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God’s High Tech Liars

Last week Virgil Griffith, a graduate student at Cal-Tech released a software program which makes it possible for anyone to see who is editing entries in the popular open source, on-line data base Wikipedia.  The program shows what changes have been made, and (this is the fun part) who owns the computers from which the changes came.

Many of us will probably not be suprised to find that government agencies and big corporations are changing some of the entries to make themselves look better. For instance someone at Starbucks removed a link that led to a site critical to that giant corporation.  The controversial School Of The Americas at Fort Benning, GA whitewashed criticism of human rights violations which it allegedly encourages.  Exxon was discovered to have edited away a posting describing the number of animals killed by the Exxon Valdez spill, replacing it with a note that claims there was no long term enviormental damage resulting from the accident. 

After the fold: God's representatives on Earth are apparently no Luddites. 

Though Shall Not Bear False Witness?

When Griffith released the software program he invited the public to scan the changes made to Wikipedia and report instances of whitewashing.  A reporting site has been set up to document those changes. From that site:


Tulsa church edits “Origin of Species”>by Mike 

 Creationists edit “Origin of Species” article to say it is an “arguably mostly fictional” work. They also add completely fictional claims that Darwin argued that “There are no limitations to natural selection” and “All species evolved through natural selection from a single cell that lived 3.6 billion years ago” which are not in any way, shape, or form in Darwin's writings (any of them). So much for no bearing false witness.




Concerned Woman of America




First put in claim that employee and founder's son is not gay and cut out mentions that they support creationism, abstinence, and oppose homosexuality: Have some more edits: But the first edit is a bit juvenile:



Bishop's executive assistant deletes info about his role in hushing-up brother's sexual misconduct




She did it so many times…


…she finally earned a permanent block:


In one gut-busting instance, she claimed the info had to be deleted “per order of the Presiding Bishop.” The Bishop of Wikipedia? Who knew?




Oklahoma Christian University and homosexuality




OCU deleted the section about its homosexuality policies in Wikipedia's OCU article.


The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. (Sorry, Mr. Gore) I'm thinking that it's a good thing that God presented Moses the 10 Commandments engraved into stone, rather than releasing it as a Wikipedia entry.



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