Kangaroos: Behind the Scenes, Part 1
My last post examined the Conservapedia article on Kangaroos. It’s hard to believe that the Conservapedia article could be any funnier, but it is. For that, you have to delve behind the scenes.
Apparently it’s great sport among some non-fundies to go onto Conservapedia and “fix” things. It makes a great spectator sport, too! Let’s start by looking at the kangaroo article Talk Page. There you’ll see creationists debating the finer points of their “theories” among themselves. You’ll also see heckling by non-fundies. Let’s watch!
If the scientific perspective on kangaroo origins is “speculative”, what does that make the religious perspective?
—Nematocyte 05:54, 8 March 2007 (EST)
The Truth, perhaps?
—Dr. Richard Paley 06:45, 8 March 2007 (EST)
I love that one! It’s hysterical!
A lot of the creationist comments on that page are signed by some alleged “doctor” by the name of Richard Paley. There’s no biographical information about this guy. I’d be willing to bet he got his PhD at one of the Bible colleges, many of which are not accredited.
Well, you are welcome to read through those to tease out the evolutionist perspective on kangaroo origins. Personally, I’d rather read through the 7790 peer-reviewed articles on Intelligent Design (which surely puts the lie to the claim of liberals that ID is not science)
—Dr. Richard Paley 06:45, 8 March 2007 (EST)
I took a fast look at that page. It now has 8730 entries! The problem is, most of those appear to have to do with the “intelligent design” of engineering materials and other non-creationist topics! Many of the other articles are debunking intelligent design! “Dr.” Richard Paley doesn’t seem to know how to do research, since many of the articles he points us to are irrelevant or contradict his assertions! Tell you what, “Doctor”! Why don’t you provide us with a list of peer-reviewed articles published in respected, mainstream journals that support your case? Let me know when you find one!
The discussion page then has a lengthy exchange where “Dr.” Richard Paley backpedals on the number of peer-reviewed articles supporting ID. In one case, he even says that he made the statement in jest! (It didn’t look like it was in jest to me.) That particular exchange ends with this:
Incidentally, are you the same Dr. Richard Paley I seem to recall reading an infamous article by extolling the evils of the Mac OS and Pokemon? I thought that was satire.
—Nematocyte 12:22, 8 March 2007 (EST)
For some reason, “Dr.” Paley does not answer the question. But here is where it gets really strange. If you read the next few entries on the Talk page, there is a debate about whether this “Dr.” Paley even exists or is an elaborate hoax! I’ve looked at several of the links, and all I can say is that I’m not sure. If the guy is real, he’s a total kook. If he’s a gag, this is an excellent practical joke!
Further down the page, somebody jokingly suggests that the article include the “theory” that kangaroos were brought to Earth by the “Mothership”. This just leads to an argument between creationists and smart people (It’s actually not a fair fight. It’s like tormenting a tethered dog. But in this case, the dog deserves it!). That argument ends with this exchange:
If some conservatives believe it, we should give it equal time!
(And it’s at least as believable as the idea that they migrated from the Middle East to Australia without ANY getting off along the way.)
—Scrap 04:52, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
So your “suggestion” was just another jab at conservatives. Why are you even here, Scrap? Do you think that Conservapedia is just a dumping ground for your mean-spirited anti-Christian jokes?
—Ashens 05:00, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
Of course it’s not just for me to make bad jokes. It’s also a source of unintentional hilarity, and a terrifying cautionary example of the perils of Groupthink. And I hardly think that was “mean-spirited”, just really silly—I’d have to work mighty hard to out-crazy some of the “serious” posters here.
—Scrap 05:05, 14 March 2007 (EDT)
One poster made this astute observation:
How informational will an encyclopedia be where any animal entry says “As with all animals, Noah brought them all on an ark impossibly small to hold them all… blah blah blah….”
—Truth is bipartisan 20:48, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
And finally, someone asks a question that I mentioned in my article:
How can something be “now native”? […] If you’re going with the tale that they came from the Mid-East, then they are native to the Mid-East (or ideally where they came before the flood, which could be Australia).
—Jrssr5 13:07, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
It’s hard to comprehend how much amusement we’ve managed to squeeze out of one (unbelievably bad) article on kangaroos, but our fun isn’t over yet! Wait until you see what comedy is waiting to be mined from the Article History page! It’s even better than the Talk page. Look for that article in a few days (probably this weekend).