Friday, 23 February 2007

Conservapedia: 1066 CE and all that

Let's face it, Wikipedia is handy but it has its faults. So enter Conservapedia, which aims to replace Wikipedia as the source of wisdom. You won't find any of that trivial gossip nonsense in Conservapedia. Nor any of that appalling British spelling. What you will find—if you can be bothered to wait for the slow downloads—is a highly idiosyncratic view of the world.

Why am I reminded of 1066 and all that?

There's geography.
    England
    A nation in northwest Europe. Largely secular, but increased immigration from Eastern Europe is turning the country towards Catholicism. Notable for inventing the English language.

Biology.
    Carnivore

    Carnivore has two different meanings. In ordinary language, it means an animal that eats only, or mainly, other animals[1], as contrasted with an herbivore (plant-eater) or omnivore (animal for whom both plants and animals are regular and important parts of the diet).

    To a zoologist, carnivore usually means "a mammal belonging to the order carnivora." This includes cats and "cat-like" families such as mongooses and hyenas, and dogs and "dog-like" families such as bears, skunks, weasels, raccoons, and seals. Most members of the order carnivora actually are carnivores in the sense of being meat-eaters, but there are many carnivorous animals that do not belong to the order "carnivora."

    A trick question for someone who knows biology is: "If a panda is a carnivore, then what is a koala?" Because a panda eats eucalyptus leaves, many people will fall into the trap and answer "herbivore," which is the wrong answer. The trick is that a panda does not eat meat. So, for a panda to be "a carnivore," the word must be being used in the sense of "order carnivora," and the right answer is "marsupial."

    References
    1. ↑ Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation Through General Science. Anderson: Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 2000


And history.
    Neil Armstrong

    Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930. He became a United States astronaut and, on July 20, 1969, the first man to set foot on the moon.

    When he stepped on the moon, he said some famous words. These words are an interesting example of the problems historians face in finding out what really happened in history.

    His words were broadcast. Millions of people heard them. Armstrong is still alive and so are millions of people who heard the broadcast. And the broadcast was recorded.

    Yet, there is still disagreement about what he said. What he meant to say was:

    That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.

    But many people think he flubbed his line, and actually said

    That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.

    Some encyclopedias say one thing, some say another, and some split the difference by putting the word "a" in brackets:

    That's one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.

    Armstrong has always insisted that he said the word a.


You can even take a series of lectures in world history.

    Do not be misled by thinking ancient peoples were dumb or boring because they lacked the technology of modern society. True, they lacked television and the internet. Does that mean it was boring or dull in 2500 B.C.? Not at all. People were probably smarter than they are today. The Egyptians, for example, cleverly built the massive pyramids using techniques that no one to this day can figure out or duplicate. In 2600 B.C., they constructed the pyramid of Khufu containing 6 million tons of stone extending to a height of 481 feet. The workmanship was superior to what we do today: the rock base was virtually perfectly flat, not varying in elevation by more than a half-inch; its orientation is precisely aligned with the points of a compass; its stones were perfect fits. Inside was a chapel, a causeway, and a temple. It amazes architects to this day. We would not be able to duplicate it even now. Many other cultures, from Mesopotamia to Greece to Rome to India to China, invented things and discovered knowledge that no one today is smart enough to duplicate. Do you know how to bake bread from scratch?


The internet truly is a series of tubes.

3 comments:

Jon Swift said...

I have learned quite a bit from this site already. Here are more examples of the very interesting facts I found there.

Snail said...

I put that link in its own post, so it wouldn't get lost among the entries.

Conservapedia could keep us all in blog posts for the next month!

Snail said...

The post about England has now been updated. No longer is England notable for inventing the English language.

But the contributors to Conservapedia feel that it's important for you to know that after the Romans invaded, "Wales, Scotland, and the county of Cornwall continued to be independent pictish nations".

That must have confused the inhabitants of Wales and Cornwall.