m31andy: (New Scientist)
[personal profile] m31andy
Isn't 42 after all. It's brain bleach. Let me explain...

Via [livejournal.com profile] newscientist according to Conservapedia, E no longer equals MC squared

Read the whole thing - it's boggling. But if you can't/don't want to, here's my brief analysis/piss-take...

Yes, this is the news that Conservapedia (the number one example why the human race has to die out at some point, please) is not content with attacking Darwin, but has turned its attention instead to the madly-coiffed Eistein instead.

Their reasoning?
"Virtually no one who is taught and believes relativity continues to read the Bible, a book that outsells New York Times bestsellers by a hundred-fold."
Proof, if any were needed, that the more science you understand, the less you believe in the literal interpretation of the bible. Dare I say it? The more capacity you have to understand science, the more capacity you also have to understand the nuances of moral relativism.

There's a long list of counter-examples (page isn't loading at the moment, though), including:

#5 The change in mass over time of standard kilograms preserved under ideal conditions.
the BBC can explain that one

#6 The observed lack of curvature in overall space. "If space were curved, one would never expect the universe as a whole to be almost precisely flat. Yet it is."
Er, so? They seem to be saying "the universe is flat because space isn't curved. And space isn't curved because the universe is flat".

Which is bollocks. The universe is flat because it seems we've proved that omega=0 - that is the rate of expansion will slow to a stop at some point in the future - the universe will neither collapse into a big crunch nor expand for ever.

It neither proves or disproves the idea that gravity is actually distortions in the space-time continuum (and someone get on to Eddie about that damn sofa...)

#9 The action-at-a-distance by Jesus, described in John 4:46-54. That is:
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.

47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

49 The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

50 Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.

52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.

54 This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
Hmm-mmm. This violates general relativity as the healing power of Jesus travelled instantaneously, which is obviously faster than the speed of light.

#18 The lack of a single useful device developed based on any insights provided by the theory; no lives have been saved or helped, and the theory has not led to other useful theories and may have interfered with scientific progress. This stands in stark contrast with every verified theory of science. The only device based on relativity is the atom bomb, but that has destroyed far more lives than it's saved so it can hardly be considered useful.
So they've never heard of nuclear power stations then? Or the semi-conductors that their computers are built with? And they certainly aren't into serious star-gazing.

They de-couple physically useful "stuff" from intellectually useful stuff and claim:

#11 The inability of the theory to lead to other insights, contrary to every verified theory of physics.
Of course, what the author fails to understand is that it is generally accepted in the scientific community that general relativity is not the whole story. We can't tie it into quantum mechanics and as such we know it's flawed. But, just like Newton's laws, it is a springboard that we can use to take to the next level such as Superstrings, M-theory the universe as a hologram (Scott Adams will be so pleased)* or perhaps one of the other alternatives to general relativity that have been proposed and worked on since 1917.

So what, I hear you ask, does Conservapedia, plump its oh-so-objective weight behind?

Lorentz Aether.

And why?
In Genesis 1:6-8, we are told that one of God's first creations was a firmament in the heavens. This likely refers to the creation of the luminiferous aether.

If this is the way the general population is going, I think I want a refund.

Or, of course, a final proof that the Conservapedia is actually written by evil liberals just taking the piss out of conservative fundamental Christians.

* For a good layman's introduction to some of these, I still recommend the Peter-Jones narrated Equinox episode Unravelling the Universe - I've finally found my copy and I'm a happy bunny!!!)
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