|The divine comedy|
CreationWiki is a free,[note 1] online, wiki-based encyclopaedia written from what it calls a "uniquely creationist perspective". Although it contains a mixture of half-truths, outright lies, and deliberate distortions, its authors, sadly, hope it will be taken seriously.
It is unclear how the site's editors reconcile their belief in the ultimate authority of the Bible with their deliberate promotion of falsehoods and disinformation, but an impartial observer might call it lying for Jesus. 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.
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."
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. 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).
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.[note 2]
As of 25 November 2010, there are only 100 active users (users that have made at least one edit in the past three months). By comparison, the CWCki, a wiki about one person, has 617 active users over 3 months. Make of that what you will.
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 encompassing any broad restriction.
Treatment of non-creationists
Non-creationists are not allowed to edit content on CreationWiki.[note 4] Originally, the same editors were subject to being grouped into a secret classification, known as "limited."[note 5] The class could not be discussed, and the user with "limited" rights couldn't inquire as to what the status actually is.[note 6] Strictly speaking, someone without rights could not inquire as to what rights they 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.
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.
Ironic articles and argument examples
CreationWiki has an article about Logical Fallacies as well as logic, circular reasoning, your theory does not work under my theory, so your theory must be wrong, and even decline of atheism. Most of them contain misconceptions of evolution, creationism, as well as atheism. Their examples include (not quotemined):
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.
Note that the main (and only) assumption made when dating fossils is the Principle of Uniformitarianism, i.e. the assumption that geologic processes now modifying the Earth's crust have acted in the same regular manner and with the same intensity throughout geologic time unless evidence can be obtained that suggests otherwise (e.g., impact cratering). Although this assumption is technically not falsifiable, it is needed for the establishment of any consensus about the past of the earth. In essence, we must assume the constancy of natural laws in our study of the past, because if we do not, then we cannot meaningfully study the past (note that the last sentence is a quote from CreationWiki!). Uniformitarianism is a very minor leap of faith, especially compared to the countless unfalsifiable assumptions that have to be made for Creationism. Additionally, uniformitarianism fares better against Occam's razor than opposing assumptions, because assuming that everything can change as it pleases, without any evidence of these variations, is unnecessary and need not be believed to explain everything we can empirically observe.
Humans share a common ancestor with the apes.
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.
Mountains of evidence have been gathered in support of the theory of common descent, including evidence from direct observation. Explanations that are compatible with these observations and creationism would require astonishing complexity and massive unjustifiable leaps of faith that wouldn't fare well against Occam's razor. In fact, the theory of common descent is the most accurate and simplest known theory explaining these observations.
An argument from result attempts to argue against an idea based on what would happen if that theory were true.
If creationism were true then homosexuality would be wrong; therefore, creationism isn't true.
Note that this argumentation is logically sound and formally known as modus tollens.
Conflation is the logical fallacy of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one.
What is this example even supposed to illustrate?
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[note 7] — 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.[note 8] 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.[note 9]
Relationship with other wiki-based projects
- CreationWiki founder Chris Ashcraft uses his own name at Conservapedia, but has only
one contribution as of 21 June, 2009three contributions as of 9 March 2019.
- Conservapedia's Conservative is CreationWiki's Creationist, Wikipedia's KDbuffalo, and our Newton.
- Conservapedia's TerryH is CreationWiki's Temlakos.
- Conservapedia's Karajou uses the same name on CreationWiki.
- Mostly retired Conservapedia user Ymmotrojam is Tmajor at CreationWiki.
- Former Conservapedia administrator Philip J. Rayment was active there once, but now has his own biblical based encyclopaedia.
It currently has an article about RationalWiki, stating that RW's one (and apparently only) goal is "spreading evolutionism across the internet" as well as a link from the article "Anticreationist forum debate tactics" under the section "Examples of anticreationist tactics", and another on its article about "Redshift quantization". 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.[note 10]
- TrueOrigin, its de facto predecessor
- EvoWiki, its competitor founded as a reaction
- Christian science
- Issac Bourne
- And worth every penny!
- 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.
- North Sound Christian Schools (NSCS), for example.
- CreationWiki administrator "Ashcraft" says as much, here.
- RationalWiki editors are almost immediately grouped into this section. AmesG, Wikinterpreter, and Alien have all suffered the same fate.
- CreationWiki administrator Tmajor blanks a discussion of the status, over the objections of another administrator.
- See CreationWiki's article on the subject
- CreationWiki's internal peer review site is currently blank, as of 20 October 2007.
- 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."
- See the userpage of one RationalWiki admin on CreationWiki, here.
- CreationWiki - about.
- Statistics Page.
- CPCS student projects CreationWiki
- Private e-mail exchange with Chris Ashcraft.
- Creationist list, noncreationist list and undecided list.
- See the Wikipedia article on Experimental evolution.
- User contributions for Ashcraft Creationwiki (archived from March 9, 2019).