conservapedia faces off against einstein
While denialism and anti-scientific attitudes espoused by conservatives is nothing new, the asylum of reactionary right wing paranoia known as Conservapedia managed to take it to a new low and publicly embarrassed itself by publicizing and supporting the inane ramblings of its founder against the profound work of Albert Einstein. Their mind-numbingly inane thesis is best summed up by New Scientist thusly…
It 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.”
In a footnote, this comment is followed up by: “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.”
You know, I was skeptical of the rumors. I really was. I was sure it was going to be some sort of hoax and the administrators of Conservapedia were going to gloat about how quickly they were being ridiculed by the web and the “liberal media conglomerate” as soon as the news hit the mainstream cable channels. But it seems they really are dull enough to think that a little semantic trick makes complex mathematics about the behavior of the fabric of space and time in the presence of mass while using the speed of light as an exchange rate, a sinister liberal plot to dissuade people from reading their Bibles and adopt moral relativism. How wrapped up in your hysterical paranoia do you have to be to make such ridiculous statements? But then again, remember that we’re talking about Andy Schlafly, an imbecile who wanted to “hold mathematicians accountable” for the proofs they offered to well known theorems, and who managed to equally offend both atheists and theists by composing a reactionary right wing Bible “free of liberal bias” online.
The man is obviously a loon since I’m pretty sure that even the most conservative ideologue could agree that two and two equal four without sniffing for liberal bias in the equation, while Schlafly is probably interrogating his Cheerios if they work for Obama, using their round shape as proof that they must be O’s in his name and work to brainwash children into having teenage gay orgies and embracing Sharia Law. You know, as per his conception of liberal households. But here’s what frightens me. He and his supporters are constructing echo chambers where they can bounce their biases, hatreds, and ignorance back and forth in a feat of intellectual inbreeding that makes whatever nonsense they’ve decided to hold near and dear even worse and even more unbearable. And many valid points they might have had in the beginnings become diluted with this industrial strength inanity as they forcefully eject anything contrary to the prevailing groupthink. Any organization trying to maintain what it calls ideological purity is doomed to descend into that ideology’s most nonsensical canards, and the fans and users of Conservapedia aren’t exempt from this rule.
The reason behind Conservapedia’s very existence tells the story. It wasn’t set up to be a hub of conservative thought or serious exchange about the values of conservatism. It was set up to be the anti-Wikipedia, turning every possible stub and article online into its most extreme right wing caricature. When I first came across it, I was dead sure it’s just a very creative Poe. So imagine my astonishment when I learned that the slow child of a rabid reactionary crusader decided to set up his own slice of lunacy online and millions of people support his asinine attempts to rewrite math, science, law, and history. Sure, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but no one is entitled to a personal reality, and the last place you want to get your facts is from people who are so terrified of any thought contrary to their own, they throw away the left wing of a Thanksgiving turkey as not to be exposed to its evil, sinful, god-hating, liberal ways.