Essay:Conservapedia's Law

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Essay.svg This essay is an original work by SuperJosh.
It does not necessarily reflect the views expressed in RationalWiki's Mission Statement, but we welcome discussion of a broad range of ideas.
Unless otherwise stated, this is original content, released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or any later version. See RationalWiki:Copyrights.
Feel free to make comments on the talk page, which will probably be far more interesting, and might reflect a broader range of RationalWiki editors' thoughts.

Original Conservapedia article: Conservapedia's Law.

So, Andy's written a new steaming heap of shit fascinating, mentally-stable insight for me to disect! Let's have a look-see, shall we...?


"Conservapedia's Law is the observation that conservative insights increase over time at a geometric rate, as in 1-2-4-8-16-etc."

How does one measure what a "conservative insight" or "conservative term" is? Conservatism - along with all political ideologies really - changes with the times and reflects the trends and styles of the day. So what would be conservative 100 years ago, would be fascist now, and would be conservative today would be liberal 100 years ago. Please excuse the crude example. There's no "conservative scale" upon which to measure "conservative insights", so a "conservative insight", is simply judged as such by ones opinion of the political spectrum. For example, Mr Schlafly prides himself on being an "upstanding conservative", which he should be proud of if it's what he's comfortable with. However, other people may think - conservatives and liberals alike - that he brings a bad name to conservatives and Christians because of the entries he includes on his encyclopedia. Other people may have a different idea of him, thinking that he's just a snivelling pathetic piece of shit. Basically, what I'm getting across here is that while we have a political spectrum which it is possible to measure yourself on (I've noticed on several RWians userpages they have an "I'm Libertarian / Liberal / Socialist based on this subjective political measuring-dealie), how exactly is a word classed as "conservative" on it? Does a word have to represent conservative ideology, or be used by people of conservative leanings more frequently, or be invented by a conservative, or what?

However, what I found interesting is the "geometric rate" idea. As well all know, Andrew Schlafly is an accomplished Mathematician - as well as being well learned in several other fields including Anthropology, World History, Biblical Translation, Psychiatry, Entertainment, along with a handful of others [1][2] - and I'm not doubting his ability, but he hasn't provided any data to support the ideas that "conservative insights increase over time at a geometric rate."... uh... none at all...

"For example, there is a doubling in effective new conservative terms per century."

This can be refuted with the above argument. This isn't really an example, this is just Andy saying something and hoping it'll stick. Obviously this is what he had in mind when he started writing this whole Conservapedia's Law thing.

"Conservapedia's Law is analogous to Moore's Law, which holds that the rate of increase in the number of transistors per chip roughly doubles every two years. "

Moore's Law, as I'm sure the computer smarts of this site will have some understanding of, refers to the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit, this number doubling approximately every two years (I got this off Wikipedia, I don't do computers). However, I don't really know what relevance this has to Conservapedia's law. Because Moore's Law is correct, it doesn't make Conservapedia's Law correct. It's quite probably just an attempt by Andrew Schlafly to make his work a bit more credible and make himself seem a bit more intelligent. However, this is simply my humble opinion, and it's probably a cause of me not contributing enough to Conservapedia. Maybe I'll contribute more, and in the future I won't be so confused. [3]

The Striking Implications![edit]

"The implications of Conservapedia's Law are striking:"


Language, politics and culture[edit]

*Over the long term, politics and culture cannot withstand the more powerful forces of logic and language. Conservapedia's Law ensures that a free society will, over time, inevitably become more conservative regardless of the best efforts of liberals. Of course liberal deceit can cause much suffering during that process.

It's currently 2009. For the last 6000 odd years (going by the standards of the first record of man), civilizations have barbarically knocked the living shit out of each other. That was essentially mans original state. Then over time, forms of law and government were invented, and more and more laws were introduced. It seems to me personally that democracy is the ending political state of man (not communism as Marx theorised, neither fascism, though that wasn't such a theory as an excuse for hate crimes) - that's what's been acheived in most economically developed countries, as it treats everyone equally. However, the idea that a "free society will inevitably become more conservative" seems logically flawed to me, as it seems more of a liberal idea to have freedom of speech, press, religion, and other basic democratic rights. The thing about Schlafly and the rest of Conservapedialand is they seem to get liberals - who I always thought loved freedom of speech etc - confused with socialists and communists, who typically love control, as do those on the far right-wing. Anyhoo, Conservapedia's brand of conservatism doesn't seem to follow these teachings of freedom - sure they support them, but then when people actually come along and provide rational arguments against whatever Andy Schlafly's saying/doing, he ignores the point and blocks them/gets his lover TK to block them. Blocking someone who has an opposing viewpoint isn't freedom of speech. Also, there are thousands of pieces of evidence which show how Conservapedia don't stand for any of these democratic rights; in blocking people who have put forward a rational argument and not vandalised, the administrators (often TK) banhammer them for "liberal trolling." Not very democratic at all.


"Wikipedia, in order to survive, will inevitably feel compelled to adopt principles similar to Conservapedia's. The liberal practices and rules underlying Wikipedia will either be abandoned or lead it to inevitable ruin. "

I doubt this. If Wikipedia adopted a blatant point of view (I know some people think it has a "liberal bias", but if it's there, it's minimalised) in the way Conservapedia does, it would lose credibility and become the laughing stock of the Internet in the same way that Conservapedia is.

Historical conservatives[edit]

"Historically conservatives have tended to rely on control and tradition, as in emphasizing what has proven to work in the past. But if conservative insights increase geometrically over time, then a better approach may be to welcome and promote new wisdom in addition to established understandings."

This would be a half-adequate point if only Mr Schlafly backed up progressive conservatism by actually practicing it on his wiki. The idea that a better approach "may be to welcome and promote new wisdom in addition to established understandings" simply sounds like a mixture of liberalism and conservatism with a balance between the two. "New wisdom" could be scientific discoveries while "established understandings" could be religious teachings. But as noted, Mr Schlafly doesn't support this in practice, preferring to simply say one thing and then do the other. But hey, that's what his philosophy's based on, right?


"How quickly is truth discovered in a free society? Conservapedia's Law suggests that truth is discovered at a geometric rate, much faster than an arithmetic rate. "

Obviously this ties in with conservatism being the truth. However, Conservapedia blocks out facts and anything threatening their worldview and religion rather than finding an equal balance of religious and scientific entries. Also, Schlafly Doo has shown no data for the geometric growth of conservatism.

Conservative insights[edit]

"The rapid growth in conservative insights suggests that only a fraction of the truth is yet known, as stated by Isaac Newton but denied by liberals today. Indeed, the rapid growth in conservative insights explains why liberals attempt to discourage an open-minded search for the truth: those discoveries are more likely to be conservative than liberal in nature. "

Although Andy has neglected to mention what kind of "discoveries" are conservative rather than liberal, this point can be refuted on the notion of what deems something to be either liberal or conservative. How exactly is finding a fossil from a few million years ago "liberal"? It's a scientific discovery, but this doesn't make it liberal or conservative. It's science. It's evidence. It's fact. Not that some liberals don't act like they know a lot, but Schlafly's the one that acts like a fuckin' know-it-all all the time.

We also see the much-repeated example of "liberals attempt[ing] to discourage an open-mind". The actual evidence which Mr Schlafly has put forward for this argument in the history of Conservapedia is incredibly scarce.


I was going to put a picture of sick here, but I didn't really want to google it.

Basically, it's the typical Schlafly Shit of "liberals are bad, conservatives are fuckin' brilliant" without the word "fuck". The main problem is the idea of geometric growth; Schlafly's basis for this is his "Best New Conservative Words" thingy, which is essentially the interpretations of a couple of words by some ideologically bent right-wingers. Just because Mr Schlafly deems a few words from 500 years ago to be "conservative", it doesn't make them conservative at all. As a matter of fact, the mere point that it was Andy Schlafly that put forward this argument calls it's credibility into question.

So yeah, a picture of sick.

Los Referencos[edit]

  1. Our list here.
  2. And another here.
  3. As Mr Schlafly has politely suggested to someone here

See Also[edit]