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Conservapedia shows a remarkable degree of hypocrisy on the subject of credentials, defining 'credential bullying' as "an attempt to intimidate or censor someone by citing one's real or inflated credentials", which is "not allowed on Conservapedia". Andrew Schlafly and the other Conservapedia sysops often use this as an argument against anybody declaring their own expertise on a given subject, but are not averse to bragging about their own qualifications when it suits them.

Statistics 101[edit]

Consider the following exchange, abridged from the lengthy discussion of Schlafly's use of wildly guesstimated statistics regarding incidences of breast cancer among "Hollywood types".

Bongabill: When are you going to realise that you cannot base statistical conclusions upon a non-random sample? . . . Please, take Statistics 101 before jumping to such ludicrous conclusions - you're simply making a fool of yourself.
Aschlafly: Bongabill, you're clueless. . . . I doubt you've taken half the statistics courses that I have. You have typical liberal style in trying to intimidate.
Bongabill: Mr.Schalfly, actually, I am a professional statistician with both graduate and post-graduate degrees in the subject, and also a 34 year professional career as a statistician working for the official statistics bureau of a major nation. . . .
Aschlafly: Bongabill, we don't fall for the unproven claims of credentials here. Wikipedia might be a better home for you. . . . Well, I'm glad you're not a professor then. Or are you going to claim that also??? Your "know nothing" approach and liberal denials are nonsensical.
AndrasK: Just to point out, Mr. Schlafly, you fell back on your "record" of statistical courses as evidence to your statistical competency.
Aschlafly: Yes, I did, in response to credential bullying.
StatsFan: Actually ASchalfly, it was indeed you who first raised the issue of credentials in this thread - your comment "I doubt you've taken half the statistics courses I have" came after Bongabill's first and only comment on Conservapedia, and which never mentioned his or her credentials.[1]

Discrediting the opposition...[edit]

Another strategy is to discredit opposition figures by casting doubts on their credentials. The most obvious example is Conservapedia's insistence, contrary to all evidence, that Richard Dawkins is not a 'real' professor. The same tactic is used against editors. Whereas other wikis have an "assume good faith" policy, Schlafly pursues a policy of openly doubting anybody's claimed credentials or achievements, denying in particular that anybody could achieve notable results through any liberal institution or public school. He will even pursue this as far as accusing young Conservapedia editors of lying about their exam results.[2]

...but crediting the home side[edit]

In a bizarre twist on the attitudes mentioned above, Schlafly insists on claiming that he's a qualified teacher, although this is unlikely. He also signed a letter to Prof. Richard Lenski with a barrage of letters after his own name to try and make him seem more qualified to speak on the subject than he actually was. Lenksi, on the other hand, merely signed his response as "Richard Lenski", seemingly allowing his responses to do more talking than meaningless letters.

See also[edit]


  1. Conservapedia: Talk: Mystery: Young Hollywood Breast Cancer Victimsimg. Note that both Bongabill and StatsFan were blocked very soon after these comments for criticising Andy violating the 90/10 rule.
  2. See this example.