From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wigocp.svg This Conservapedia-related article is of largely historical interest and is no longer the focus of RationalWiki today.
Conservapedia (and religious fundamentalism to an extent) was a major focal point in the early history of RationalWiki, but long ago ceased coming up with new ways to appall and amuse.
Our energies are now spent debunking other, fresher examples of pseudoscientific claims, authoritarianism, and deceit.
For RationalWiki's less ancient content, try the Best of RationalWiki.

The Conservapedia Guidelines are a list of informal rules that supposedly supplement the Conservapedia Commandments.[1] You are welcome to enjoy our side-by-side refutation of it:

Conservapedia Guidelines RationalWiki Responses


The Administrators of Conservapedia have the ability to protect/unprotected pages, edit protected pages, move pages, block/unblock users, mediate and resolve disputes. Indeed they do. Some of them also have the ability to oversight edits, vanishing evidence at will.

Duties and Authority[edit]

  • Unlike Wikipedia, we do not block for ideological reasons. Warnings are appropriate, not for obscenity, vandalism or parody (Which are block-able offenses without warning.), but for silliness and other problems. In rare cases, our approach to repeated ideological conflict is to lock the page, and then allow the Administrator Group to make changes on a manual basis based upon submitted suggestions on the Talk page.
  • Unceasing reverts of articles, "tit for tat" editing and argument without end, on points contrary to the Conservapedia philosophy, a pattern of continued use of vulgar or sexually based words, all are cause for blocking a user. Repeated name calling and insults are disruptive to the site and could result in a block as well.
  • Administrators and Bureaucrats are the final authority as to policy and procedures. Their instructions, as to Conservapedia policy and/or the appropriateness or inappropriateness of user actions, are to be followed. Concerns about the validity of an interpretation should be directed to a senior administrator or bureaucrat, who is directly involved in the creation and application of policy. In such cases, all are expected to defer to their expertise and understanding of policy.
  • A block is to be respected both by the recipient and by others with blocking privileges. Undoing someone else's block can result in a loss of blocking privileges. The proper approach to a questionable block is to ask the person who implemented it to reconsider.
  • The irony is that CP does block for ideological reasons far more than Wikipedia ever has. "Liberal vandalism" is one of the more common block reasons at CP, and this is often applied to edits that are far from vandalism, such as talk page comments.
  • Unceasing reverts are rare, as CP admins generally block editors the moment they revert the work of an administrator.
  • In other words: the sysop corps can make up the rules as they go along, and if you question them they will block you.
  • CP seems to have an obsession with "taking it on the chin." They expect you to go along with their system and even respect it after it has treated you unfairly. Of course, it is easy for the recipients of most blocks to remain silent because sysops generally administer blocks of 5 years or more.

  • Promotion[edit]

    Administrators are selected as needed from the best of the best contributors, there is no popularity contest to determine promotion, and nominations not accepted. By your own work shall you be known. List of AdministratorsOr, more accurately: administrators are selected by Andy based upon his whims. He has a tendency of announcing adminship on New Years Eve.


    The block function has been devolved to select users who have shown an ability to be trusted. Many of the current Administrators started as one of these Assistants and this status can be considered a way to evaluate users for promotion. As "emergency Sysops", the authority of these users is limited to warning users of policy violations and blocking for blatant vandalism and harassment requiring an immediate response.

    Member Accounts[edit]

    Without transparency from users, there can be no accountability. The Administration encourages all users to name their accounts based on some permutation of their real name. Whenever this would cause confusion, a name based upon a hobby or characteristic would also be acceptable. Obscene or offensive usernames will be blocked on sight by any Administrator and the person will need to create a new account with their first name and last initial. In addition to blocking, junk accounts are subject to deletion at any time as a housekeeping measure. Also,
    • Conservapedia does not allow "sock" accounts or unaccountable anonymous proxy use.
    • We do not allow active members of known vandal sites to participate in our project.
    • Conservapedia is a politically conservative, Christian encyclopedia project. We welcome opposing views, but are not interested in users who come here only to change articles to their ideology, or disrupt by constantly arguing on the article talk pages that we are "wrong".
    • We are not a debate forum, but a project. If you contribute, where you can, by adding substantive content, abiding by our Guidelines, we welcome you. If not, remember it is a big Internet, and you should go where you can support the goals of that project.
    • Pick a secure/good password for your Conservapedia user account. Some suggestions about picking a secure/good password for your Conservapedia account are located HERE.

    See "Civility" below.

    • Blocked users who feel their block is contrary to these policies, are encouraged to email the Administrator blocking them, stating their reasons and giving any explanation(s) for their action(s). The blocking Administrator will consider their explanation/request, and respond with due diligence. If your ability to email has been revoked, look at the blocking Administrator's user page for alternate contact information, or simply email asking it be forwarded to the blocking Admin. Make sure you use the subject "Blocked". You should also copy and paste into the email the message and information you see when getting the block message.


    Use plain English, preferably American English. Do not surprise the reader with strange or unusual meanings. Do not pull punches or sugar coat things, with a few exceptions.
    • Do not, for example, say "is controversial" when you mean "is criticized" - criticism is one side (negative), while controversy is two contending sides.

    Avoid jargon, i.e., words which only experts in a field can understand. So, don't say femur when you can say Thigh bone. When explaining advanced concepts in mathematics or science, begin with an introduction which any high school student can understand. If you can't explain it in simple words to a 10-year-old, you probably don't understand it very well yourself.

    Articles on complex topics need an introduction which assumes little or no previous knowledge.
    *Write simply.
    • Really simply.
    • The example provided (controversial/criticism) does not take into account context or the potential for something to be both controversial and criticized.
    • If you can't explain university-level mathematics to the adequate understanding of a 10-year old, it's probably because they're university-level concepts.


    There's a difference between stating flatly that "the earth is 6,000 years old" and reporting that "Young Earth creationists say that the earth is 6,000 years old." Likewise, there's a difference between saying "All living species of animals evolved from earlier species" and saying "Most atheist biologists believe that all living species of animals evolved from earlier species".

    English teachers call that attribution.

    Here's another example:

    • It was raining on Tuesday. (unattributed)
    • John said it was raining on Tuesday. (attributed)

    Newspaper report on a murder trial:

    • Smith killed Jones.
    • Judge Robinson found Smith guilty of killing Jones.

    Simply by attributing a statement to the person who said it, we can turn bias into fact. That is, we convert a statement about something from a biased assertion into an attribution. We don't say "X". We say that "A said X."

    Notice that at no point do these statements endorse any of the views. The sample text provided merely states what each view is, without saying whether any of them is correct or incorrect.

    Thus, a good article "describes" - it does not "prescribe".

    In regards to attribution, always cite and give credit to your sources (Sources should be authoritative works, not merely published opinions by others. No sources advocating or supporting unlawful activity of any kind are allowed) even if in the public domain. Conservapedia's Manual of Style assists new wiki users on Conservapedia:Footnotes in an article.
    This first example is extremely ironic, because CP supports a Young Earth Creationist viewpoint and does blatantly state that the tenets of YEC are true. Attribution of rudimentary biological facts in an article about a biological concept, for instance, is almost always unnecessary. There is no need to begin every paragraph with "biologists say" — as one is reading an article about a biological concept, one will assume that it is the current understanding of biologists, unless stated otherwise.


    • You must be civil. No bullying.
    • Your user page/discussion pages, are indeed your castle, from which you can agree, disagree and discuss issues as you will. However you cannot use them to bully, ridicule (make fun of) or attack (denigrate) Conservapedia or other users, and their opinions.
    • There is a difference between intellectual discourse, and attacking someone for what they believe. Wikipedia condones bullying and mob rule, we don’t.
    • Violators of the CP Guidelines will be blocked.
  • Apparently this guidelines only apply to editors, not sysops, who routinely new users by threatening them with blocks unless they toe the party line.
  • This is CP's "castle" policy, which states that each user's page is their property. This isn't particularly important or menacing - RationalWiki has almost the exact same policy.
  • There is indeed a difference between intellectual discourse and personal attacks. CP sysops, however, are not very good at distinguishing between the two, and they often use the latter when confronting a new user. Andrew Schlafly is well known for branding anyone who disagrees with him as a "liberal" or "atheist," especially if the person insists that they are neither.
  • Yes, along with anyone who contradicts a sysop.
  • Liberals have no such protection. They are welcome to die in a fire.

  • Article level[edit]

    Articles should be written as much as possible to be understandable at a high school (ages 14 to 18) level, in order to ensure they will be accessible and educational to students. If more complex information is necessary, as in advanced math entries, then it should be explained as simply as possible in the introduction, and a full explanation should follow in the body of the article.It could be argued that the average reading level of CP is close to a high school reading level. However, this is only due to the fact that half of CP's articles are Ed Poor stubs that are only one sentence long, and many of the others are written by Ken DeMeyer, whose incomprehensible writing style requires infinite patience to decipher.


    A few suggestions about reliability.
    1. Reliability is the quality that makes people want to rely on you.
    2. It's like trust: you have to earn it.
    3. People test you, and you must pass their test, or they won't trust you or rely on you.
    4. A major difference between Liberalism and Conservatism is how much each group is willing to have its pronouncements checked, its actions reviewed and evaluated
    5. Science is reliable when enough scientists make enough effort to check each other's work.
      • The watchwords of science are falsifiability and reproducible results.
    6. Bias gets in the way of reliability.
    7. Neutrality may not be an antidote to bias.
    A few corrections and comments:
  • Tautology much?
  • True, but CP has a slightly different definition of "earning trust." As Bugler proved, if you suck up to Andy he will trust you more than if you kept your head down and edited productively.
  • The "tests" at CP are often degrading and confusing, such as Ed Poor's writing plans.
  • This is surprisingly correct, but not in the way the original author intended.
  • Also true, but this is probably a reference to the hated Lenski affair rather than a reasonable guideline.
  • Especially conservative bias, at least as far as CP is concerned.
  • It may also worsen bias.

  • Teamwork[edit]

    A few suggestions about teamwork:
    1. Let others boss you around.
      • Yes, take assignments from your fellow editors. If someone asks you for an article on a topic you know about, or are interested enough to bone up on, please do.
      • Conform to formats, styles, and emerging patterns of article organization.
    2. Be nice to the other editors.
      • Sarcasm seems witty when you're typing, but will the reader really get the point you are trying to make?
      • Hurt feelings reduce cooperative spirit and ultimately work against teamwork.
    3. Be helpful.
      • Can you find quotes and facts quickly by googling?
      • Are you good at spellchecking, grammar, copy-editing?
      • Do you know how to design a template or format a table?
    4. Let others know what you are doing, and respond quickly to queries.
      • Use talk pages, especially user talk pages.
      • Allow others to contact you via email or instant messaging
      • For really difficult issues, consider speaking by telephone
    5. If necessary use: Conservapedia:Image upload requests
    A few corrections and comments in this list about teamwork:
  • This is in direct contradiction to CP's anti-bullying rules for editors.
    • If you're interested in adding correct science to a science topic, or countering some of the bias in an article, you can bugger off.
    • Unless you're Ed, in which case make a bunch of stubs.
  • OK, but I can still boss them around, right?
    • Who knows?
    • But 5-year blocks strengthen character and team spirit.
  • "Helpful" as defined by a very narrow set of parameters.
    • More importantly, can you ignore the context of those quotes in order to fit CP's narrative?
  • But see the 90/10 rule below
    • Always allow TK to weasel round you by talking off-wiki
  • Don't worry about copyright: "Fair use" covers all eventualities.

  • Templates[edit]

    • Templates should only be created with specific sysop approval, and then immediately protected.
    • Conservapedia does not allow templates to be used as signatures, because of the potential they create for wide-scale vandalism, which could even be done by someone other than the person to whom the signature belongs.
    • All templates should be submitted here for approval.
    All of this just boils down to the following: CP doesn't trust new users. They are very wary of vandalism (albeit justifiably) and they want to nip template vandalism at the bud.

    Copying From Other Sources[edit]

    Copying from other sources is only permitted in specific circumstances, as explained below. Note that this is an expansion of Commandment 1.


    Copying from other sources can only be done in the following circumstances:
    • You are copying from a public domain source. In this case, put a notice on the page to indicate this. An example notice is {{Copyright Details (US Government)}}. Note that Wikipedia and Wikipedia mirrors are not in the public domain.
    • You are copying something that you wrote, on Wikipedia or elsewhere. In this case, put a {{copied from}} notice on the talk page of the article. Note that it must be all your own work, and not include contributions made by other editors.
    • You are copying something that someone else wrote, with their explicit permission. This must also be noted on the article or talk page, and the original author should also note, for example on his user page on the original site, that he has provided such permission.

    Not Permitted[edit]

    The following is not permitted (unless it fits the criteria above).
    • Copying slabs of text from multiple other sources. Just because you copy from several sources does not make it your own work.
    • Copying from one or more other sources and changing some words. Someone else's work changed around a bit is still copying their work; it does not constitute your own work. If it is still recognisable as another work altered, it constitutes copying.

    If You See A Copied Article[edit]

    If you notice someone copying from another source, please bring it to the attention of an administrator. Either he or you (see below) should put a {{WP no copying}} notice on the user's talk page and delete the article. That notice explains what is allowed and not allowed, and advises that the deleted article can be undeleted if the copy is permitted as explained above. (A non-administrator can post the notice, although if the article name is included, it is worded as though an administrator posted it.)

    90/10 Rule[edit]

    The 90/10 rule, unique to Conservapedia, authorizes the blocking of accounts that engage in excessive talk, bickering, last wordism, and other unproductive activity. Specifically, as has been stated in the Conservapedia:Commandments since soon after the formation of Conservapedia:

    "Unproductive activity, such as 90% talk page edits and only 10% quality edits to Conservapedia articles, may result in blocking of the account."

    • The 90/10 Rule applies to people who talk, talk, talk without redeeming value in the way of substantive contributions. Nothing could be simpler. Talk is a time-waster. Different viewpoints, if logical, are welcome here. Incessant talk, as can be seen on countless other sites, is not. The talkers can rant elsewhere. We're here to learn.
    • Users can talk all they want, as long as they contribute substance at the same time. It's easy to contribute substance. It's the reason we're here. But no project can succeed if the participants do nothing but talk.
    • The 90/10 Rule is remarkably adept at discouraging and eliminating the mobocracy or talk pollution that runs rampant on other sites, such as Wikipedia. Implementation is simple and application is swift.
    See Conservapedia:90/10 Rule