Thou Shalt Not Dilate Thy Time

For a long time I’ve thought that for all the anti-relativity crackpots there are, at least they are not driven by a religious ideology, thus sparing us the kind of battles that have to be fought to get evolution taught.

That’s apparently not the case anymore, though relativity still isn’t generally (or specially) taught in high school anyway, so school-board nonsense is avoided.

Conservapedia has an entry entitled Counterexamples to Relativity

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.[1]

[1] See, e.g., historian Paul Johnson’s book about the 20th century, and the article written by liberal law professor Laurence Tribe as allegedly assisted by Barack Obama. 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.

I know that the religious right has a propensity for being anti-science, but I though at least they liked GPS. The maps and/or navigating algorithms may be occasionally wonky, but GPS works.

The list of “counterexamples” is interesting, and while I haven’t had time to follow up on all of them, there are a few head-scratchers as to why they should purportedly lead to relativity being wrong, and a few jaw-droppers, like

The inability of the theory to lead to other insights, contrary to every verified theory of physics.

That’s a serious case of denial (or should I say, bearing false witness). Relativity hasn’t led to other insights? It’s such a clue-deprived statement; it’s hard to respond to such a steaming load of stupid.

Several are trivially debunked, like the twins paradox objection, and the last one,

Relativity predicted that clocks at the Earth’s equator would be slower than clocks at the North Pole, due to different velocities; in fact, all clocks at sea level measure time at the same rate, and Relativists made new assumptions about the Earth’s shape to justify this contradiction of the theory.

Eisntein made this prediction in his 1905 paper [1], i.e. before he came up with general relativity. The oblate distortion of the earth changes the gravitational time dilation so that it is equal in magnitude to the kinematic term, but with an opposite sign. The shape of the earth is not an assumption, people measure it.

I would think this all a joke but for Poe’s law. These people haven’t a clue and are fiercely proud of it, which compels me to quote myself: I have never understood the phenomenon of wearing one’s ignorance as a badge of honor.

[1] Update: In the paper (On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies) he specifically states that it holds for a rigid sphere.

The stupid, it burns.

Update II: Takedown at Skulls in the Stars

Update III: more from me on the subject

4 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not Dilate Thy Time

  1. I guess they don’t believe in the 6s inert pair effect either. Don’t you just love how they don’t realize that by denying relativity, they deny at least the majority of modern chemistry/physics. They should boycott fiber optics so they can’t post their nonsense all over the net.

  2. I wonder if they will ever cast chemistry down as pure magic. Since chemistry is magic it must now be shunned, cast-out, and burned at the stake. Because, obviously, magic is the work of Satan, and therefore chemistry is the work of Satan.
    Here is an example of something they may use, Standard deviation when reacting organic substances, such as making asprin.

  3. it is sad – all this attempt to politicize science. What in heaven’s name does relativity (or global warming for that matter) have to do with politics? Alas, nature behaves the same for right-wingers and left-wingers. All I can say is “Tell it to Galileo.” But I am an optimist. because science is based on actual measurements and observations, it will win out in the end.

  4. That is fantastic. I learned so much from your post and am looking over the rest of your blog now. I will let others know about your blog. Denton

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