The Andromeda Stain


Amazingly, every now and again, Conservapedia manages to attract people who genuinely believe CP is an encyclopaedia and try and add content other than “Obama is the Devil”. Examples would include the slightly obsessive, such as FOIA and his fixation with Alger Hiss, as well as BertSchlossberg’s hang-up with KAL007. There are also those who enjoy their field and know something about it. Amongst these would be KrysG (Egyptian History and Mythology), JessicaT (Japanese language and history), everybody who ever tried to edit a maths article… and BMcP, who is an astronomy buff… and the latest to fall foul of Andrew Schlafly’s special brand of insanity.

One thing you need to know about editing on CP is that even if you survive Terry Koeckritz’s machinations, at some point you will step on one of Andy’s crazy toes and then your time at CP is over, especially if you try and apply logic to his insane rants.

BMcP was one of the longest surviving editors on CP, joining in June 2009 (that’s a lifetime where CP is concerned!) and has an impressive list of contributions, mostly dealing with space, stars and galaxies. However, it was when he started speaking about the Andromeda Galaxy that things got really weird.

He listed the distance from Earth as being some 2.5 million light years from Earth, as well as being 141,000 light years across. Now, you have to remember that our Andy is a Young Earth Creationist, i.e. everything is only 6,000 years old. This results in Andy (goaded along by resident parodist JacobB) removing ALL references to light years (he obviously can’t abstract the fact that it’s more a reference to distance than time), as well as removing the fact that the Milky Way and Andromeda might collide in a few billion years time. Interestingly enough, the article now states “Distance from Earth = N/A”, whilst others, such as Canopus state their distance as 310 light years – obviously this is less than 6,000 years and thus acceptable.

The talk page is really funny, with Andy sounding ever more hysterical as he responds to BMcP. You almost have the feeling his entire faith hinges on winning this battle. Here’s a couple of examples of the “debate” (my emphasis in bold):

Andy:

BMcP, I explained this on your talk page many days ago, without a satisfactory response. We don’t simply repeat, robot-like, the implausible or illogical claims of atheists here. You’re in the wrong place for that. Mindless repetition of liberal claims may work on Wikipedia, but not here. An example is the claim that you’ve just reinserted that this galaxy will collide with Earth in many billions of years. It’s a ludicrous, non-scientific assertion that is simply designed to pry people from the Bible and from God. I’ve begged you to reconsider the liberal assumptions with an open mind. I’ve begged you to open the Bible and spend some meaningful time reading it with an open mind. But I can’t and wouldn’t force you to do either. What I will do is keep the atheistic nonsense off this site, unless you want to post it under a new entry entitled “liberal claims lacking in scientific verification.”

BMcP replies:

The radial velocity of the Andromeda galaxy with respect to the Milky Way can be measured by examining the Doppler shift of spectral lines from stars in the galaxy. Using this the Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Sun at about 100 to 140 kilometers per second. We can then estimate how long it would be before the galaxies meet up using math. That is how we get the estimate of 2.5 billion or so years. I will however concede that the collision is uncertain because the two galaxies may move past each other instead because we cannot exactly measure Andromeda’s transverse velocity. Because of that, I will change the text about the galaxies colliding to being uncertain. Is this acceptable?

Hah! Of course it’s not acceptable.

No, that isn’t atheists’ only assumption underlying their claims, and you are simply parroting their claims. I’ve begged you to open your mind and reconsider, but you seemed determine to repeat and repeat the atheistic claims of others. That may work on some sites, but not here. We require open-mindedness here, and a willingness to reason independently. It’s not too much to ask.

Luckily Andy’s brother, Roger, appears and tries to inject some reason to the debate… with hysterical results.

Historical facts about the work of astronomers was deleted. What do you want to do, include the opinion of those 1920 scientists who did not believe that there were galaxies outside the Milky Way? If so, just add it. I just don’t see the point of deleting good info on galaxies. If you think that it is wrong, explain why it is wrong. I don’t see how the discovery of galaxies had anything to do with atheism or liberal politics.

The distance and relative velocity of Andromeda is based on scientific observations. Nobody said that it would collide with the Earth, but it is headed for a collision with the Milky Way. Are you saying that these distance and velocity estimates are wrong? If so, what is your basis? Is Andromeda inconsistent with a belief in God and Bible?

I’ll leave you with Andy’s reply, which speaks volumes for itself.

My statement could not be any clearer: it isn’t science to talk about billions of years into the future. It’s atheism disguised as science. You don’t seem to want to address that, but I’m not going to repeat it again.

I can only assume that after the Rapture, the entire universe is going to end. I’ll have to read Revelation again to find that part.

About PsyGremlin

PsyGremlin is a former Conservapedia sysop (although the position was earned nefariously), stand up comedian, DJ, and is currently a self-employed financial adviser, who impersonates a responsible adult at least 5 days a week. However, highlighting and poking fun at the crazies out there remains his first love. Well besides pork crackling. And custard. And cricket.
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