RationalWiki's front page states:
- Their purpose is to analyze "pseudoscience" and refute the "anti-science movement."
- Interestingly, on their Anti-science page, they define "anti-science" as:
|“||...largely ideological attacks on the teaching of evolutionary theory and other sciences in schools, and their use in the world at large.||”|
which essentially means that anything that doesn't agree with the Theory of evolution is immediately termed "anti-science." Is this really a scientific endeavor?
- Incidentally, their definition for Pseudoscience is right on the mark:
|“||Pseudoscience is any belief system or methodology which tries to gain legitimacy by wearing the trappings of science, but fails to abide by the rigorous methodology and standards of evidence that demarcate true science. Pseudoscience is designed to have the appearance of being scientific, but lacks any of the substance of science.||”|
- RationalWiki also wants to "Document the full range of "crank" ideas."
Crank is a pejorative term applied to someone who holds extremely unorthodox views on a subject and is often very vocal about these opinions.
- Following this line of thinking, evolution is surely a crank idea, at least in America, where the percentage of people believing in materialistic evolution are in the minority.[Reference needed] Considering the stranglehold this view has on the media, it is also very vocal. Generally, unorthodox refers to a belief that is fairly new on the scene, and breaks with the traditional way of thinking about the world. Evolution has not been in vogue for much more than 200 years, though evolutionary thought has been common in ungodly societies for as long as there have been ungodly societies. [Reference needed] The prevailing belief about origins for the previous 1800 years had been one of a recent creation, less than 10,000 years ago. Evolution is undoubtedly unorthodox in this respect, upsetting thousands of years of science and history. Intelligent minds before Darwin saw no problem with Biblical Christianity--Newton is one well-known example.
- Lastly, RationalWiki seeks to explore "authoritarianism" and "fundamentalism."
|“||People who are raised to strictly follow specific writings as unquestionable display a strong tendency towards authoritarianism. As such they are very dangerous to democracy and the health of any society in which they live.||”|
- The irony is that if the person above quoted was in power, they would almost certainly authorize the legal truncation of Christians' rights, justifying them as "dangerous" at first, perhaps later branding them as "enemies of the state." George Orwell's book Animal Farm (an extended metaphor of the Russian Revolution) comes to mind.
Comparing RationalWiki with CreationWiki
The authors of RationalWiki seek to compare the two wikis in the following terms:
|“||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).||”|
What the same authors miss in the comparison between the two wikis in terms of editions is that:
- RationalWiki has 53,387 registered users which produced 6,488 content pages. Approximately 8.2 registered users per page built, and CreationWiki has 1,590 registered users which produced 6,180 content pages. Approximately 0.25 registered users per page. The productivity of RationalWiki registered users falls well short of that of the registered editors of CreationWiki.
- On the other hand, the same RationalWiki 53,387 registered users produced 109,817 pages in the wiki, including talk pages, redirects, etc. and the 1,590 CreationWiki registered users produced only 28,062 pages. Conclusion: RationalWiki editors prefer to stay discussing their old articles rather than producing new ones. In this way the greater number of editions of the editors of RationalWiki does not mean much, or rather, it points out the unproductiveness of those.
It is easy to see where RationalWiki stands.
- RationalWiki:Main Page, accessed 8:45 pm M August 30, 2010. Unless otherwise noted, the references in bullets are taken from the main page.
- Crank, on RationalWiki. Accessed 9:05 pm M August 30, 2010.
- Unorthodox, definition on The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 9:15 pm M August 30, 2010.
- Authoritarianism, accessed 9:30 pm M August 30, 2010. The writer mentions "The authoritarian loves rules, and loves to apply them. However, for a true authoritarian, power is more important than rules: the rules themselves aren't the source of power and they don't apply to the powerful." Whereas this might be anyone's concern about big government, one is able to detect a parallel implication of Biblical Authority as being oppressive, at least in the eyes of the writer.