Fisking Conservapedia: A paragon of lazy scholarship

JISHOU, HUNAN — For the last few posts, I have been critiquing just one entry in the bizarro-world online encyclopedia called Conservapedia, where relativity is liberal claptrap and physical science is just politics with a different name. Now, I want to address an even deeper issue: Con-pedia’s sloppy scholarship. No self-respecting teacher accepts even Wikipedia as a primary source in a term paper, but Wikipedia’s scholarship shines compared to Con-pedia’s reliance on proof by assertion and shaky, non-scholarly reference materials. I will use the present entry under examination, E=mc2, as a prime example. In the first four paragraphs previously fisked, there have been four notes. The first was to a strange footnote about how E=mc2 only works when metric units are used. No outside reference is mentioned. The second is to a likewise odd statement that “Many leading scientists (including Lord Rutherford and Princeton Physics Professor Robert Dicke) rejected the Theory of Relativity,” which to some extent was true in, say, 1905, but not so much now. This note has links to Con-pedia articles about Dicke and relativity. Note three follows the weird statement that the equation is “liberal claptrap,” and offers no basis in fact for the allegation. It ...

Fisking Conservapedia: Failing Physics 101

JISHOU, HUNAN — This is the third installment of my critique of Conservapedia’s blatantly stupid entry on E=mc2. In the previous posts, I fisked the entry’s opening paragraph, which calls the famous equation “liberal claptrap“, and looked into the entry’s reliance on some nonsense called Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge (a Conservapedia exclusive!), which supposedly shows that E=mc2 is just plain impossible. Eppur si muove. Up to this point, it is already clear that the principal author of the entry, Andy Schlafly (the mastermind of Conservapedia), really has no idea what he is talking about. High school students could have done a better job. While few sensible people would consider Con-pedia a reliable source of anything useful, other than a chuckle or two, some naive, overly religious homeschoolers (or politicians!) might indeed be using Con-pedia as a credible resource. It is far from it. Instead of a straightforward, factual, accurate explanation of a physical law, Con-pedia instead gets the physics all wrong, falsely claims only liberal politics ensures the equation’s persistence, and conflates religious belief with scientific discovery. Multiple levels of fail. So, let’s see what else the entry gets wrong. Paragraph 3 says: Mass is a measure of an object’s inertia, ...

Fisking Conservapedia: Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge

JISHOU, HUNAN — I began my commentary on Conservapedia’s ludicrous entry on E=mc2 by fisking its opening paragraph. Beginning with the false premise that the equation “purports to relate all matter to light,” the entry then introduces the principle of “Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge” and how BSF makes it clear that any unification theory is doomed to fail. As I explained in the last post, E=mc2 does not purport to relate all matter to light — in fact, light does come from matter — but it suggests that matter and energy are essentially the same thing. The author of the Conservapedia entry, Andy Schlafly, clearly does not understand this basic fact of physics. I’m not sure he really understands Scriptural analysis, either, as we shall see. Paragraph 2 of the E=mc2 entry goes like this: 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. Before I analyze this statement, which incidentally is offered with no further explanation, I need to introduce some terms. Cherry picking: selecting only that evidence which apparently supports one’s argument, while ...
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com