Anti-Science Friday: Demonic Possession Yes, Relativity No According to Conservapedia

We’ve often seen examples of conservatives denying science. This includes denying evolution if they believe it contradicts their religious beliefs and denying climate change because it is inconsistent with their view that virtually all problems can be solved without government. There are also less prominent examples including opposing geology for contradicting their view of the age of the earth and opposing cosmology if they disagree with the universe being created in the big bang. Bush administration appointees supported the idea that the Grand Canyon was formed during Noah’s flood as opposed to geological forces. This week there was a lot of comment in the blogosphere after Talking Points Memo found that Conservapedia even opposes relativity on ideological grounds.

In case you don’t see how relativity is a liberal plot, Conservapedia informs us, “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.” This includes a footnote which states, “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.”

Their opposition to science doesn’t end there. As black holes, wormholes, and dark matter are all suggested by the theory of relativity, Conservapedia labels these as “liberal pseudoscience.”

Opposition to science can be seen repeatedly in Conservapedia. Ed Brayton points out this example from their article on the germ theory of disease:

Prior to germ theory, it was widely believed that disease was spread by noxious odors.[4] As disease-spreading conditions – rotting meat, open sewage, and such things – was often highly odorous, the smell and disease were associated. Disease was also often attributed to demonic possession – although demonic possession must be possible as it it mentioned in Scripture,[5] it is a rare occurrence, and almost all disease attributed to it was a result of other causes.

The logic that “demonic possession must be possible as it is is mentioned in Scripture” demonstrates the degree to which religious dogma is considered as opposed to scientific evidence.

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