Tristero --- Don't Waste Your Time Arguing

Don't Waste Your Time Arguing

by tristero

Some liberal politicians have extrapolated the theory of relativity to metaphorically justify their own political agendas. For example, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama helped publish an article by liberal law professor Laurence Tribe to apply the relativistic concept of "curvature of space" to promote a broad legal right to abortion.[45] As of June 2008, over 170 law review articles have cited this liberal application of the theory of relativity to legal arguments.[46] Applications of the theory of relativity to change morality have also been common.[47] Moreover, there is an unmistakable effort to censor or ostracize criticism of relativity.[48]
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]
And, in case you were wondering what the reference is for this assertion, here it is:
↑ 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.
The entry goes on:
Here is a list of 24 counterexamples any one of them shows that the theory [of relativity] is incorrect...

9. The action-at-a-distance by Jesus, described in John 4:46-54.
I know, I know. It really is very funny but I can't laugh at this.

Why? Because some of you, right now, are starting to waste the little time you have here on earth by marshalling reasoned arguments and accurate facts to refute Conservapedia's lies. And so are others. And that is terribly sad.

Worse, it is counterproductive, because every moment you spend engaging right wing lunatics over tired, out-of-date, and utterly nonsensical argument over science they think is too liberal, is a moment taken away from encountering the truly exciting discoveries being announced almost hourly (here's one: a crocodile with the teeth of a mammal!). And if you are so busy refighting the past that you can't keep up with the present, then it becomes all that harder to understand what science is doing, and to support it. I'm not talking, say, a Palin/McCain/Jindal level of ignorance, of course. But if you truly think that it is vitally important to engage people who question Einstein's theory of relativity, it becomes that much harder to muster the cultural courage to fund research that takes relativity for granted. After all, even if I "believe in relativity" wouldn't it be better to fund research that proves relativity beyond a shadow of a doubt than stuff that assumes it's true?*

But wait! you protest. We can't let that garbage hang out there uncontested. Besides, people will learn a great deal about physics if we address the arguments in a clear, accessible fashion, and teach reality.

Yes, sure, I'll agree that's all true. So what?

Sure, we can contest them. But if we completely ignore their utterly ridiculous lies, distortions, and antiquated disputes, then we, not they, get to set the terms of the discourse. That is one reason why great scientists won't bother to lower themselves to engage folks like the bozos behind Conservapedia (doing so also elevates the bozos). I see no reason why anyone, scientist or layperson, should enter an argument over the relativism of relativity. On the other hand, I do think we need to expose right wing ignoramuses as often as possible. In order to ridicule them. And to sneer. But argue over whether E=MC squared makes Jesus' miracles impossible? That's a waste of time. Ok, go ahead if you want to. Whatever. But if want to do some real good, you'll laugh at them instead.

As for learning a great deal about physics through debunking lies...well, yeah, that'll work. But I think you could learn much more physics by exploring truth. And that requires honest discussion which, almost by definition, cannot take place with people who insist on an enagagement over lies and distortions.

Please people, laugh all you want at these clowns. Mock them. Denounce them, rail against them. Just don't make the mistake of arguing with them. Don't waste your time, and ours.*** We can't afford it now. We never could.

h/t Megan Charpentier at TPM, who inadvertently overlooked one of the most important, and ugliest, aspects of Conservapedia's assault on Einstein: its blatant anti-semitism.

* I'm obviously not talking about recent challenges within physics to Einstein's theories. I'm talking about ideological challenges that object to relativity because they think it's too...relativistic, and therefore immoral, and therefore can't possibly be right and therefore will seek out every little niggling question then hype those questions as if they're somehow proof that the theory is a liberal canard.

** I'm sure somebody will accuse me of being narrow-minded, unwilling to challenge conventionality, and so on, so on, so on. Zzzzzz.....

Being open-minded is not the same as being born yesterday. I can be quite intellectually curious yet refuse to consider seriously the notion that a UFO was hidden in the tail of the Hale Bopp comet. Likewise, a refusal to take seriously rightwing attacks on evolution and physics says absolutely nothing about my willingness to entertain unusual, interesting, and often very unconventional ideas.

All it means is that Mama Tristero raised no fools.