You couldn't make this stuff up

Conservapedia, as any fule kno, is The Trustworthy Encyclopedia. On matters of politics or "difficult" science like dinosaurs, perhaps one might expect a slight divergence from reality. But on well understood matters like relativity? All will be well, Shirley. But someone posted their E=mc2 article as a screenshot to facebook, so I checked up, and lo! It is true: they really are utterly nutso. We all knew that anyway really, so this is just for fun (if you want details, it looks like rationalwiki is useful). Quoting:

E=mc² is Einstein's famous formula which asserts that the energy (E) which makes up the matter in any body is equal to the square of the speed of light (c²) times the mass (m) of that body.[1] It is a statement that purports to relate all matter to energy. In fact, no theory has successfully unified the laws governing mass (i.e., gravity) with the laws governing light (i.e., electromagnetism), and numerous attempts to derive E=mc² in general from first principles have failed. Political pressure, however, has since made it impossible for anyone pursuing an academic career in science to even question the validity of this nonsensical equation. Simply put, E=mc² is liberal claptrap. Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge predicts that a unified theory of all the laws of physics is impossible, because light and matter were created at different times, in different ways, as described in the Book of Genesis.

"Supermr34" made a small attempt to tidy it up, but was swiftly reverted. "Walterinternet" tried just pasting in the wiki version (and implausibly claiming this was OK because he'd written it) but (a) that got reverted and (b) he was using wiki-templates that conservapedia doesn't even have, so it was an utter mess. Eventually he gave up and just wrote "CONSERVAPEDIA IS GAY" which may well have been the best solution. As I write this, they're back to the "Simply put, E=mc² is liberal claptrap" version.

The "scientific foreknowledge" page is great, too:

Quantum Mechanics: Observation of the Wave Function: The second chapter of the Gospel of John describes the conversion of water into wine by Jesus at a wedding reception. John 2:9 states: "When the host of the wedding feast tasted the water, it had been made into wine." This passage implies that the drink was not wine until it had been tasted, or observed. Possibly, the drink was a superposition of the state of wine and the state of water until it was observed as wine.

More like this

You've dug right through the bottom of the pickle barrel. What's next? More posts about row-boats?

[You've found me out. Its pretty cold here right now, I might do a post on that :-) -W]

I tend to assume there are some poes in there, messing with the natives

By carrot eater (not verified) on 15 Jan 2013 #permalink

I find Conservapedia to be well informed and often use it on my own facebook to share with others. I do tend to stay away from fake news sights like Stink Progress and Democrap Underground

By Insufficient C… (not verified) on 15 Jan 2013 #permalink

I find the juxtaposition between the claim that E=mc^2 is "Simply put, E=mc² is liberal claptrap", and the later claim, under the heading "Experimental Verification" that:

"The authors state in their article in Nature magazine that "Einstein's relationship is separately confirmed in two tests, which yield a combined result of 1−Δmc²/E=(−1.4±4.4)×10−7, indicating that it holds to a level of at least 0.00004%."

(My emphasis)

By Tom Curtis (not verified) on 15 Jan 2013 #permalink

Well, conservative writer Tom Bethell (see Weird Anti-Science, Appendix A.2 and A.6) doesn't believe in relativity either, and even wrote a whole book to prove it ("Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary?) using high school algebra there and in arguments with PhD physicsts who oddly kept telling him he needed to learn tensors. Of course, he also thinks intelligent design correct, radiation is really good, etc, and you can guess his views on the global warming hoax.

Amusingly, he's married to Donna Bethell, who's on Fred Singer's SEPP Board, which fits. She's also a Board member for Sandia National Laboratories, which does not.
(For those unfamiliar with it, among other things it's one of the main nuclear weapons labs in US. No radiation issues.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 15 Jan 2013 #permalink

Conservapedians can't accept the theory of relativity because from there it is a slippery slope to believing in relative morals.

The figure behind the steersman appears to have six fingers on his right hand. How do they explain that?

There may be Poes, but the article was created by Andrew Schlafly himself, and he is the one who makes the most outrageous statements. This can seen best on the talk-page of the article....

Not as weird as the claim that catastrophic global warming is the most widely accepted theory in all of science, eg more widely than Newron's laws, claimed by the NNC.

[You made that up -W]

Obvious which of the 2 is the more credible.

By Neil Craig (not verified) on 16 Jan 2013 #permalink

Neil Craig: citation please!

Yes, Niel, how many title hits do you get from say, Scirus, when you respectively fish for

"global warming ", and

"catastrophic gloal warming" ?

By Russell Seitz (not verified) on 16 Jan 2013 #permalink

Especially if you use Spell Check :(

By Russell Seitz (not verified) on 16 Jan 2013 #permalink

carrot eater:

"I tend to assume there are some poes in there, messing with the natives"

In the first six months or so, much of the interesting content there was written by poes. It was far more entertaining back then.

Almost immediately upon its announcement, someone created an entry on "reality", stating, among other things, that "it is well known that reality has a liberal bias".

Stayed there for months. Too good.

> made that up
or read it on the Internet somewhere

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 16 Jan 2013 #permalink


Dose that imply a 11th commandment or is the missing digit on the left one, likely lost the to the wear and tear of daily life, a sure sign that the Twelfth Iman, who’s been hangin’ with Merlin under the hill, will shortly be conducting a close-out sale on bad things in the Universe.

By WhiteBeard (not verified) on 16 Jan 2013 #permalink

This was tried (not very successfully) a life-time ago. I invoke Godwin's Law.

By Alexander Harvey (not verified) on 17 Jan 2013 #permalink

Would I make something up?

Particularlt when the warmists can be relied on to tell sich obvious lies that there is no necessity to.…

Res[ponse of the obscene corrupt fascist parasites of the BBC…

"I note that you make no retraction, either here or on air, of the claim that the law of gravity is more doubted than the global warming scare & that this remains an example of the very highest standard of honesty to which any employee of the BBC ever, under any circumstances, aspires.. Looking out of the window you may note snow lying on the ground. This clearly supports the gravity theory since otherwise it would not lie. I would also say its presence is at least strong negative evidence for the theory that we are experiencing dangerous warming"

I trust W, being honest, will apologise for saying I lied and Marco similarly acknowledge getting the citation.

Or not as the case may be.

[What are you on? You're quoting yourself there. You need to quote someone else talking, not yourself inventing strawmen -W]

By Neil Craig (not verified) on 17 Jan 2013 #permalink

There has been an anti-Einstein, anti-relativity meme on the far right for many years.

I first ran across it in the later writings of British SF author James P. Hogan. In 1985 he included a very sympathetic fictional portrait of Einstein in "The Proteus Operation". But by Hogan's 1997 novel "Bug Park" Einstein has become a monster and relativity is all a fraud.

Late in life, Hogan also came to adopt denialist positions on global warming, evolution, AIDS, the existence of dinosaurs, and who knows what else. He sympathized with Holocaust deniers, and promoted Velikovsky-ish ideas about the history of the solar system.

If you read a lot of conservative media, and are prone to conspiracy theories, and have an interest in science, fringe beliefs about Einstein and relativity will probably insinuate their way into your world view sooner or later.

The man at the wheel of the boat looks to be a young Peter Sellers wearing a pair of white pince nez and a prop set of buck teeth.

Obviously the illustration should revert as well.

By Jeffrey Davis (not verified) on 17 Jan 2013 #permalink

Neil, If u are going to quote yourself, at least make the slightest of efforts to cover it up (don't write your name on the 1st link you give).

This was tried (not very successfully) a life-time ago. I invoke Godwin’s Law.

For more details of this, and for new suggestions for threads, I recommend John Grant, 2007. Corrupted Science (Fraud ,ideology and politics in science)

For this example, look up Philipp Lenard ,creator of Deutsche Physik. The one silver lining was that the 3rd Reich never produced nuclear weapons, partly because of the environment created by evil people like him.

By deconvoluter (not verified) on 17 Jan 2013 #permalink

The link does quote the BBC as well as you must have seen.

And they did claim CAGW as the best attested science, which does mean more than Newton and they did, repeatedly, refuse the opportunity to correct that inanity.

[You want to quote the Beeb, then do so. At the moment, you're just quoting yourself making stuff up. The Beeb said nothing about CAGW - W]

Presumably had I not been in a position to confrim personal knowledge of the event somebody would have suggested I must be "on something" not to disbelieve it.

By Neil Craig (not verified) on 18 Jan 2013 #permalink

"The link does quote the BBC as well as you must have seen."

It doesn't say anything about AGW being the best attested science.

"..and they did, repeatedly, refuse the opportunity to correct that inanity..."

Yes, because not responding to every crank is an admission of guilt.

Mr. Craig, it is getting clear to all if you actually *had* evidence (beyond just repeating the claim) of the BBC saying what you claim it did, you would have produced this evidence already. You don't have it. What is wanted is an actual quotation (an audio or video clip would be the best) from the BBC saying that AGW is the "best attested science". I have a feeling they at most said something like it's "among the best confirmed" or some such. At any rate, there is no reason at all to take your word on the subject.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 18 Jan 2013 #permalink

No wonder Neil's angry, the BBC reply just totally pwned him:

"As Iain pointed out in his reply, there is an overwhelming agreement among geoscientists and climate scientists that human activity is a significant contributing factor. Therefore it is unnecessary for the BBC to either apologise or show an additional ‘balancing’ programme as this would give equal weight to what is clearly a minority view."

Hahahaha. At last, someone has learnt how to deal with tiresome cranks.

Oh, and the conservapedia entry is funny.

The game is to hold a lawsuit filed by St. Watts up alongside for comparison against a highly similar lawsuit filed by De'il Mann, and demonstrate unfair treatment. They want to assure their readers that the corrupt illumifascist US court system, run by Amended Secondment fanatics, are pillorying the truth-tellers, and y'all better keep your great big magazines rolled up handy to whack those who aren't up with Right Thinking.

Or something like that.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 19 Jan 2013 #permalink

The clowns at conservapedia don't like complex numbers, or mathematical proof by contradiction either. They are as intellectually and morally bankrupt as [PA deleted - I'm going to make a perhaps doomed attempt to clean up -W].

Amazingly, when it was first launched several years ago, schlafly was allowed time on several shows to advertise it as being the "honest, rational, reality-based" answer to that liberal den of inequity, wikipedia.

"The clowns at conservapedia don’t like complex numbers"

Schlafly is a trained electrical engineer, so this is beyond mystifying.

Schlafly is a trained electrical engineer, so this is beyond mystifying.

Agreed, and there has not been a reasonable explanation for the dislike, although given the general tone there that is certainly not a surprise.

It is interesting to read of the battles that have been fought trying to get a semblance of reality into the relativity postings: they go up, they get taken down. I remember one discussion, I believe on ethan's blog, in which schlafly's brother, who seems a little more accepting of relativity (he is a physicist, i believe) kept belittling Einstein's contributions, always with the same rejoinder, something to do with "the jewish influence" he supposedly brought to the table. Perhaps that is the true origin of their problem.

There's nothing mystifying about the crank opposition to Einstein & relativity on the far right. It's part and parcel of a general set of beliefs about scientific corruption and conspiracy theories. (See my comment about James P. Hogan above...)

Einstein has some famous anti-war quotes. Einstein was Jewish. "Relativity" seems suspicious, insofar as the lack of a universal frame of reference might lend support to atheism. It also seems analogous to "cultural relativism" and "moral relativism". The existence of absolutes is very important to conservatives.

Plus, it becomes a self-perpetuating process. One or two right-wing cranks come up with an anti-Einstein pseudoscience. They are ignored by the academic/scientific establishment, which is culturally leftist. This draws more right-wing cranks to the anti-Einstein cause. And so on.

something to do with “the jewish influence” he supposedly brought to the table. Perhaps that is the true origin of their problem.

You mean they are secretly Nazis?

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 21 Jan 2013 #permalink

You mean they are secretly Nazis?

No, I certainly do not say that: I think that term should only be applied to people who are (were) demonstrably such.
I meant to suggest that they feel that suggesting "jews" had something to do with an idea is sufficient reason to downplay the importance of that idea.

I've gone around and around with conservatives on relativistic physics, and they truly believe that Relativity == Moral Relativism.

I try to point out if you don't take relativistic effects into account, you get the wrong answer in a number of circumstances, my favorite example being the Huygens probe to Titan. But by that point in my exposition, their eyes have glazed over.

By Jim Galasyn (not verified) on 23 Jan 2013 #permalink

A helpful commenter explains why temperature didn't change much from 1940-1980, over at SciAm:…

17. mudphud 2:44 pm 01/23/2013

... It’s a graph showing average deviations from a baseline temperature which the article states is 1950 to 1980. So the increase or decrease year to year in that period is “flat” because that is where they set zero...."

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 23 Jan 2013 #permalink

Jim, simply accuse them of geographic relativity. Relatavistic orrections for the GPS system are significant
Further, the satellites are in orbits high above the Earth, where the curvature of spacetime due to the Earth's mass is less than it is at the Earth's surface. A prediction of General Relativity is that clocks closer to a massive object will seem to tick more slowly than those located further away (see the Black Holes lecture). As such, when viewed from the surface of the Earth, the clocks on the satellites appear to be ticking faster than identical clocks on the ground. A calculation using General Relativity predicts that the clocks in each GPS satellite should get ahead of ground-based clocks by 45 microseconds per day.

The combination of these two relativitic effects means that the clocks on-board each satellite should tick faster than identical clocks on the ground by about 38 microseconds per day (45-7=38)! This sounds small, but the high-precision required of the GPS system requires nanosecond accuracy, and 38 microseconds is 38,000 nanoseconds. If these effects were not properly taken into account, a navigational fix based on the GPS constellation would be false after only 2 minutes, and errors in global positions would continue to accumulate at a rate of about 10 kilometers each day! The whole system would be utterly worthless for navigation in a very short time. This kind of accumulated error is akin to measuring my location while standing on my front porch in Columbus, Ohio one day, and then making the same measurement a week later and having my GPS receiver tell me that my porch and I are currently about 5000 meters in the air somewhere over Detroit.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 23 Jan 2013 #permalink

Oh, Schlafly (i.e. the younger brother Andrew, from comments above apparently still in charge at Conservapedia).

For those who don't know, Mom Schlafly is a rather famed wingnut loon. It breeds true, apparently.

Apropos of that, a couple years ago I saw a comment from someone who, upon being informed of the Schlafly-Conservapedia connection, said "I guess the sh*t doesn't fall too far from the bat."

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 24 Jan 2013 #permalink

Eli, at one time, Conservapedia had a page that denied GPS demonstrates relativistic effects, and denied that one of GPS's explicit purposes was to test general relativity. Somebody posted a scan of the original U.S. Navy proposal that listed "test general relativity" as a main goal, and the whole page went down the memory hole. I think rational wiki may have a screen capture somewhere.

The anti-Einstein reflex is as deeply ingrained in conservative thought as the anti-Darwin and anti-Mann memes.

By Jim Galasyn (not verified) on 26 Jan 2013 #permalink

Dr. Lee Connelly, my apologies (too late, I'm sure) for the first half of my comment at #30.

Aaaah, the joys of typing on a tablet when auto-correct is enabled. The name 'Lee' should not appear in the previous post. Time to leave the Internet and head to the woods with cameras and equipment.

Eli, I've always harbored a suspicion that your link illustrates the real reason conservatives reject General Relativity.

By Jim Galasyn (not verified) on 01 Feb 2013 #permalink