Watch Andrew Schlafly '81, who has launched Conservapedia and the Conservative Bible project, on "The Colbert Report." Click here to view Comment ArchivesBob Brodsky '58 Says: 2010-03-03 16:52:18 Andrew Schlafly (“Conservapedia” PAW 2/24/10) is exactly right when he terms Wikipedia as a “liberal” source. That’s what it’s supposed to be. I attended Princeton because it is, among other things, a university, and universities by presenting a wide variety of interests are liberal. What I got was broad and deep, ancient and contemporary. As for Wiki being “atheistic” and run by a mob, Mr. Schlafly reveals he has not kept up with the contribution vetting process evolving at Wiki. In my own field I have found accuracy and economy in Wiki texts, if not always the fullness I desired. The entry on John Calvin’s Institutes is astoundingly compact, but the one on Blaise Pascal’s Wager, is full and thoughtful, and anything but atheistic. Michael G. Hall '47 Says: 2010-03-08 09:28:13 Andrew Schlafly's comments on BCE and CE in place of BC and AD in World History books show him to be ignorant of that field of study. (“Conservapedia” PAW 2/24/10). Rather than indicating atheism, as Schlafy says, the change denotes neutrality among world religions. Heaven help his pupils. John Horner '90 Says: 2010-03-22 13:24:41 In the spirit of full disclosure: I am an atheist. Although, as I believe Richard Dawkins pointed out, it is somewhat absurd for there to even be such a thing as "atheiesm" as there is certainly no other equivalent word for the non-belief in other irrational and utterly unsubstantiated belief systems. For example, there is no word for people who don't belief in gnomes or fairies. But to get to the heart of the issue, I find this article disturbing on several levels. First, while I commend Mr. Bernstein for what strikes me as a fairy unbiased, almost journalistic approach, I find it problematic that such anti-intellectual, and demonstrably false ideas get treated in the PAW with a level of respect that they have not earned. Such treatment confers an undeserved, implicit respectability. Perhaps if it were in the NY Times I could accept such an approach. But to present ideas that are antithetical, even anathema to the goals of Princeton's liberal arts education in such a dispassionate manner seems irresponsible. One could even argue that such beliefs do not belong in the PAW at all. To elevate irrational thought to the level of enlightened discourse is a disservice to the community. It should be exposed for what it is. To return briefly to the treatment of this subject by Mr. Bernstein. I think it is misleading to state that Schlafly ... "has tried to bring conservatism into the Internet age...". This is, of course, the coded double speak that Schlafly himself uses to disguise his true agenda, which is to disseminate religious fundamentalism. It is on par with the media reporting an act of "ethnic cleansing," which is merely a sterilized wrapping for mass murder or genocide. Even an unbiased report can and should call something "murder" when it is murder. This deception on Schlafly's part is immediately clear if you go to his "conservative" Web site which is not dominated by "conservative" social, political or economic viewpoints, but rather by religious ideology. This site is a source of such immense misinformation, skewed and selective data that it should be offensive to ANYONE in search of accurate information on the subjects it covers. The section on "atheist" for example, which links refusal to accept irrational belief in a supreme being ("atheism") to mass murder, immorality, mental health, suicide, deception, and depravity (among other things), seems suspiciously quiet on the fact that there is an almost linear relationship between the depth and breadth of religious belief in a society and a number of measures of its social dysfunction. The most religious societies tend to have the highest rates of murder, abortion, suicide, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, lack of women's rights, and lack of human rights to name a few, while the more secular societies tend to experience lower rates of these kinds of social dysfunctions. It is also conspicuously absent that there is no mention of the inverse relationship between IQ and religious belief, as well as the inverse relationship between an individual's level of education and their religious belief. Much of Schlafly's Web site contains the Bible as the reference source for his ludicrous positions. Not only is it intellectually feeble to use the Bible as source in a debate about the validity of the Bible as a source, as though it could somehow self-authenticate itself (it makes about as much sense as would an atheist arguing that God told them he doesn't exist), but the Bible is such a highly problematic document in terms of its provenance, consistency, and highly immoral examples (even by its own explicit standards), that it opens the door for an attack that it cannot withstand. Schlafly is asked whether there can be an objective encyclopedia. His answer at once betrays his anti-intellectual stance as he casually expresses the opinion that "in practice" it cannot, as if to somehow absolve him of any duty or responsibility to strive towards this goal. He seems to be of the belief that by merely proclaiming his bias, he can somehow validate his own personal "encyclopedia." Schlafly's overtly disingenuous and specious claim that it is better to "disclose their [his] approach" is an insult to the reader. Not only because what he discloses ("conservatism") is misleading doublespeak for his true agenda (namely, religious fundamentalism, which he does not explicitly disclose), but also because his offensive and repugnant viewpoints are no less palatable because he "discloses" them. Disclosure of one's motive, especially when it is a lie, does not make the content of the disclosure itself any more credible. An encyclopedia is a collection of knowledge, not a collection of essays, editorials, or opinions. I am very disturbed by the viewpoints espoused by Mr. Schlafly and outraged that he attempts to disguise ignorance, deception and misinformation in a veil of intellectual and academic respectability. I am disappointed in Princeton and the PAW for associating itself with such repugnant ideas, and for allowing such shoddy, false scholarship to fill its pages.