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Hi all, a few years ago I lacked the skill and resources to implement a full-scale, dedicated project to host the "Museum of Ignorance" a project to rebuke the lack of education brought about by creationists, bozos, pathological liars, snake-oil salesmen, well-meaning celebs, politicians and the like. In fact, anything that spreads by lack of knowledge: ignorance in other words. You might think of it as an antidote to Conservapedia but I'd like to think this project will be more leveled than that trash.

Remember: an ignorant person is not necessarily stupid; although stupid people are often mind-beggaringly ignorant too.

For example, under the entry for Origin of Species, we'd explain that the word speciation is different to abiogenesis: a red-herring brought about by ignorance of the work - AND doesn't remove the need for a god. Similarly, under Theory, we will discuss the difference between an idea and a scientific theory.

Sure, this has been done before, but MoI replaces entries with "exhibits" just like a real museum and it's aimed at poorly educated people; unlike Wikipedia & talkorigins which can get raveled in techno-babble.

The museum's job will be to effectively and above all, simply debunk any crazy meme no matter how old it is: from Jesus's promises to return (before 100AD) right through to Andrew Wakefield's idiotic research into MMR. No topic is off limits but everything should be accessible to a person of average intellect and poor general knowledge.

Right, so I have the domain - and the space on a dedicated server of our own running LLMP stack (Lighttpd in place of Apache) so it's capable of handling a very busy site: and one that can grow.

This is its genesis. In order to succeed it's going to need some participation from people like you. If Dr. Meaden will forgive my indulgence, I would like suggestions for:

* A Logo.
* Software to drive it - TikiWiki is the front runner right now, but I do have a proprietary engine we might be able to use.
* Volunteers to provide the articles.
* Anything else...

This will be a god-free zone! Articles on faith (it's negative and positive effects) would also be welcome provided they're not intended to alienate those who cling on to these ideas. Much as I respect Prof. Dawkins, he has actually helped to give us a bad name. Perhaps this site can help, in some small way, to redress that balance.

This is the sort of clever tomfoolery we're out to prove is a pack of stinking B/S!

Where computer expert and author, Perry Marshall writes:

"But communication theory shows us that Evolution by Random Process is a hypothesis without proof."

Which is wrong in more ways that I can imagine. This is going to be a fun ride!

Tags: Belief, Creationism, Ignorance, Knowledge, Science, Wiki

Views: 66

Replies to This Discussion

"Museum of Ignorance" is directed at us, the "enlightened". We'd enjoy it to death. But masturbating ourselves all day isn't going to help anything.
Well if I had the money/resources, that would be the aim. In fact, that was the original idea (despite me being UK based)!

I am, as ever, open to suggestions from my peers and comrades in this war against "stupid". Right now, stupid is winning: although I found one way to get their hackles up was to point out that pride is a sin... and their smug little treatises disproving Darwin (etc.) were just that! That really upset them! LOL.

Judging by the response to MoI, this issue is already raising eyebrows (in both directions, if you'll pardon the pun) so let's see how it develops.

Nothing is off my radar! If we could get the money, I'm 100% behind building this idea into a tangible asset. Perhaps this is what the Discovery Institute et al need - real competition.
I liked the title "Museum of Ignorance" immediately - because it is FUNNY. And it is funny because museums are supposed to be repositories of fact.

Ironic humor is a powerful tool to influence people who do not want to look foolish. If their concepts are genuinely laughable, and the laughter is predicated upon rational facts, they will feel uncomfortable but they should also be laughing.

Ironic humor has been used throughout recorded history to poke fun at the ridiculous and puncture the pompous. It's my favorite tool.
Is that why the "Dummies Guides" and "Complete Idiot's Guides" are so popular? Besides the fact that they are well written.
I do like the idea of the Museum. I consider myself pro-science and very skeptical. So anything to reduce ignorance is good in my book.

Thank you for your post with elements of actual experience.
Yes, very enlightening, Medusa thanks (really). I'm minded of the experiments like Stanford Prison and others. I've written extensively on this and mass psychology is pretty wacky stuff. OK, back on topic. ;-)

Regardless of how heated this debate gets, we must not let it slip away from the reason we're here.

I want to open this site as a public resource more focused than Wikipedia and simpler than TalkOrigins - so I'm asking for your input on:

Which Wiki we use (if we use a wiki/CMS!);
Volunteers to edit it;
A group of people to form an NPO foundation to run it;
A logo to headline it.

Right now, the site can run in my company server which has sufficient space to run it so there's no costs involved other than our time.

I'd like to separate our exhibits into areas, rooms if you like, such as:

Purveyors of Ignorance (the people who spread it like Ham, 'W', Marshall etc.)
Scientific Ignorance (early theories and how they are supplanted by better ones);
Science Scandals: (MMR, Cold Fusion, etc.);
Origins of Ignorance (assumption, faith, self-delusion).

These are just suggestions - I'm open to more. My time is severely limited, so in order to get this running, can I ask everyone to try and keep it on topic (yes I know, look in mirror, Draco!) ;-)
How about a puzzled-looking face, with a burnt-out light bulb overhead?
He he! I'm loving these! Keep 'em coming and when we have enough, perhaps the group can vote one which we send to the designer? (Unless a designer happens across this discussion.)
I have a tame "designer" who can probably knock our ideas (i.e. your ideas! LOL) into shape. Thanks for your effort, Fred. It's a darn good start.
Yes, I like this effort using "two short planks".
It is carrying a powerful message, with deservedly sly humor too.
Personally, I think this is a good idea with a bad approach. Presenting debunking information is a good thing, but the attitude you appear to be wanting to use to convey it is going to mean is going to defeat the purpose behind it.

For example, lets take information on how best to debunk Moon-landing conspiracy theories. If, as you present the information, you consistently trash people who believe in those conspiracy theories, you will convince no-one. Nobody has ever been convinced by the argument 'you are an ignorant moron, and here's why'. The way to convince someone is by the argument 'I can see why you might believe that, because you saw the pieces of evidence A, B and C, but in reality the evidence D, E and F can explain why A, B and C occurred and moreover there is also the evidence G, H, I, J, K, L and M that your theory can't account for'. If you acknowledge that what they believe is in fact reasonable based on the limited information you suspect they were using, and then given them the greater amount of information, that opens up at least a possibility that they will be convinced.


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