Conservapedia And An Absent Holy Spirit

One thing you might expect from a spirit of truth would be truth.

I’m going to argue that the editors at Conservapedia demonstrably do not have truth, and, therefore, do not have the spirit of truth.

Let’s begin with an interesting entry on “atheism and obesity“.

Obesity rates among atheists

Obesity rates have skyrocketed since the Supreme Court effectively made public school atheistic with the Engel v. Vitale case banning classroom prayer in 1962. Today more than 3 out of every 10 Americans is obese, while among atheists the numbers appear to be closer to 11 out of 17 or about 65%!

Below I’ll be pointing out the logical fallacies found in this short excerpt above.


  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Y happened after X, therefore X is the cause of Y.)


    Here is a brief list of other things that have also been “increasing since 1962” when the ban on school prayer was enacted.

    1. The incidence of mesothelioma (a type of cancer)
    2. Timber harvest on private lands
    3. The proportion of women aged 25-29
    4. Time it takes to get a drug FDA approved
    5. Tobacco taxes
    6. Percentage of male nursing students

    No one from Conservapedia, it seems, is arguing that banning classroom prayer caused the increases listed above. And they have included nothing in the article that would justify their leap from the co-occurrence of banning prayer and obesity to a causal link between the two. I’m going to suggest they simply fabricated this, and no evidence of causation from banning classroom prayer to fat atheists will be forthcoming. In other words, they are dishonest. You won’t find a spirit of truth anywhere near this degree of dishonesty.


  • Faulty generalization


    When I initially saw the “11 out of 17”, I thought it looked a bit strange. Normally when you have a sample size sufficiently large to detect significance, it will be a percentage or a ratio of x:10. So I check the link to what I thought would be a rigorous study. Instead I found this website with photos of 17 atheists, 11 of them plump. They did include a link, so I’m not going to call this dishonestly; just incompetence of the most ridiculous sort. Incompetence that would embarrass any spirit of truth.

  • Cherry-picking


    There has already been research conducted on this correlation between obesity and faith by a Professor Ferraro conducted on a sample size of 2,500. Here’s an excerpt.

    In the new study, he breaks this down by specific creed, and reports that whereas 1 one percent or less of those embracing the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other non-Christian religions qualify as obese, the numbers of the markedly overweight rise dramatically the further one goes toward the Christian fundamentalist end of the spectrum: around 17 percent of Catholics, 18 percent of Methodists, 20 percent of Pentecostal and Assemblies of God parishioners, and a striking 27 percent of Baptists, including the Southern, North American and Fundamentalist wings.
    [source]

    This was easily found on the Web. Perhaps the spirit of truth needs a tutorial on internet searches. Or was this research on a sample size of 2,500 found and ignored in favor of 17 photos? I’ll let the readers decide. In either case, we can definitely say that a spirit of truth was not an accomplice to this idiocy.

Wait. There’s regrettably more Conservapedia absurdities.

Lesbianism, atheism and obesity

The Bible declares lesbianism to be a sin (Romans 1:27) and lesbians have significantly higher rates of obesity. Since the Bible declares gluttony and lesbianism to be sins, no doubt there are obese people and/or lesbians who reject Christianity and decide to become atheists rather than repent and become Christians.

I’ll let my readers ponder whether any spirit of truth would have authored such illogic. Ask yourselves what we must then conclude about plump christians were we to accept this line of thinking. One thing they do have right is, if there is a sanctifying holy spirit, and gluttony is a sin, then we would expect to see far fewer obese individuals (against the community average) within substantial groups of those who truly do have a non-mythical holy spirit. Can you find such a group? Perhaps they’re too thin to see.

Oh, and before I leave you, they did include evidence that christians are more fit than atheists; a photo of Chuck Norris. I’m not even making this up.


Postscript: A christian friend suggested that the obesity trend that started in 1962 may have been due to the advent of expanded TV programming and access, as well as the fast food culture. Now that is what we call rational thinking, holy spirit not included.

Oh, and I’d like to offer myself as a counter-example to Chuck Norris. I’m a 49-year-old apostate who cycled 220 miles yesterday.


Update: This post received quite a few views, and within two days the article in question was modified. (Here is the original.) But there remain many faulty generalizations, and they have yet to cite the scholar study on obese christians I mentioned.


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11 thoughts on “Conservapedia And An Absent Holy Spirit

  1. Paul Wallace says:

    Hi Phil.

    One question, prompted by a detail in this post.

    I understand why you do not capitalize God. For you, I suppose, it’s because there is no referent. No problem.

    But why do you not capitalize Christian? I understand that you see theism as utterly vacuous, which is fine. But I see Gnosticism (for example) as utterly vacuous, yet I capitalize it because it refers to a particular religious tradition. It is simply a matter of the rules of standard English. What gives?

    Do tell.

    P.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Theists use “God” and deists use “god”.

    “God” is well defined, while “god” is more abstract.

    Various christians define christianity with diverse and contradictory explanations, all far too abstract to capitalize.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Paul Wallace says:

      Hm. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of there being a capitalization-abstraction connection, but yes, given that connection, yes, I understand.

      But Gnosticism is a little tough to categorize too… “gnosticism”? Can I being myself to write that?

      I’ll think about it.

      P.

      • I think it is this very confusion between “God” and “god” that encourages a dishonest few to argue from a logically possible intelligent designer (god) to a conclusion of an incoherent Jehovah (God) while ignoring the expanse of hidden assumptions between the two, some of them logically impossible.

  3. Robert says:

    It is also interesting to note that the areas of the country that have the highest incidents of obesity are also the areas that have the highest percentages of those who are believers. It also completely ignores such well known preachers as Charles Spurgeon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon, Jerry Falwell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_fallwell, Rita Antoinette Rizzo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Angelica, or even James “Obama is a long-legged mack daddy” Manning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_David_Manning

    This of course does not the plethora fat to obese Baptist preachers who abound here in Kentucky and other southern states. Indeed this article is nothing but tripe.

  4. Robert says:

    One must wonder why a man would be so concerned about how another man looks.

    I’m just saying.

  5. Bolgoarth says:

    One must wonder why a man would be so concerned about how another man looks.

    Given the minutiae Yahweh concerned himself with in the Old Testament it doesn’t seem that surprising…

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