes it to be the work of Satan through intermediaries, attempting to deceive and lure away youngsters from Christ.
    2) It erodes his power and takes away from his charismatic leadership which is partly inspired by fear of everything not-Andy.

  4. 4 Flippin June 21, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Well said. The first is compelling and the second is humorous. (How’s that for sucking the life out of your joke?) I believe your first comment is exactly what SharonS is talking about. Reminds me of the Old Deluder Satan Law [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Education_Laws]

    At any rate, I think picking fights with Jim Jones may not be the best use of my time. Or, as one of my English students wrote in his eval: “This class was a wast of my tim.”

  5. 5 conservative June 21, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Dear AmesG,

    You wrote:

    “However, we do not seek the destruction of Christianity or Christian beliefs. Religion is a powerful force for good. When followed as God intends it, it impels the human spirit forwards to great heights of charity and grace.”

    At conservapedia you said you were an agnostic. In the sentence above, you speak of God as if He is self-evident. Well so much for sincerity.

    Lastly, you wrote to someone who is supposedly the real Richard Dawkins at Wikipedia and asked for assistance as can be seen here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:RichardDawkins

    I just wanted to let you know that Richard Dawkins is assisting in the Theory of evolution article at Conservapedia.

    I cite the following:

    According to Stephen Gould, biologists Daniel Dennet and Richard Dawkins, who hold to a classic Darwinian gradualism view of the theory of evolution, trivialized the importance of the theory of punctuated equilibrium. [74] Dawkins called the theory of punctuated equilibrium a “an interesting but minor wrinkle on the surface of Neo-Darwinism theory”. Dennet went farther and stated that the theory of punctuated equilibrium was a “a false-alarm revolution that was largely if not entirely in the eyes of the beholders.” [75]

    By the way, how do you like the statements below about Stephen Jay Gould who was one of the leading evolutionary scientists in the respect to the history of science?

    In 1995, an essay in the New York Review of Books by John Maynard Smith, a noted evolutionary biologist who is considered the dean of British neo-Darwinists, wrote the following regarding Gould’s work:

    “ The evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his [Gould’s] work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists. All this would not matter, were it not that he is giving non biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory.” [64][65] ”

    Robert Wright, wrote in 1996 that, “among top-flight evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pest—not just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped the public’s understanding of Darwinism.” [66]

    How do you like those comments about Stephen Gould who was one of the leading evolutionary scientist in the respect to the history of science?

  6. 6 Diabhal June 21, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Wonder which site those quotes were cut and pasted from?

  7. 7 conservative June 21, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    I have a question. Who decided on the name RationalWiki? I wanted to complement them on the pretentious name that very well might doom the website. I think the name RationalWiki is reminiscent of Dawkins supporting the “Brights movement” which even some atheists thought was a wrongheaded idea. (see: http://www.csicop.org/doubtandabout/brights/ ).

    I also want to commend those inviduals who decided that this Wiki was not going to be an encyclopedia. I am sure a lot of thought went into this decision. I suppose you believe that hords of people like reading unsourced material about topics written by anonymous individuals. Afterall, your “evolution” article gets less than 20 hits a day! If you decided to having a sourcing rule after I posted this comment I would find the irony delicious since many at “Rational”Wiki are not exactly fond of me.

  8. 8 Flippin June 21, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    No, but thats onaccounta you outsmarts us all the time.

    Seriously though, let’s talk about this:

    “Religion is a powerful force for good. When followed as God intends it, it impels the human spirit forwards to great heights of charity and grace.”

    At conservapedia you said you were an agnostic. In the sentence above, you speak of God as if He is self-evident. Well so much for sincerity.”

    I think the disconnect for you comes from the fact that Ames meant to be respectful of your belief in a god-myth. I did not understand his comment to mean that he accepted the YEC version of Christ who likes Puddle of Mud and the Newsboys. Religion, historically, has been an awful blight on our progress as a society. However, for individuals, it can have positive effects.

    I think the real issue is you didn’t understand, or refused to understand his point of view.

  9. 9 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Back up everyone…did you say RICHARD DAWKINS is helping you on your pet essay on evolution????

  10. 10 conservative June 21, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Flippin,

    Perhaps you thought that was a masterful rebuttal. Please do not be disappointed if a internet atheist/agnostic revival does not ensue though. I am glad that AmesG is studying law though because I feel your defense was rather lacking.

  11. 11 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Hold on, folks, don’t change the subject. Ken just said that Dawkins is helping with his Evo article….

  12. 12 conservative June 21, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    PalMD,

    I said Dawkins was assisting and gave a citation to a quote within Conservapedia TOE article. I did not say that Dawkins was directly assisting. If Dawkins wants to sign up though at Conservapedia and write about the punctuated equilibrium position I certainly might enjoy that.

  13. 13 conservative June 21, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    PalMD,

    By the way, over 25,000 students go to the State U of NY at Buffalo and the public in the Buffalo metropolitan area has free access to their internet terminals also. I think you are going to have to obtain a lot more evidence before you can confidently call me Ken as I have stated at Conservapedia.

    Any further questions See: http://www.conservapedia.com/Talk:Theory_of_evolution/Archive_6

  14. 14 Tmtoulouse June 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    haha, Ken you are such a tool.

  15. 15 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Sorry, if you have a different “name” that you prefer, just let us know. Everyone knows my name, where I work, etc, since Andy pretty much made me tell him before trashing all my work.

  16. 16 conservative June 21, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Tmtoulouse,

    I guess you are not a skeptic or if you are it is only when it is convenient. Since when has merely editing at the same large university been sufficient evidence to establish someone’s identity – especially when the university has a open access policy when it comes to the public at large?

  17. 18 MyaR June 21, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    I suppose you believe that hords of people like reading unsourced material about topics written by anonymous individuals.

    I think you have your wikis confused here. Last time I checked, “Conservative” was not an actual name. And it’s spelled ‘hordes’.

    And way to backpedal on Dawkins’ assistance!

  18. 19 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Wait, Cons, take a step back. Ambiguity has crept in. Have you in some way communicated with Dawkins? Email? Received suggestions via email?

  19. 20 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I only mention this because if it is true, it is interesting, and if it is false…
    Anyway, it would be a big deal if he were helping out, although, personality-wise, that is a Gould thing to do. Maybe you’re channeling him?

  20. 21 Todd Larason June 21, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=190177&page=2
    * Occam’s Aftershave: Ken DeMyer is banned from TWEB
    * kdbuffalo: Occam’s wrong, I’m not banned from TWEB
    * conclusion: kdbuffalo is Ken DeMyer

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?s=04c3c23eb45a9164bfba50654184fcf4&t=68727&page=2
    * Ken DeMyer: I have the username ‘creationist’ on CreationWiki
    * conclusion: kdbuffalo = Ken DeMyer = creationwiki:User:Creationist

    http://creationwiki.org/index.php?title=David_Eddy&diff=prev&oldid=78019
    * Creationist copied material he ‘wrote elsewhere’
    * material identical to http://www.conservapedia.com/David_Eddy written by Conservative
    * conclusion: kdbuffalo = Ken DeMyer = Creationist = Conservative

  21. 22 Flippin June 21, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    “masterful rebuttal?” who talks like that? Nice going, Ken. touche

  22. 23 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    I hear crickets. I still want an answer about Dawkins.

  23. 24 Flippin June 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I think he “told the truth and ran.”

  24. 25 PalMD June 21, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    BTW, the link to the Evo archive Ken, er, Cons gave is all my explaining PE vs Gradualism to him. Pat self on back.

  25. 26 lanfranc June 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Without so much as a Godspeed or a Parthian Shot. I’d have expected better. *shakes head*

    -AK

  26. 27 conservative June 22, 2007 at 12:30 am

    Todd Larason,

    You haven’t shown that kendemyer at TWEB is Ken DeMyer. You also haven’t shown that kdbuffalo at the infidels forum really was kendemyer at TWEB. It is common for skeptics to claim that Paul or Peter did not write such and such New Testament book but they were written by others who assumed their name (despite evidence to the contrary) yet you offer no proof in the way of your above claims. The true skeptics at RationalWiki still won’t believe.

    By the way, I am not sure that the Richard Dawkins at Wikipedia is really Richard Dawkins.

    PalmMD,

    I haven’t contacted Richard Dawkins.

  27. 28 conservative June 22, 2007 at 12:37 am

    By the way, I did notice the lack of defense for the name RationalWiki and the choice to not make it a encyclopedia. It seems as if there is a lack of enthusiasm to defend the notion that people actually want to read unsourced articles written by anonymous people. Could the lack of any real traffic to your evolution article be the reason for the lack of enthusiasm or am I totally off base here?

  28. 29 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 12:49 am

    The Dawkins at WP is apparently real, although he has made no contributions under that username. According to TPTB on his talk page, they did confirm his identity, for what it’s worth.

    I’m not sure whats up your tushie about the name RW. I’m not really sorry that you don’t like it. I’m personally agnostic about it. I have no idea if people want to read what we are developing there–it’s way to soon to know. As to sources, you will see many articles under development. If you delve into the patent medicine/pseudosciences section, you will find decent citations. More to come.

  29. 30 conservative June 22, 2007 at 1:08 am

    PalMD,

    I wasn’t impressed by your pseudoscience articles in terms of citations or quality of articles.

    Secondly, I have my doubts that the name RationalWiki was evenly remotely tested in terms of its appeal and consequences. I would have to say the same regarding the “Bright Movement”. By the way, given that Richard Dawkins and the “Brights” are so vehement regarding their rationality I find their likely lack of testing in regards to rebranding atheists via the name “Brights” quite amusing.

  30. 31 Aziraphale June 22, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Seriously, why are you people feeding the troll? You’ve seen him in action for months, has this ever been satisfying?

    Or is this philosophical bear-baiting? Who gets to be the dog?

  31. 32 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Oh well…maybe some day I can create articles as good as yours on Evolution.

  32. 33 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 2:25 am

    BTW, you may contribute all you wish to my, er, our articles…and if your edits conform to my preconceived, uncited opinions, I’ll let them stay.

  33. 34 conservative June 22, 2007 at 2:41 am

    PalMD,

    I don’t believe I will join and edit RationalWiki for two reasons:

    1. I don’t believe that my material will be read by many. I have the opportunity to contribute to some high traffic websites regarding material I am interested in so RationalWiki does not have much allure.

    2. I don’t believe I would be treated fairly and I believe I would be blocked.

    I also believe that my material wouldn’t pass the RationalWiki idealogical litmus test. I don’t think for example, RationalWiki would put this material in their evolution article although it is completely true and verifiable:

    In 1995, an essay in the New York Review of Books by John Maynard Smith, a noted evolutionary biologist who is considered the dean of British neo-Darwinists, wrote the following regarding Gould’s work:

    “ The evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his [Gould’s] work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists. All this would not matter, were it not that he is giving non biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory.” [64][65]

  34. 35 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 2:46 am

    I think you are correct about lack of traffic, for now. I think you are right about the evo essay, although your example is limited. I think you are wrong about being blocked. I invite you to write a concise essay on a topic of your choice, such as a brief explanation of Creationism, that could be posted as a good explanation from the Creationist perspective. I do not mean to create an evo article with creationism in it, as i dont think it’s relevant, however, creationism is very relevant in american culture. We have one small article on it, but could use a better one from a creationist perspective.
    I can guarantee that the talk page will rapidly fill with disagreement. That’s a good thing: no 90/10 rule, and it helps everyone understand the topics. As we do not strive to be WP or Liberalpedia, feel free to come by an illuminate. Fiat Lux!

  35. 36 conservative June 22, 2007 at 2:50 am

    PalMD,

    Why don’t you prove me wrong and put the above John Maynard Smith quote in the RationalWiki evolution article. If you did put the John Maynard Smith quote in the evolution article how long do you think it would stay?

  36. 37 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Well, give me a useful context for it. Other than being an interesting footnote in the debate over PE and Gradualism, and petty fights between academics, give me a good suggested context that helps illuminate the topic of evolution. I’m not real interested in the personalities of the scientists involved. We could have an article on SJG or something…any ideas?

  37. 38 conservative June 22, 2007 at 2:53 am

    I just say your last post. In regards to your invitation why don’t you see how friendly RationalWiki is to the facts first and put in the John Maynard quote above. I don’t want to edit a Wiki that is not friendly to the facts.

  38. 39 conservative June 22, 2007 at 2:53 am

    re: previous post

    say = saw

  39. 40 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Well, as i said, give me a recommended context. I just looked at the article and it doesn’t really talk about academic feuds and such. Any ideas?

  40. 41 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 3:00 am

    BTW, if you want to use my Namespace to start sandboxing, let me know…ill make a nice corner for you.

  41. 42 conservative June 22, 2007 at 3:01 am

    PalMD,

    I don’t believe it is merely a petty fight among academics. Here is what a journalist said and if memory serves the journalist has a specialty in science reporting:

    Robert Wright, wrote in 1996 that, “among top-flight evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pest—not just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped the public’s understanding of Darwinism.” [66]

  42. 43 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 3:03 am

    Like I said, if you can find an interesting context, id be happy to put it in. For instance, if I were writing an article on Pulmonary Embolism, and someone said, “Kim Eagle is really just a senile old crow, and not very influential in the field”, I would say, “Gee, that’s interesting. How does this affect the diagnosis and treatment of Pulmonary Embolism?”
    So, I ask, how does the above quote help understand evolution? Give me a nice context.

  43. 45 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 3:10 am

    Well, if you want, i’ll give you some suggestions. Im not sure what your point is, but perhaps you could write an article about scientific controversies in evolution. It will require quite a bit of research, but will be interesting. I think your quote still might not fit in well, as it is the opinion stated by a journalist, but there are some very interesting debates in the field.

  44. 46 Tmtoulouse June 22, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Ken, just out of curiosity, to view conservapedia as one of those “high traffic” sites? Just how many people do you think are reading your..ummm….diatribe on evolution?

  45. 47 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Im still kinda waiting here. Well, maybe when i wake up, the article fairy will have left something in my name space.

  46. 48 Gulik3 June 22, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Conservative: Project Much?

  47. 49 MyaR June 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Seriously, what does Gould have to do with the RW article on evolution? He was a popularizer of evolutionary biology writing for laymen. He’s not mentioned anywhere in the article. So why, exactly, is the quote of science journalist (not a scientist) about someone who’s not really all that relevant to the article required inclusion from your perspective?

  48. 50 lanfranc June 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Indeed, Mya. And, for that matter, what does all this have to do with AmesG’s Open Letter in the first place? It’s an interesting discussion, and I urge everyone to keep it up, but I’m just a little confused why it’s happening here of all places.
    -AK

  49. 51 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I looked back. Conservative somehow managed to bring up the topic in his response to the letter. As usual, Im not quite smart enough to follow his reasoning.

  50. 52 serious liberal June 22, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Having read this thread, what I don’t quite understand is why Conservative should be so surprised that there is debate in science. Science is very much about debate and the exchange of ideas. Of course there’s disagreement. There’s supposed to be disagreement. That’s where it’s different from religion, where (in theory) all the stuff was written down thousands of years ago and doesn’t change.

  51. 53 Trashbat June 22, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Wow, that got off topic pretty fast.

  52. 54 MyaR June 22, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Is it really off-topic? I think ‘serious liberal’ has the key here to the connection between Ames’ letter and Cons seeming off-topicness. It’s the problem of authoritarianism — if you’re a fundamentalist, debate is inherently wrong, and weakens your position, if not invalidating it, because you’re not obeying some ‘authority’. The problem is, science doesn’t have an authority to appeal to, other than evidence and reason. (Luther said we need to quash our reason. He also said ‘shit’ a lot, so I’ve always disregarded it — after all, my Lutheran parents taught me that saying ‘shit’ was bad. Unless you were swearing at the cows.)

  53. 55 Anonymous June 22, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    PalMD,

    I think your ideology is getting in the way of putting a reasonable quote regarding the theory of punctuated equilibrum. This is exactly why I do not wish to join RationalWiki. The prize winning journalist Robert Wright (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wright_(journalist) said among “top flight biologist” so your objection that he is merely a journalist doesn’t hold much water. Plus John Maynard Smith said he spoke to his colleages. Plus there is Dawkins and Dennet.

    HERE IS MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:

    Show me some highly regarded biolgist who have spoken highly of the punctuated equilibrium theory.

  54. 56 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    The last post was from me.

  55. 57 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    re: the PE post

    biolgist = biologists

  56. 58 PALmd June 22, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I am not disagreeing that your statement might be interesting, it just doesn’t fit into the article as it is now, given there is no mention really of PE/Gradualism.

  57. 59 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Tmtoulouse,

    I don’t think you demonstated that the article on the theory of evolution was a diatribe. Why are you throwing out a accusation without supporting it. Is it because you are unreasonable? Where exactly is diatribe like language used in the article?

    Secondly, here is a partial answers to how many people are reading the theory of evolution article at Conservapedia:

    June 17, 2007 at 8:50PM

    Conservapedia has over 11,700 educational, clean, and concise entries, including more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 12,500,000 page views and over 194,000 page edits. This site is growing rapidly.

    Main Page‎ [1,030,724]
    Hubble Ultra Deep Field‎ [559,615]
    Aesthetics‎ [181,781]
    Examples of Bias in Wikipedia‎ [180,186]
    Unicorn‎ [135,538]
    Celestial Body‎ [135,307]
    Astrolabe‎ [134,236]
    George W. Bush‎ [127,912]
    Theory of evolution‎ [120,210]

    June 22, 2007 at 4:30PM

    Conservapedia has over 12,050 educational, clean, and concise entries, including more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 12,800,000 page views and over 200,000 page edits. This site is growing rapidly.

    Main Page‎ [1,072,859]
    Hubble Ultra Deep Field‎ [559,638]
    Aesthetics‎ [181,802]
    Examples of Bias in Wikipedia‎ [181,359]
    Unicorn‎ [135,795]
    Celestial Body‎ [135,314]
    Astrolabe‎ [134,247]
    George W. Bush‎ [130,705]
    Theory of evolution‎ [124,216]
    Conservapedia:Index‎ [84,504]

  58. 60 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    PalMD,

    Are you going to accept my challenge?

    HERE IS MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:

    Show me some highly regarded biolgist who have spoken highly of the punctuated equilibrium theory.

  59. 61 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    re: last post

    biolgist = biologists

  60. 62 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    PalMD,

    Will you post this material at RationalWiki which comes from Conservapedia’s theory of evolution article?

    William R. Corliss is a well respected cataloger of scientific anomalies and the science journal New Scientist had an article which focused on Mr. Corliss’s career as a cataloger of scientific anamolies. [164] In addition, Mr. Corliss wrote 13 books for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) several works for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). [165] Mr. Corliss has catalogued scores of anomalies which challenge the old earth geology paradigm.[166][167]

    By the way, Corliss estimates the number of geological anomalies which he has cataloged that challenge the old earth paradigm to be around 100. By the way, Corliss does not take a position on the creation/evolution controversy and claims to be undecided on the issue.

  61. 63 PalMD June 22, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Ok, now you’re just getting goofy. If you want to put together something about PE, great, but it’s just not all that relevant. I am not even going to touch anything about your YEC crap…bringing it up is an instance of Demeyers Law: Anyone who brings YEC into an argument requires no further serious consideration and is considered to have lost the argument.”

  62. 64 conservative June 22, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    TO: PalMD

    I just added the above material to CP. I just proofread it and here is the improved version although I highly suspect you are not l to add this material and make RationalWiki a rational wiki in regards to the origins issue:

    William R. Corliss is a well respected cataloger of scientific anomalies and the science journal New Scientist had an article which focused on Mr. Corliss’s career as a cataloger of scientific anamolies. [164] In addition, Mr. Corliss wrote 13 books for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and has also written several works for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).[165] Mr. Corliss has cataloged scores of anomalies which challenge the old earth geology paradigm.[166][167]

  63. 65 conservative June 22, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    PalMD,

    Why am I getting goofy? I do think it is reasonable that if you contend that PE is supported that you cite some biologists who support it?

    Secondly, I will leave you and the other for now to your obscurity.

    Here is the Alexa traffic for the Conservapedia Column:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/User:Conservative/cpctraffic

  64. 66 Tmtoulouse June 22, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t think you actually understand much about Alexa, or mediawiki statistics.

  65. 67 MyaR June 22, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Regardless of understanding, a lot of those pageviews are from people of the ‘gawking at the lunatics in the asylum’ sort. (Historical reference, not accusing CP’ers of being actual lunatics. Supporters of loony ideas, sure.)

  66. 68 serious liberal June 22, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I’m a subscriber to New Scientist so I went looking for the famous Mr Corliss. The biggest article I could find was a book review dated 1992 which begins:

    “Here is the lowdown on human tails, just in case you should ever come across one. ‘Human tails are generally only a few inches long, seldom more than four inches . . . mostly conical in shape, rarely cylindrical . . . the entire tail may be twisted like that of the pig. Some tails are hairy, being compared to a cow’s tail; sometimes they are quite smooth.’
    Stories about human tails may sometimes be tall but they are invariably sweet. In parts of the East Indies, so one story goes, the seats of native canoes were once equipped with holes – through which the tails of the oarsmen could comfortably dangle. Welcome to the world of anomalies.”

    There is another page or so about the book. I guess we make our own decisions. (The New Scientist search function is not that good though and there may be another kinder article.)

  67. 69 conservative June 23, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Serious liberal,

    Conservapedia has an article on William Corliss located here: http://www.conservapedia.com/William_R._Corliss

    Here is an excerpt of that article along with the citation:

    “The science journal New Scientist had an article which focused on Mr. Corliss’s career. [2]”

    Adrian Hope, Finding a Home for Stray Fact, New Scientist, July 14, 1977, p. 83

  68. 70 conservative June 23, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Tmtoulouse,

    Here is what RationalWiki states on its main page near the very top of the page:

    “Welcome to RationalWiki! Stay for a while, and read about the anti-science movement’s latest home on the internet.”

    It seems as if one of the main impetuses for the creation of RationalWiki is that the individuals didn’t like criticism of the evolutionary position and didn’t like the abortion article either.

    So now that the people of RationalWiki have their own website what do they do? They create a unsourced article on the topic of “evolution” that few people want to read (only 451 views). They also create an abortion article with only one footnote that few people want to read (109 views). I find the irony delicious.

  69. 71 PalMD June 23, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Yawn…just keep putting that same paragraph everywhere, troll.

  70. 72 conservative June 23, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    PalMD,

    Yawn…Two places is everywhere? Why the gross exaggeration troll?

    There are people so addicted to exaggeration they can’t tell the truth without lying. ~Josh Billings

  71. 73 Trashbat June 23, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    It’s not surprising that the CP version of the Theory of Evolution article has so many page views. It’s hilarious.

  72. 74 Tmtoulouse June 23, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    The thing you have to realize about the page views on the Evolution page at CP is that about 80 percent of them came from the initial blog push a few months ago when everyone was laughing at it. Another 15 percent came from the period of time where everyone was trying to edit it into a real article not Conservative’s masturbatory fantasy. Once everyone went away no one is really looking at the page.

    Rationalwiki is not a replacement for Wikipedia, unlike Conservapedia is trying to be. So certain informational only topics like Evolution are not our “bench mark” pieces and we recommend people probably goto WP for that. Our strengths lie in other places, usually commentary and analysis that can not be done on WP. We have several good articles highlighting that. There really isn’t any wiki like ours out there at the moment that I am aware of. As such we are blazing a trail for something new that will rise or fail on its own. Our success or failure is defined VERY differently than anything CP or WP does. In fact, we could be a complete success with only a 100 or so really solid commentaries on pseudoscience and other bullshit.

    On the other hand, Conservapedia is nothing but a copy of the “idea” of Wikipedia and is being set up as an “alternative.” This means that the success of Conservapedia is inherently defined by its relative comparison to Wikipedia. Any comparison that can be made between the two makes Conservapedia nothing. The breadth, depth and quality of the articles at CP is nowhere even CLOSE to being even a small percentage of what Wikipedia is. Also “viewership”, well just do a comparison on that alexa you love so much conservative.

    Therefore, at this point Rationalwiki is moving along fine towards its goals and by any measure of success benchmarks I am pretty happy. Conservapedia? The only thing you can do there is completely redefine what your original goals were. Other than a handful of people in small corners of the States, no one will ever turn to it as a serious resource. Every time you are mentioned in the same breath as Wikipedia people laugh.

    So your attempts to belittle our work are rather silly, we are not, and never wanted to be an encyclopedia. That was NEVER even a moments thought. We are something new……….CP is just recycled bullshit warmed over the YEC neo-con world view.

  73. 75 PalMD June 23, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    But what about Gould? Some columnist didn’t like him…doesn’t that invalidate evolution???

  74. 76 conservative June 24, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Tmtoulouse,

    Why are you so vague about RationalWiki’s so called accomplishments? You didn’t cite any specific articles.

    Secondly, the flow of visitors to the conservapedia theory of evolution article is respectable and has been respectable.

    Here is an approximate one day change in tally totals from June 22 to June 23rd:

    June 22, 2007 at 4:30PM

    Conservapedia has over 12,050 educational, clean, and concise entries, including more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 12,800,000 page views and over 200,000 page edits. This site is growing rapidly.

    Main Page‎ [1,072,859]
    Hubble Ultra Deep Field‎ [559,638]
    Aesthetics‎ [181,802]
    Examples of Bias in Wikipedia‎ [181,359]
    Unicorn‎ [135,795]
    Celestial Body‎ [135,314]
    Astrolabe‎ [134,247]
    George W. Bush‎ [130,705]
    Theory of evolution‎ [124,216]
    Conservapedia:Index‎ [84,504]
    Retrieved from “http://www.conservapedia.com/Special:Statistics”

    June 23, 2007 at 9:45PM

    Conservapedia has over 12,100 educational, clean, and concise entries, including more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 12,900,000 page views and over 202,000 page edits. This site is growing rapidly.

    Most viewed pages
    Main Page‎ [1,078,498]
    Hubble Ultra Deep Field‎ [559,644]
    Aesthetics‎ [181,809]
    Examples of Bias in Wikipedia‎ [181,532]
    Unicorn‎ [135,865]
    Celestial Body‎ [135,315]
    Astrolabe‎ [134,248]
    George W. Bush‎ [130,979]
    Theory of evolution‎ [124,764]
    Conservapedia:Index‎ [84,896]
    Retrieved from “http://www.conservapedia.com/Special:Statistics”
    Retrieved from “http://www.conservapedia.com/User:Conservative/running_stats”

    Here is an earlier snapshot:

    May 14, 2007 at 7pm

    Main Page ‎(919,227 views)
    Theory of evolution ‎(110,346 views)
    Young Earth Creationism ‎(13,982 views)

    May 16, 9:55 PM

    Total website: over 11,300,000 page views
    Main Page ‎(929,070 views)
    Hubble Ultra Deep Field ‎(559,368 views)
    Aesthetics ‎(181,624 views)
    Examples of Bias in Wikipedia ‎(176,029 views)
    Celestial Body ‎(135,245 views)
    Unicorn ‎(134,653 views)
    Astrolabe ‎(134,119 views)
    George W. Bush ‎(124,436 views)
    Theory of evolution ‎(111,105 views)
    Young Earth Creationism ‎(14,129 views)

  75. 77 Tmtoulouse June 24, 2007 at 3:04 am

    I am vague because this is all ready pearls before swine.

    So if you are lucky you get about 500 a day? Compared to 5,000 a day at WP.

  76. 78 Anonymous June 24, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Tmtoulouse,

    Do you mean “already” instead of “all ready”?

    Secondly, how do you know that WP gets 5,000 hits a day for their “evolution” article? Can you offer any proof that WP gets 5,000 hits a day?

  77. 79 Conservative June 24, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    The last post was from Conservative

  78. 80 Tmtoulouse June 24, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Take your spelling or grammar corrections and shove them up whatever orifice is most oppressed at the moment.

    The evidence is easy to find for anyone who is not working with a room temperature IQ.

  79. 81 PalMD June 25, 2007 at 12:55 am

    Kelvin, centigrade, or farenheit?

  80. 82 Tmtoulouse June 25, 2007 at 1:01 am

    I am sure conservative is well with in the range between centigrade and fahrenheit.

  81. 83 PalMD June 25, 2007 at 1:19 am

    sounds bout right…i hope its true, cuz otherwise he’s just a poor, deluded, annoying ass.

  82. 84 AmesG July 7, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Dude, I just noticed this post here. I hadn’t been reading the Column :-O. SORRY! But Conservative, I’m so glad that my letter pissed you off so much. Awesome. Reply later.

  83. 85 Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Is AmesG really Ken?


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