Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The superior intellect

Mike Dunford, at The Questionable Authority, points us to the Conservapedia article about the moon, which has this to say about theories of lunar origins:

Origin theories

Atheistic theories of the origin of the Moon, widely taught for decades despite lacking the falsifiability requirement of science (see Philosophy of science), have been proven false.[9]

The footnote, by the way, points to a page at the Planetary Science Institute's web page, describing the strengths of the theory that the moon is a piece of the Earth which got whacked off in a big collision with other pieces of planet-wannabees while the solar system was still coalescing. There's nary a word about this theory, or any other, having been proven false. Is it any surprise that the writers at Conservapedia don't understand what a citation is, or that it's supposed to provide supporting evidence for your claims? Who else would be telling you they've falsified the unfalsifiable?

It still pleases me that, while there are some silly and ignorant liberals around, there is no market for an endless parade of demagogues like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and even God can't keep track of how many others, and there is no Liberalpedia.


James Hanley said...

What is an atheistic theory of the moon, anyway?

Heather said...

Any theory that doesn't directly support the masterful theorem "God made the moon, and God made me," I guess.

Scott Hanley said...

Exactly. Any mechanistic explanation at all would be atheistic, even if you don't particularly deny any role for God.

I suppose any theory that argues for cosmic traffic accidents would be especially distasteful; it seems to cast aspersion on God's organizational skills. But maybe there's more than that - I suspect that some folks have become so anti-science that they don't like the thought of God doing anything in less than a miraculous, physics-defying manner.

Patricia F. Anderson said...

A conservative friend of mine says there is no Liberalopedia because basically most of the popular press and general sources tend to be leftist, therefore their views are sufficiently well represented as to not require a specialized home. He very much considers the conservative right to be a marginalized community when it comes to free speech. Anyway, there is an alternate point of view to consider.

Scott Hanley said...

"He very much considers the conservative right to be a marginalized community when it comes to free speech. Anyway, there is an alternate point of view to consider."

Well, there's being open-minded and then there's lacking critical thinking skills altogether. What your friend probably doesn't understand is that there's a spectrum of opinion, not just two sides, and that he's far to one side of the spectrum rather than just being on one side of a line. If everything looks like left field, then you're probably standing on the right field foul line.

I mean, we're talking about the moon! Even the moon has to be viewed through a filter of partisanship? Lenin famously said, "There is no such thing as communist chemistry," but Stalin decided that genetics was bourgeois biology and crippled the biological sciences in the USSR for decades. That's what happens when there's no longer any topic that lies outside ideology.

I'm fairly near one extreme on religious issues, but that doesn't mean I can't agree with some theists on a lot of other issues. Some of the blogs I read are strongly libertarian and they tend to see every discussion of the economic crisis as hopelessly infected with state-intervention principles. But that doesn't mean either of us has to run out and create friendly definitions of the moon, for crying out loud. We might disagree with the majority, but we don't have to disagree about everything.

Conservapedia isn't about balance; it's about identity politics and propaganda. It goes hand in hand with those religious people who believe they'll lose control over their children if the kids ever hear a different point of view. It's the antithesis of open-mindedness and critical thinking - it's the explicit, willful rejection of those things - and I would feel dirty even pretending to respect it.

Anonymous said...

Those darn atheistic theories, though unfalsifiable,(and,apparenly, unidentifiable) have been falsified. Hmmmm.

When do we hear of the epic battle between the irresistable force and the immovable object?
Cheers, Bob Carroll