Monday, 4 May 2015

What happened to rationalwiki?

I never gave RationalWiki much thought  before, as really it is a great resource. However, recently when reading an article there I was amused but also wondering why RationalWiki needed to go and make some snarky comments about people. I mean criticism of a persons ideas is okay, but attacking them personally is different. Although recently I did equate Ken Ham as a zombie, so I am also guilty of snark. But let me give some examples of what I mean.

On the Global warming Denialism page, they have a section entitled "National or international scientific bodies that reject anthropogenic global warming" Under this picture there is the following gif file.
Now, while this is funny is it necessary? Is it there to enrage? Whats its point in providing rationality except for taking a cheap shot. It is more something I would expect from Encyclopedia Dramatica than RationalWiki. Additionally, as I have written before here, I really think that to equate scientists who agree the climate is warming but disagree on the cause as denialists, is dishonest.

Or how about the fact that Thunderf00t's RationalWiki page is filed under the tag "Someone is Wrong on the Internet". Regardless of how you feel about Thunderf00t the guy is probably one of the more rational people out there in the vlogosphere, so why is he classified as wrong? Apparently, as he dares question feminism this makes him more or less Satan in the eyes of the rational?

Or the page on Rebecca Watson that carried no criticism of her work. In fact her page is remarkably bleak considering she is held as a shining light in some skeptic communiies, and she was a party involved in the Elevatorgate saga, although they do put a "see also" link to it.

So, while I am hesitant to say avoid RationalWiki as it is a good resource, I would say be aware that not everything is so rational on RationalWiki. Like every website they have biases and as a skeptic we should always be aware of this. Lastly, as with Wikipedia, this is a public encyclopedia so there is always the chance that it could contain unverified false information.