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A New-fangled Xtian Urban Legend?


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I do not have internet access at my house, and so I usually go to my (still evangelical lutheran) folk's house to use their computer. This weekend, I was looking up a few things in Wikipedia that I wanted to know a bit more about, a few people that were famous before my time, DVD resolution standards, etc. Nothing earth shattering or for any term papers. My mother walked in and saw that I was on Wiki and just bluntly said, "Oh, don't you know that Wikipedia is just someone's opinion, and is completely inaccurate"?

 

Now, I am aware that Wiki is a user update-able website, and that errors can apear in an article. But for the vast majority of my querries, I have found almost no misinformation, and when I have incountered some dubious content, there has been a flag to tell me this information is in dispute.

 

So, I showed my mother the bottom of the page I was on and told her that there are usually ample references and external links you can go to for further research.

 

"Well, those references could be wrong. Wikipedia is just someone's opinion, it can't be confirmed."

 

I just shrugged her off at that point, why argue, but later that night my sis and I were on Wiki yet again and my dad comes into the room and says almost the exact same thing as my mother did earlier. Kind of as a joke, I asked "Where did you guys hear this, at church"? and got silence from both my mom and dad. My sister chimed in at this point and said how she had used Wiki for term papers and it was accepted by her professors, but that she never used it as a sole source of reference.

 

"But it is just someone's opinion, there is no facts to back up what they say." my dad said, and when the citations and references were shown to him, he blew them off in the same manner as my mother.

 

My question is this: Could they be hearing this from their church? I looked up xtainity in Wiki and the entry does not seem to be critical of it. But could xtians be feeling threatened by Wiki for some reason, and thus decided that discrediting it from the get-go is the best angle? Both of my folks shut their minds off to Wikipedia just like they would if I was showing them the contradictions in the bible. "Look dad, see? These are references you can click on to study up further".

 

"How do you know if those references are wrong"?

 

They were so robotic in their responces, and what they both said independantly was almost verbatim, I, for now, must assume that they picked up this opinion from church. Thinking back on it now, my responce should have been:

 

"Well, that book up on the shelf you call the bible is just a collection of 40 ancient people's opinion, and it dosen't even cite references. It is completely innaccurate".

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I agree, your suspicion is the most likely explaination.

 

In fact, xtians have started an alternative version of Wikipedia called Conservapedia. Here is an article explaining: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070...n'_Wiki.htm

 

However, you raise an interesting question that has plagued my mind ever since my brother has (repeatedly) been telling me that "scientests are on the virge of publishing evidence that proves evolution is imposible". WTF? Each time, I keep peppering him with questions like, Where did you read that? and Who are the scientests? Where was the research done? to which I get "I'm not sure but I've been told by a reliable source"

 

In this age of internet where we can check facts and make references to information, why are xtians not quicker to identify a rediculous claim?

 

I don't think the answer is simple but I do feel there are a lot of lazy xtians out there who don't have the confidence to trust their own judgement.

 

I'm also playing with the idea that xtianity is "the better story". In other words, running around telling xtian urban myths as if they were true is a more interesting way to live than talking about reality.

 

Mongo

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here's the link Mongo attempted to post

 

about Conservapedia

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...Kind of as a joke, I asked "Where did you guys hear this, at church"? and got silence from both my mom and dad...

 

...They were so robotic in their responces, and what they both said independantly was almost verbatim, I, for now, must assume that they picked up this opinion from church.

 

Unless you seriously misunderstood some things, I agree wholeheartedly. At least your suspicion is very plausible. :scratch:

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Conservapedia lists reasons why Wikipedia is bad

 

http://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_Wikipedia

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A comparison between Conservapedia and Wikipedia on "Jesus" -

 

Conservapedia -

 

 

Jesus Christ is the only Son of God who, in the fullness of time, was sent by God the Father to be the expiation for our sins and to ransom us from death.[1] By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and became man in an event known as the Incarnation, as possibly referred to in Isaiah 7:14. Indeed, the calendar itself reflects this truth, with the traditional calculation of Jesus' birth marking the first century A.D., that is, "in the year of Our Lord…". When he was about thirty, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, inaugurating his ministry. Jesus was the Christ (Greek: Χριστός), or Messiah (Hebrew: 'משיחא'), prophesied in the Old Testament; he proclaimed, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the gospel."[2] As signs of these truths, Jesus performed various miracles.

 

Jesus founded the Christian religion, choosing twelve apostles to participate in his mission, and commissioning them to "preach the Kingdom of God and to heal".[3]

 

However, not all who heard the Lord believed in him, and, because he "was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God", some sought to put him to death.[4] Jesus was handed over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and crucified. But it was through his redemptive death, as the scriptures had foretold, that Jesus reconciled mankind with God.[5] And so, on the third day, in a truly historical event, Jesus physically rose from the dead, making possible salvation and eternal life for those who believe in him. Indeed, his very name (Hebrew 'יהושע', Joshua) means 'YHWH is salvation'. After appearing to his disciples on various occasions, Jesus ascended to Heaven, where he acts as our mediator, assuring, by his constant intercession, the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).

 

 

 

Wikipedia -

 

 

Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. He is also called Jesus Christ, where "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek Ίησους Iēsous, itself a transliteration of the Hebrew יהושע Yehoshua or Hebrew-Aramaic ישוע Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation"; and where "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek christós, meaning the "Anointed One", which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah". The main sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew, was regarded as a teacher and healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate under the accusation of sedition against the Roman Empire.[2][3] A small number of scholars and authors question the historical existence of Jesus, with some arguing for a completely mythological Jesus.[4]

 

Christian views of Jesus (see also Christology) center on the belief that Jesus is the Messiah whose coming was promised in the Old Testament and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Christians predominantly believe that Jesus is God incarnate, who came to provide salvation and reconciliation with God. Nontrinitarian Christians profess various other interpretations regarding his divinity (see below). Other Christian beliefs include Jesus' Virgin Birth, performance of miracles, fulfillment of biblical prophecy, ascension into Heaven, and future Second Coming.

 

In Islam, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى, commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's most beloved and important prophets, a bringer of divine scripture, a worker of miracles, and the Messiah. Muslims, however, do not share the Christian belief in the crucifixion or divinity of Jesus. Muslims believe that Jesus' crucifixion was a divine illusion and that he ascended bodily to heaven. Most Muslims also believe that he will return to the earth in the company of the Mahdi once the earth has become full of sin and injustice at the time of the arrival of Islam's Antichrist-like Dajjal.

 

Conservapedia lists reasons why Wikipedia is bad

 

http://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_Wikipedia

 

Bias in Wiki? And the above example shows no bias on the part of Conservapedia? Yeah, right.

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In Islam, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى, commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's most beloved and important prophets, a bringer of divine scripture, a worker of miracles, and the Messiah. Muslims, however, do not share the Christian belief in the crucifixion or divinity of Jesus. Muslims believe that Jesus' crucifixion was a divine illusion and that he ascended bodily to heaven. Most Muslims also believe that he will return to the earth in the company of the Mahdi once the earth has become full of sin and injustice at the time of the arrival of Islam's Antichrist-like Dajjal.

 

Bias in Wiki? And the above example shows no bias on the part of Conservapedia? Yeah, right.

 

Holy crap - both Christians AND Muslims are waiting for the 'second coming' of Christ? LOL I never knew that before. That is FUCKED UP!

 

Thank you, Wikipedia....

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I have heard of conservapeidia (and godTube as well), but had never bothered to check it out untill those links were posted. All I can say is...wow. Now Im almost positive this is where my parents attitudes came from. I am planning on going over there this afternoon and pressing my mom further on where she heard this. My mom is more mellow in her thinking, and in the past has always been the one to at least TRY to see where I'm comming from. My dad, OTOH, will take no time in declareing me an anarcist and thus dismiss any opinion I may have on religion or politics.

 

The claim of bias in Wiki is so transparent when you read that list...it is basicly a searchable xtian propaganda website. The first objection on their list really caught my attention:

 

Wikipedia asserts that "One 1987 estimate found that more than 99.84% of almost 500,000 US scientists in the earth and life sciences supported evolution over creation science."[1] This statement is a complete fiction, but has been repeated thousands of times in reliance on Wikipedia.[2][3] The truth is that 700 scientists signed a statement rejecting evolution, but evolutionists then made the illogical claim that every other scientist must support evolution.[4] Under that reasoning, if a 1000 persons signed a statement opposing President George Bush, then nearly 300 million Americans must support him! Funny how Wikipedia does not claim that.

 

Now, I suck so hard at math it is embarrasing, but my calculations tell me that 99% of 500,000 is 495,000. So that means that 5,000 scientists do not support evolution. 5,000 is a big enough number to include the claimed 700 creation scientistis with a majority left over. So unless I am missing something due to numbers being involved, I fail to see how Wiki's statement is "a complete fiction".

 

But then again, the reason I am an EX-xtian is that their logic has always escaped me. Maybe this is just another example of the devil "fooling me with logic"?

 

I'll repost after my conversation with moms...

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Knowledge is power, and that takes away from the power of God...for if things are not mysterious, there is no need for God.

 

Sad that they attack the messenger (ie Wiki) and not the message (by providing references and verifiable knowledge. But that is how they work, always.

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"Well, that book up on the shelf you call the bible is just a collection of 40 ancient people's opinion, and it dosen't even cite references. It is completely innaccurate".

 

Heh - precisely what I was thinking when I read your post.

 

Conservapedia is a good laugh. They are like Protestants, railing against the evils of that which inspired them, all the while being little more but a poor imitation of the original. There are, sadly, enough people dumb enough or misled enough to support Conservapedia, at least for now, but they'll never top Wikipedia's usefulness.

 

Again, fundy see - fundy do :jerkit:

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The most people I've heard of having problems with Wikipedia's accuracy are Christians, and particularly fundy Christians at that. I've yet to hear of any moderate to liberal person or non-Christians having an issue with Wikipedia.

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The most people I've heard of having problems with Wikipedia's accuracy are Christians, and particularly fundy Christians at that. I've yet to hear of any moderate to liberal person or non-Christians having an issue with Wikipedia.

 

It depends on the topic. I've come across many articles concerning Japanese history that are far from correct. Wikipedia is still a great source for information, as long as one remembers that it is an online database that is able to be edited by anyone.

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It depends on the topic. I've come across many articles concerning Japanese history that are far from correct. Wikipedia is still a great source for information, as long as one remembers that it is an online database that is able to be edited by anyone.

Yes, and this includes YOU! YOU can edit Wikipedia. So if you have found a Wikipedia entry on Japanese history that is "far from correct" you need to edit it. In this way Wikipedia is self-correcting. There is an *awesome* page of information regarding this process here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Rep...mmon_objections

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Wikipedia is an excellent source, and I use it frequently. However, in accordance with the general practice of local school systems and universities, I do not accept it as a source for a research paper. Sometimes, rarely to be sure, someone slips in some real b.s. I recall a Wikipedia war over evolution and ID some time back. I think Bill Dembski and his misguided acolytes at his Uncommon Descent website(check it out, good for a laugh. Go to Panda's Thumb or Dispatches from the Culture Wars afterward to wash the stupid off, though) devoted themselves to sabotaging these entries some time ago.

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It depends on the topic. I've come across many articles concerning Japanese history that are far from correct. Wikipedia is still a great source for information, as long as one remembers that it is an online database that is able to be edited by anyone.

Yes, and this includes YOU! YOU can edit Wikipedia. So if you have found a Wikipedia entry on Japanese history that is "far from correct" you need to edit it. In this way Wikipedia is self-correcting. There is an *awesome* page of information regarding this process here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Rep...mmon_objections

 

Yep, you know what, I have edited things on Wikipedia in the past that were incorrect, only to have them reverted back to the original incorrect info because the original author believed his version to be true!

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What I find amazing is that there are any fundy scientists to begin with. I mean, how many topics would you have to glaze over in your mind to actually try to study science without disproving your religion? How many facts would you have to ignore? How much BS would you have to make up just to justify both to yourself and others. Science and learning are not complimentary to religion at all. The self imposed ignorance is appalling.

 

Take for example the creationist museum.

 

Scary stuff.

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Marty:

 

When they came back with their well-implanted, church-conditioned response of "Wikipedia is just someone's opinion, it can't be confirmed", that would've been the perfect place to toss out the "So is every religion, inlcuding your own" response. I absolutely unleashed on my dad a couple weeks ago and it felt great. Surprisingly, he didn't have a whole lot to say about my arguments.

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So I just spoke to my mother a few minutes ago, without bringing up anything about church or conservapedia. I just asked "where did you hear that again? Audra and I are at a loss to figure out where it came from."

 

"Dad read it in the paper, I think."

 

"When, do you know?"

 

"A few weeks ago, I don't know."

 

I just got done trying to search my local paper's website (www.sun-sentinel.com) and found no articles about Wikipedia. Maybe I was entering search words wrong, but I figured I would at least get a hit by searching for only the word Wikipedia within the last 4 weeks. No go.

 

She then said that maybe it was a magazine or something, she can't remember now. I know my mom rather well, and she seems to be honest in her not remembering where she heard this. She is starting to have memory problems, so I don't think she is dodging the issue. Maybe I'll press my dad about it later on, he should remember where he heard this.

 

So, after I got what I could from my mother, I told her the only real objections I could find online were from xtians claiming that Wiki does not refer to jesus as divine, or that the great flood is refered to as a jewish myth, and that is the common objections. She made no comment at all, other than saying she needs to go to her classroom today and bring some more things home. I guess it hit a nerve.

 

Her church/school has a newsletter, it's completely possible they printed something about this there. Despite the fact I believe my mother when she says they got this from the paper or magazine, I think she has just forgotten and is trying to fill in the blanks I'm asking her with plausable explinations. I, however, am determined to find out where this came from...I'm OCD like that.

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Marty, ask your mother why she believes what magazines and news papers says, but not what a community encyclopedia says. The magazines only contain a few peoples oppinions and knowledge, while the wikipedia contain the oppinion and knowledge of the masses. Basically a democratic knowledge base. Isn't that better and more likely correct?

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Whether online or in book form, encyclopedias are not the end all of knowledge. Any 3rd grade teacher can tell you that. I was never allowed through school to use an encyclopedia as a source.

 

It is a good place to get some key terms and a basic idea of the subject. But even the Encyclopedia Britannia has problems with research. But it does not make it useless as a resource.

 

As far as newspapers and magazines go, I worked in the industry for a few years....you don't want to know how sloppy most research in the media really is. I can not trust the news ever, having seen how poorly it is put together.

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From what I understand every Enclyclopedia works the same way as Wikipedia, but the only difference is the number of people participating in writing the articles, and the number of people editing and double checking the facts. Wikipedia probably has 100,000 times higher chance of being correct than any other encyclopedia out there.

 

And yet, of course it doesn't mean it is 100% correct. Sometimes even the majority got facts and ideas wrong (or maybe it happens a lot more than we think, but we just don't see it because we're part of the majority that thinks a certain way?)

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"I'm OCD like that."

I know that feeling well... when 'the game's afoot' I think the only things that blinked less than me died during the last great extinction.

 

Got me into more trouble than I care to remember

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What I find amazing is that there are any fundy scientists to begin with. I mean, how many topics would you have to glaze over in your mind to actually try to study science without disproving your religion?

 

I've seen how they do it. Their goal is none other than to make arguments to disprove evolution. I have no idea anymore where to find the website. A few years ago I was looking for something else and stumbled across a website where a science prof and his students posted their advances on a certain project. As most people here know, I don't have the brains for the facts of science so I cannot document what I read or remember the scientific terms they used. I do know that they were studying something miniscule as in atom or bacteria or whatever--something so tiny that the human eye cannot see it without high technology. The underlying argument was that there is a missing link that evolution science cannot explain.

 

That is one piece of evidence for me re pseudoscience. The other is a video I was sent (I responded to someone's offer to mail it free to anyone on the forum who asked for it). I could not make myself watch the whole thing. It was so abominably lacking. This guy Ron Wyatt and wife and another couple "proved" the reality of Noah's Flood and the Ark.

 

They used instruments that are too sophisticated for me to understand. What I do understand is that this group of unlearned folks proved in one summer or a few years (I forget the details) what a team of scientists cannot prove in a lifetime of collaborated effort. My guess (I have neither high school nor science so it is only a guess) is they used high school level science. They used black and white thinking, i.e. such and such cannot be this or thus, so we know beyond a doubt that it has to be this. There was no labratory study or analysis of infinitestimal tiny bits. Only one or two things that were assumed to be universally binding in all cases. It was too simplistic. Real scientists don't work that way.

 

These two examples showed me how they delude the masses. They are simple enough for the masses to actually understand what they are saying. They are sophisticated and educated enough to pass off as scientists. I would guess that the fundy scientists that do go on to earn legitimate PhDs probably just endure the stuff they disbelieve in the service of the greater good they think they will do humanity when they have their degrees and prove the Bible correct. I don't know for sure how the science departments work but I would guess they resemble the arts and humanities in one respect. Liberal schools allow their students to experiment with any kind of idea so long as they can demonstrate that it could make sense in a given situation.

 

Imagine the implications when creative and professionally-trained fundies do that with science. They can part the Red Sea as easily as Moses and produce scorpions out of nothing. In other words, I believe they can produce water-tight arguments to prove what they want to prove, and in this way probably produce a body of real knowledge that would otherwise never be discovered by mainstream scientists. Thus, they can legitimate their degrees. However, the fundy scientists will use the information for their own agendas--and these are not written up in national science journals. That is my guess at the implications.

 

They profess mysterious origins credited to God and I would guess this lets them off the hook when their arguments do have holes. In fact, who knows that they don't intentionally set things up this way--with holes that allow for God's mysterious and wondrous working? They are smart enough to know when to keep their mouths shut (in the presence of the mainstream scientific community) and when to produce their findings and theories in ways that, combined with their authentic degrees, convince the masses.

 

Thus, the uneducated fundy can say with absolute conviction based on the authority of legitimate education and inherited religious tradition that scientists say............whatever needs to be said to prove the Bible correct. Uneducated masses who instinctively distrust intellectuals automatically accept their word as definitive.

 

A major problem that fundies have with science is that science cannot posit an eternal truth. Science will say one thing now and another thing ten years down the road when an old theory is disproven or a new phenomenon is discovered.They have their "facts" all wrapped up, packaged, and labeled. They know what is what and they don't need education to know they are right. The "Spirit" tells them. By the "witness" of the "Spirit" they are assured of the eternal truths in the Bible. This same "Spirit" leads them to correctly discern the facts described in the Bible. That a lot of other professing Christians disagree with them that it is a fact does not disturb them.

 

How many facts would you have to ignore?

 

All that disagree with their religion.

 

How much BS would you have to make up just to justify both to yourself and others.

 

Probably not all that much if I am correct that their arguments are stronger when they leave gaps for God.

 

Science and learning are not complimentary to religion at all. The self imposed ignorance is appalling.

 

Yes and no. (Oops! am I mimicking my prof or something???) Fundies who are smart enough to get a PhD in science with their faith intact are probably also smart enough to play the right mind-games to keep the delusions.

 

Take for example the creationist museum.

 

Scary stuff.

 

Scary is the word. When intelligence is used in the service of self aggrandizement things get r-e-a-l-l-y scary. I'm not sure I can handle the link so I didn't look it up. I haven't a clue in the world how the average citizen is ever going to sort through fact and fiction. Perhaps our assaults on science are only strengthening their position. :shrug:

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