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EDG
2010-Aug-09, 04:47 PM
I'm not sure where to post this, but I'll try here - if it's in the wrong place then could a mod please move it to where it belongs? Prof Brian Cox posted a link to this on his twitter feed - I post it here for people to mock and tear to shreds, I have no intention of supporting it :)

http://conservapedia.com/Counterexamples_to_Relativity

The opening part reads (bold emphasis mine): "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] Here is a list of 24 counterexamples: any one of them shows that the theory is incorrect."

If this board ever needed a "what the heck?!" smiley, it needs it now :)

Leaving aside the politics, as you can imagine the examples can be torn apart pretty easily...

LotusExcelle
2010-Aug-09, 05:08 PM
I was going to address them one by one but my brain just shot out of my nose.

Swift
2010-Aug-09, 05:17 PM
EDG has also asked the moderation team if the CT forum is the appropriate spot for this.

I would say that CT is the appropriate spot. However, the discussion must cover only the points about relatvity and will absolutely not get into anything about politics. There will be no further warnings about that point and violators will be infracted.

I would also remind all posters of the relevent section of the advice for the CT forum

11. The CT forum may also be used for the critical analysis of websites that advocate specific astronomy and space related conspiracies. Such discussions should be limited to the specific claims of those websites and the scientific arguments against those claims. Such discussions are not an excuse to bash the claimants of such conspiracies.

NEOWatcher
2010-Aug-09, 05:23 PM
I think most of that list can be covered with the following comments.
1. Does a better formula exist to predict the results?
2. Lack of evidence does not disprove a concept.
3. How many of the differences take in account the accuracy of the instruments?

kleindoofy
2010-Aug-09, 07:11 PM
relativity ... relativism
Isn't somebody getting things that sound similar yet are totally different terribly mixed up?

What on Earth does a principle of cold, impersonal nature have to do with an ethical/moralistic/philosophical/political view of the world?

Sure, as an example, the Pope is against relativism, but I've never heard him say that the Theory of Relativity was immoral or against creation.

It's amazing how certain issues can get caught up in the backwater of other issues for absurd reasons, only to become innocent parts of otherwise purly ideologic battles.

Trebuchet
2010-Aug-09, 07:34 PM
It's going to be next to impossible to discuss anything on Conservapaedia without violating the politics rule due to the inherent political nature of that site. Suffice it to say that they espouse an extreme fundamentalist, far-right, creationist point of view and that dissent is not tolerated.

Garrison
2010-Aug-09, 07:48 PM
It seems a peculiar misunderstanding of the difference between relativity and relativism. And I'm pretty sure the scientists who have tested and validated relativity over the years stretched across the political spectrum from left to right in their political views. The physical universe has no political views.

Swift
2010-Aug-09, 07:49 PM
It's going to be next to impossible to discuss anything on Conservapaedia without violating the politics rule due to the inherent political nature of that site. Suffice it to say that they espouse an extreme fundamentalist, far-right, creationist point of view and that dissent is not tolerated.
So far, so good, but this thread is on a very short lead. If everyone sticks to physics, it will be fine.

Strange
2010-Aug-09, 08:20 PM
They assert that relativity "allows no exceptions" (implying it is believed to be absloutely correct) but in their list are a few areas that are known to be problems in mainstream physics (e.g. a quantum theory of gravity).

I was curious about a few of the points:


3. Increasingly precise measurements of the advance of the perihelion of Mercury show a shift greater than predicted by relativity, well beyond the margin of error

17. # Data from the PSR B1913+16 increasingly diverge from predictions of the General Theory of Relativity such that, despite a Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded for early work on this pulsar, no data at all have been released about it for over five years.

Is there any basis of truth in either of those?

I love the way that one of the contributors on the Talk page repeatedly says "I have an open mind about this ... [but no]". But there are also very nice explanations of some of their errors by someone called Simeon. (Which, of course, get ignored.)