A wiki of lies

A wiki of lies

A wiki of lies

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Dec. 10 2007 11:27 AM

A wiki of lies

I was just informed that there is a Creation Wiki; a community-built encyclopedia much like Wikipedia, but instead full of creationist garbage.

The thing about wikis is, anyone can sign up and start editing them. This is a strength and a weakness of wikis: the obvious weakness is that anyone with an agenda can vandalize (either grossly or subtly) a page, but it's also a strength because the community tends to catch such things. However, one person with a mean streak and time on their hands can effectively ruin a wiki's usefulness.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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So I look at the Creation Wiki somewhat askance; by coming at life from the direction of creationism we already know it's going to distort reality. Looking at the Big Bang section confirmed that suspicion of mine; it has so many errors it would take hours to correct them. The third word of the entry is a lie: they say that the Big Bang is "The main evolutionary theory on the origin of the universe." That's just dumb; evolution has nothing to do with it at all. It's just a buzzword they use to incite the masses. And it's a lie because they simply made it up with no evidence. Sure, people who know evolution to be true tend to also think the same thing about the Big Bang model, but that's because they both really are true. I suspect make people who support evolution also like chocolate chip cookies, but a causal connection might be difficult to establish.

There's plenty more. Here's a classic:

In the unbounded universe of the big bang there is no edge and as such no center. In a bounded universe there is an edge and there is a definite center. As it turns out, there is evidence for such a center and that the Earth is near it.

There is a quantization of galactic redshift.

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There is no evidence at all for a center of the Universe. The quantization of redshifts they mention was disproven years ago; I would actually call this another lie on their part, since the disproof of the redshift quantization has been easily accessible for so long. Interestingly, the very first page result from Google for "quantization redshift" is a familiar site: BAUT. Another return is Wikipedia itself, again showing that this is a bad claim.

There were several dozen other lies mistakes in the Creation Wiki in just that entry. I am loathe to investigate further.

Funny. I'm ambivalent about editing it. I don't have the time, but even if I did, would I do it? I must admit to being torn: I want the correct info to be out there, and I hate to leave such obvious untruths intact. But then there's the practical me: if I change anything, a legion of brainwashed people will change it back. So why bother?

But then I wonder. If I were to make a change, and they re-edit it, they have to leave a reason why (as would I). It might be of very great interest to see what reason they would give...

Still and all, as aggravating as it is, seeing stuff like this hones my resolve to fight willful ignorance even more. I get commenters getting upset at me when I point things like this out, and even more upset that I call it lies. But the thing about being based in reality is, you call things like you see them. And the scales fell from my eyes in this matter long ago.