Bronze-level articleCreationWiki

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CreationWiki is a free[1], online, wiki-based encyclopaedia written from what it calls a "uniquely creationist perspective".[2] Although it contains a mixture of half truths, outright lies and deliberate distortions, its authors, sadly, hope it will be taken seriously.[3]

It is unclear how the site's editors reconcile their belief in the ultimate authority of the Bible[4] with their deliberate promotion of falsehoods and disinformation. Perhaps they have an updated edition of the Bible in which the Ninth Commandment now reads "Thou shalt bear false witness against thy neighbor." or "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, except to promote thy religious beliefs and political agenda."

Despite its wiki-based nature, editing the site is more difficult than it need be, as anonymous edits are prevented and new accounts must be "requested" of the site's administrators, who may decline. While the implied suggestion is that non-creationist requests will be denied, several non-creationists have been approved and contribute to the site.

Since CreationWiki's secrecy measures make its management and operation somewhat opaque, this article seeks to "pierce the veil" and explain CreationWiki to the curious masses.

Contents

[edit] Mission, size and scope

CreationWiki sees itself as a serious site dedicated to furthering the peer reviewed body of creationist knowledge. As this goal is an inherent contradiction, it is fated to fail, but they take it seriously nonetheless. Like other wiki-based encyclopaedias that were created as a reaction to the growing popularity of Wikipedia, it replaces Wikipedia's neutral point of view with its own "perspective". CreationWiki states quite clearly that "[a]rticles should be written from the creationist point of view (CPOV), which holds that the universe and life on Earth are the result of an act of creation by God."[5]

[edit] Statistics

As of May 13, 2012, CreationWiki had 5,288 content pages and "over 32 million hits", a fact they display proudly on the top of every page on the wiki.[6] Due to the restrictive nature of the site's editing, there has only been one edit per 133 page views (for comparison at the same time RationalWiki had 15.50 page views per edit).

[edit] Contributors

The site has hundreds of contributors, but the number of contributors who are "seriously active" is comparatively small, potentially limited to the founder, and one or two additional users.[7]

As of 25 November 2010, there are only 100 active users (users that have made at least one edit in the past three months).[8] By comparison, the CWCki, a wiki about one person, has 617 active users over 3 months.[9] Make of that what you will.

Some frequent contributors are young students who are either homeschooled or part of young-earth Christian creationist-oriented private schools.[10]

[edit] Caveat

CreationWiki actively discourages rational evolutionist minds from entering their site, by requiring account approval. However, account approval is an easy process, generally completed in under a day, and not apparently compassing any broad restriction.[11][12]

[edit] Treatment of non-creationists

Non-creationists are not allowed to edit content on CreationWiki.[13] Originally, the same editors were subject to being grouped into a secret classification, known as "limited."[14] The class could not be discussed, and the user with "limited" rights couldn't inquire as to what the status actually is.[15] Strictly speaking, someone without rights could not inquire as to what rights he lacked.

Non-creationists are additionally discouraged from editing "user talk" pages, and debate from them is similarly out of vogue. In a private e-mail with CreationWiki creator Chris Ashcraft, he explained,

Debate is only appropriate from those holding to a Creation POV.... Limit all posts to article talk pages. (Article talk pages only).... You may engage in peer review of articles, but do not use the UserTalk pages.[16]

It appears that more recently CreationWikians have used functions of the MediaWiki software to split contributors up into three user groups: creationist, noncreationist, and undecided.[17]


[edit] Ironic articles and argument examples


(Argument): Creationism can't be right -- the fossil record shows that fossils were laid down over millions of years.
(CW Explanation): Creationists challenge your assumptions about radiometric dating, the geologic column, and fossilization, and instead see the fossils as laid down in the Global flood. Thus your "evidence" against creationism is no evidence at all when stripped of your unfalsifiable assumptions.


(Argument): Humans share a common ancestor with the apes.
(CW Explanation): Actually, this fact cannot be tested without time machines. It is only assumed to be true because it comports with the theory of common descent. But the theory of common descent can only derive from facts indicating that all life is related. Unobservable, untestable speculations cannot be stated as facts simply because they derive from the theory. They can only be stated as facts if they can be observed.


(CW Explanation): An argument from result attempts to argue against an idea based on what would happen if that theory were true.
(CW Example): "If creationism were true then homosexuality would be wrong; therefore, creationism isn't true."


(CW explanation): Conflation is the logical fallacy of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one.
(CW example): equivocating goo-to-you evolution with the concept of natural selection. One can be observed, the other cannot.

Refutations of these "arguments" are welcome.

[edit] Goal of "peer review"

One of CreationWiki's goals is to facilitate "peer review" of creation science, but it is unclear what "peer review" means in the context of CreationWiki. While the site disparages traditional peer review[18] - since it has, of course, always found creationist viewpoints wanting - it has its own method of peer review for CreationWiki articles, to which (apparently) no articles have yet been subjected.[19] One must wonder of what use peer review is, when only creationists may participate in the process fully and freely.

The misunderstanding of the goal of peer review runs deep: the site's founder states that the goal of peer review is to "uphold the majority consensus," and that atheists and creationists are not "peers" for the purpose of peer review. Presumably, the conclusion is that this is the only reason that creationist claims fail scientific peer review.[20]

[edit] Relationship with other wiki-based projects

CreationWiki has a medium-sized article about Conservapedia, and has inter-wiki linking set up for it.[21] In addition, many Conservapedia administrators have contributed to CreationWiki, including:

It currently has an article about RationalWiki, stating that RW's one (and apparently only) goal is "spreading evolutionism across the internet"[22] as well as a link from the article: Anticreationist forum debate tactics under the section Examples of anticreationist tactics [23], and another on its article about Redshift quantization.[24] Despite these links administrators have stated that linking to RationalWiki is illegal, although the word "RationalWiki" may be mentioned, and so is not subject to the same damnatio memoriae as "RationalWiki" faces on Conservapedia. [25]

CreationWiki also has an article on (or more properly a side-by-side "refutation" of an article from) EvoWiki [26] along with a link to the site.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. And worth every penny!
  2. http://www.creationwiki.org/Main_Page
  3. http://www.creationwiki.org/CreationWiki:Policy
  4. http://creationwiki.org/Worldview#Biblical
  5. CreationWiki - about.
  6. Statistics Page.
  7. As of 21 June 2009, "Ashcraft," and "Tsommer" dominated the Recent Changes list. Former active editors such as "Temlakos" now comment much less frequently or, like "Tmajor", have stopped entirely. As of the same date, one week of prior inference and analysis suggests that, at any time, around 70 changes per day is the average for CreationWiki.
    Five years later (1 July 2014) the wiki averages less than ten edits per day, mostly by Ashcraft.
  8. http://www.creationwiki.org/Special:ActiveUsers
  9. http://www.sonichu.com/cwcki/Special:Statisticsimg
  10. North Sound Christian Schools, for example.
  11. http://creationwiki.org/User:Human
  12. http://creationwiki.org/User:Roaring_Atheist
  13. CreationWiki administrator "Ashcraft" says as much, here.
  14. RationalWiki editors are almost immediately grouped into this section. AmesG, Wikinterpreter, and Alien have all suffered the same fate.
  15. CreationWiki administrator Tmajor blanks a discussion of the status,[citation needed] over the objections of another administrator.
  16. Private e-mail exchange with Chris Ashcraft.
  17. Creationist list, noncreationist list and undecided list.
  18. See CreationWiki's article on the subject
  19. CreationWiki's internal peer review site is currently blank, as of 20 October 2007.
  20. Private e-mail with Chris Ashcraft, "That is the goal of peer reviews in general - to uphold the consensus position. Peer reviews are just what the phrase describes - reviews by peers. Atheists and creationists are not peers regarding theories formed from these worldviews. Only creationists can provide peer reviews of creationist views."
  21. http://creationwiki.org/Conservapedia
  22. http://creationwiki.org/RationalWiki
  23. http://creationwiki.org/Anticreationist_forum_debate_tactics
  24. http://creationwiki.org/Redshift_quantization
  25. See the userpage of one RationalWiki admin on CreationWiki, here.
  26. http://creationwiki.org/Creation_%28EvoWiki%29


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