This is my 500th post on this blog.
It shouldn’t have taken more than 900 days to get this far, ideally, but we’re here now, and I think I’ve been getting the hang of it lately.
So, to celebrate, let’s have some comedy.
If you’re not familiar with Conservapedia, it is fucking hilarious. But today’s specific entertainment is the page on counterexamples to relativity. (Thanks to Brian Cox for bringing this to the attention of Twitter recently.)
The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world. Here is a list of 30 counterexamples: any one of them shows that the theory is incorrect.
Yep, it turns out you don’t have to have a scientific background or spend years studying physics to be able to disprove Einstein. You just have to be sufficiently right-wing. That’s all it takes to be a genius!
Look, scientists don’t claim that relativity is perfect and complete and explains everything in the Universe flawlessly. Reconciling general relativity with quantum theory is one of the big unsettled problems of physics today. But in the arena to which they apply, the general and special theories of relativity are the best we’ve got. When there are discrepancies between nature and relativity, they tend to be smaller than the discrepancies between nature and any other theory. That’s why we bother with them at all.
It’s unclear what the Conservatards think would act as a superior alternative to relativity. Neither classical mechanics nor quantum mechanics is violently decried as an elitist liberal conspiracy, so clearly they’re not disapproved of very strongly. (Though, if you’ve passed high school physics, their thoughts on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle should give you a giggle.)
Some of my favourite bits:
– #5 is a question. It’s not even making a statement. Is it meant to be rhetorical?
– #7 seems to assume the Big Bang model of the universe, which is very much not Conservapedia’s usual style.
– #9 is a Bible quote. To disprove relativity. Which has literally nothing to do with anything.
– #11 completely ignores the theory’s consistency with any evidence, and just says that it’s wrong because it hasn’t led to any further “insights”. This is like insisting that, if you beat your friend in a game of basketball, you must be taller than him, and ignoring whatever happens when someone gets out a tape measure.
– #18 is even funnier: relativity led to the atomic bomb, which is bad because it kills people, therefore the theory is false. Seriously. Icing sugar has carbs and will make you fat; therefore the cake is a lie.
– #28 brings up the first chapter of Genesis, which is more like it (though destroys the usefulness of #7 as a counterexample). It also randomly decides that the firmament described in the Bible “likely refers to the creation of the luminiferous aether”. What the fuck an outdated theory essentially disproven by the end of the 19th century has to do with anything, or how it disproves relativity, I have no idea.
– Whoever compiled this list basically has no idea what any physics means. Even I can explain why #16, #20, #25, #27, #29, and #30 are just factually incorrect. And the Twin Paradox one wasn’t hard to look up. That stuff’s been experimentally verified too, for what it’s worth.
Oh dear, I was supposed to just present this without comment for your amusement, but I seem to have ended up rather rambling on. Terribly sorry.