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'The truth shall set you free', claims Wiki rival

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Well, you pays your money and you takes your choice. The LA Times says there is no "ideological conformity" among the "elite" group of trusted contributors which Schlafly promotes to editorial status. One example is Terry Koeckritz, who "doesn't take the creation account in the Book of Genesis literally", and says of Conservapedia: "It is what it is. A family-friendly, Christian-friendly encyclopedia."

Conservapedia hasn't, though, been quite as friendly to dissenting voices. The LA Times explains: "Dr Peter A Lipson, an internist in Southfield, Mich., repeatedly tried to amend an article on breast cancer to tone down Conservapedia's claim that abortion raises a woman's risk. The site's administrators, including Schlafly, questioned his credentials and shut off debate."

Lipson duly enlisted other disgruntled editors and started RationalWiki, whose aims include: Refuting and analysing the anti-science movement, ideas and people; Refuting and analysing the full range of crank ideas; Writings on political authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism.

The site doesn't mess around, either. Its entry entitled "Conservapedia:Delusions", promptly mocks the claims that "Homosexuality is a mental disorder", "Atheists are sociopaths", and "During the 6 days of creation G-d placed the Earth inside a black hole to slow down time so the light from distant stars had time to reach us".

Unfortunately, RationalWiki admits it, and others, have engaged in "cyber-vandalism" against Conservapedia during which they've "inserted errors, pornographic photos, and satire". The entry for Atty Gen Alberto R Gonzales was apparently amended to read: "Mr Gonzales is a strong supporter of torture as a law enforcement tool for use against Democrats and third world inhabitants."

This, in turn has led to the accusation from Conservapedians that "left-wingers are out to suppress their free speech". One anonymous 15-year-old in New Jersey, who penned an entry on Irish dancing and "uses the site to research papers", said: "I had heard it spoken of, but it had never really hit home before just how hostile they are. There are people who want to destroy us." ®

Bootnote

We at El Reg are looking forward to the final, Ragnarök-style confrontation between Conservapedia, RationalWiki and Wikipedia. The outcome of this titanic battle will be decided by either natural selection or according to God's will, depending on which one of them is really telling the truth.

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