Thursday, February 15, 2007

The evils of Wikipedia

Recently, I had the guilty pleasure of reading a set of short biographies about yours truly that were written by a group of Confirmation Students. It was very interesting to read about what they thought was important in my life. Funny, not one of them mentioned the numerous digestive problems I experienced, I know I wrote frequently about it.

"Puny Humans and their weak digestive tracts! My people shall devour you! Muhahaha!"

However, my sour digestion is not what has my intestines in a knot this time. What has me upset this time is how young people are relying on this thing called Wikipedia, which would lead you to believe I am more famous for writing in anger against Jews than for making a stand for the Gospel.

At first glance an instrument of knowledge that can be updated by anybody seems like a great idea, but really anybody with an agenda can come in and leave in accurate or misleading information. For example under the entry for Lutherans, Wikipedia records,
"Historically, Lutherans have tended to remain apart from associations with other Churches in order to protect their unique doctrines. Liberal Lutherans believe in ecumenism, the idea that there is a single Christian church, and a single Christian faith."
( this has since changed) This is not true, conservative Lutheran teach that there is only one Christian for Christ has one body not many. What liberal lutherans believe in is unity at all costs. Conservative Lutherans insist that before we have public unity between denominations we must be in one accord concerning teachings, something I recall myself saying.

Unfortunately, our young people are not verifying the facts on Wikipedia. Instead, they are using it as their lone source of information, just as in the past they used and Encyclopedia Britannica and Encarta as their sole source of information.

I think I will suggest to my pastor friend that he not accept any paper that list Wikipedia as its only source.


RevFisk said...

Personally, I use Wikipedia to learn about Pink Floyd and Nightcrawler. Frankly, I don't care if I'm misinformed about them. That's what wikipedia is good for: trivial pursuit.

The fact that WP is being seen as an actual source of scholastic information that needs no verification, but simply stands apart as the aristo-platonic truth of History, only proves that what Neil Postman saw in the threat of television is only amplified by the joyous experience of time-death that is "the web."

Then again, how do I know that your blog is telling the truth? Oh no...Googlezon again. Hmmmm...

Maybe postmodern theory has something to it. Maybe we *can't* know anything. Maybe we're trapped in a truthless world where reality can only cave in on itself. I actually believe it is so. I confess it is so. "All have...fallen short..."

In my mind, such a perception is not a reason to abandon the "organized" trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Such original sin is the best reason to keep trusting no matter what else may befall!

You can't trust Wikipedia. You can't trust the History Channel. You can't trust the President. Heck, you can't even trust half the pastors you meet. You can't trust in anything.

There is only one hope.

jWinters said...

That's the beauty of Wiki! You CAN change erroneous items on Wiki. I added the LSB commemoration cycle to the Lutheran Saints article.
Off I go to Wiki...