The Catholic Church attacked the revolutionary 16th century idea that Earth actually revolves around the sun. Some conservative Christian groups continue to rail against the Theories of Evolution and Natural Selection.
Many believe the Earth is only about 6,000 years old, despite evidence that it is over 4.5 billion years old. And the war between religion and science just took another weird, political turn.
The website Conservapedia has declared that Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is a liberal conspiracy, according to TPMMuckraker. Andy Schlafly, son of anti-abortion activist Phyllis Schlafly, founded Conservapedia.
In its “Counterexamples to Relativity” website, Conservapedia says, “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.”
The site lists 28 separate “examples,” some backed by scripture, of why Relativity is incorrect.
A footnote in the Conservapedia site adds, “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.”
The site does not, however, give any of the numerous experimental verifications of the theory.
New Scientist magazine picked up on the story and called the “liberal conspiracy” completely baseless, and said there is absolutely no reason to associate the Theory of Relativity with the philosophy of relativism.
The New Scientist article also said that fundamentalist groups selectively use Einstein’s ideas and theories acceptable to their beliefs, such as the famous quote, “God does not throw dice,” while ignoring that Einstein did not believe in a personal god.
Conservapedia gives some strange counterexamples to relativity. One cites Genesis 1:6-8 in which God created a firmament in the heavens, which the site equates with the “aether.”
The Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887, and further experiments in the 1950s, largely disproved the existence of aether.
In another example citing John 4:46-54, the site claims that Jesus was able perform deeds through “action-at-a-distance,” or instantaneous action, and that would violate Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than light.
New Scientist pointed out that action-at-a-distance, however, happens all the time during the quantum entanglement of particles.
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity revolutionized the way scientists understand light and how massive objects in the universe interact through gravity.
The theory was successfully used to explain the motion of Mercury more accurately than Newton’s laws could. Relativity also explained the deflection of light by gravitational fields.
New Scientist pointed out that even though General Relativity has passed many tests, most physicists don’t believe it is ultimately correct because it conflicts with quantum mechanics.
But physicists are working hard to wrap gravity and the three other fundamental forces into a “grand unified theory” through such ideas as String Theory and Supersymmetry.
VIDEO: Gravity – From Newton to Einstein – The Elegant Universe?
Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity E=mc2 speed of light?
E=mc2? Not on Conservapedia
New Scientist, Aug. 11, 2010
Conservapedia: E=mc2 Is A Liberal Conspiracy
TPMMuckraker.com, Aug. 9, 2010
Counterexamples to Relativity
Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
By Albert Einstein
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Conservative nutballs continue to provide us with hilarious comedy. Hopefully nobdy is actually taking them seriously.
Do these people live under rocks. Einstien was not trying to conduct a liberal conspiracy he was trying to understand our world and how it exists. People who create articles like that are being ignorant.
Hey, got to get your jabs at conservatives and relativity opponents in one shot! Good for you! It’s this kind of discourse that prevents real progress in science. There are too many discrepancies in how relativity describes the world for it to be the be-all, end-all theory of gravitation. Instead of look at new theories of gravity, astrophysicists invent dark matter and expensive experiments to detect this dark matter. We can’t see it, we can’t detect it, but trust them, it’s there. No, no way Einstein can be wrong, there must be some matter there we can’t see. Oh, and the singularities! Not only that, but the leading candidate to supplant relativity, string theory, is a monster not even mathematicians want to touch. What about other new ideas to reformulate gravity and the GUTs? NO! Universities have already thrown away millions in pursuit of string theory and dark matter. They CAN’T admit failure. Anything that seems contradictory to this grand quest CANNOT be published in scientific journals. It’s this CENSORSHIP of the sciences that is preventing real progress in physics, and misleading liberals and conservatives alike. Before you take your chance to gleefully bash people, please do your research.
CONservatives and teabaggers should go jump off buildings and see what would happen. Please?
I went to that page, and many of their counterexamples are reasonable objections. What follows is a list of the items on their page that do make sense. More items make sense than don’t make sense, which leads me to draw this conclusion: since this is a wiki, and since it is editable by ANYONE, looks like at first someone who knew what they were talking about wrote the page, but some people started adding nonsense or non-issues. MAYBE it was planted by someone seeking to discredit conservatives via conservapedia, planting small items that they could then ridicule later from afar. I get the impression that everyone covering this pick and chose precisely those small items to ridicule. Anyway, here is what I found.
Predictions made by relativity don’t match the Pioneer Anomaly (1 on their list), and physicists still can’t explain it.
The observed lack of curvature (6) was in fact a problem Einstein saw in relativity, since to him relativity meant space should be dynamic instead of static (curved instead of flat). This dissatisfied him, so he introduced the cosmological constant. Ironically, he called it his greatest blunder later when the universe was shown to be expanding, but physicists later reintroduced the cosmological constant to explain the same expansions. Scientists later observed that at the grandest scales, the Universe is very close to nearly flat. They invented inflation to explain it, a theory that is still debatable today. Inflation was also invented to explain item 13.
Items 7 and 8 are why Einstein despised quantum mechanics, despite the fact that he led to its development. He called it “spooky” action-at-a-distance. The way I read it in this article, you guys seem to portray action-at-a-distance as a feature of relativity. Right away you say it’s a feature of quantum entanglement, which is correct. It is part of quantum mechanics, NOT relativity. Einstein himself tried to disprove what he called the EPR paradox, and much later John Bell revealed that action-at-a-distance was in fact a feature of reality through his famous inequality, laying the foundation for the discovery of quantum entanglement. In item 8, they are in fact using this aspect of quantum mechanics, a theory that has been 100% correct that they don’t dispute, to discredit relativity, ie. they DO BELIEVE in action-at-a-distance. That being said, I don’t know what to say about 9, but remember, anyone can edit it…
Item 10 is a valid argument, although the money spent is on experiments to detect gravity WAVES. Gravitons can’t be detected according to current theory.
Item 15 is the result of singularities predicted by Einstein. GUTs such as string theories and loop quantum gravity aim to explain the universe without introducing singularities, which is in fact a weak point to relativity. Item 16 is wrong, but assuming singularities are physical, since physicists describe black holes as regions of maximal entropy.
I don’t know where item 17 came from, since that hasn’t typically been a major piece of evidence brought against relativity. I don’t know where item 18 came from either, since the nuclear technologies they complain about are there and would have been discovered eventually, but this could’ve been written by anyone…
They have a point with item 20, 21, 22, 23, and 25.
Item 24 isn’t really something they can level against relativity. The effects on the surface of the Earth are too faint for current clocks to measure, but it could’ve been written by anyone…
Where are they coming from with 27 and 28? Or who wrote that?
If you’ve read this far, I recommend learning the topic before ridiculing it. Also keep in mind this is a WIKI, so ANYONE could have edited these pages.
i think that though im young, that science and religion will always be fighting, this article is yet another fight between what the bible says and what scientist think. the pervious commenters are srta right but i agree with Jenn that einstein was only trying to understand our world and how it works.
George and observer I believe you two are falling for the tricks these types of people use, which is called “God of the gaps”.
Basically, “God of the gaps” is faulty logic that says if there is one aspect of nature we do not understand, then that means we don’t understand ANYTHING.
For example, because we can’t explain why the pioneer space craft trajectory is off, EINSTEIN MUST HAVE BEEN WRONG. This is incorrect logic. There are a million reasons why the pioneer craft trajectory could be wrong, but the simple fact is, we don’t know why. It could be because of the shape of the craft, thermodynamics, unknown mystery, ect. But the fact that the trajectory is off says nothing about the theory of relativity. Scientists will eventually figure the mystery with the pioneer spacecraft, and it may or may not have anything to do with relativity. So, it is very ignorant, and just plain incorrect for the conservapedia site to say the pioneer spacecraft mystery disproves relativity.
As to relativity not explaining everything, scientists freely admit relativity does not correctly model every situation (quantum physics). But this does not mean relativity is incorrect at explaining current phenomena. We use relativity every day in gps devices, satellites, ect. We know relativity works here because these devices work using relativity. Now, that isn’t to say relativity explains everything. It’s just like when relativity came along after newton mechanics, relativity didn’t disprove newton. Newton mechanics still worked fine for what it had previously proven (low mass objects and low velocity). Relativity was just a more in depth model of how the world works.
George, as to your dark matter comment. Yes dark matter was first theorized because galaxies weren’t behaving well according to our current understanding of gravity. BUT, there have already been many attempts at explaining dark matter as being not real, including the explanation that relativity is incorrect. But that explanation did not hold up to rigorous tests and current observational evidence. Also, we have seen direct evidence of dark matter when viewing colliding galaxies. So yes, there is evidence of dark matter.
Sorry for the long post, but people need to realize that scientists don’t just make things up. They do their best to model our environment the best they can using real evidence. Real scientists don’t let their personal beliefs affect their work (unlike those of conservapedia and creationists, whose beliefs drive their view of the world), scientists let the evidence dictate what they believe.