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I also have zero tolerance for

  • Idiotic behavior.
  • Sycophancy. I note in particular those people that try to take Andy's side in controversies over relativity, but run away when asked questions that require actual understanding of the subject. It's really very transparent. I've developed good "spider sense" on this issue. More on this topic below.
  • Childish behavior. Children should be seen and not heard given block authority.

So here are some essays that eschew claptrap:

Anyone who wants to contact me may do so at

At present, I make edits to those things that I believe I can improve (mostly science and math) and stay away from those things that are utterly hopeless (like evolution, creationism, and why year 20XX is going to be the worst year ever for evolution or atheism or whatever.) I also (believe it or not, and some people don't) try to encourage well-intentioned new users, and try to make this a more orderly and friendly place. I also engage in a lot of good-natured banter with Cons. I also occasionally find myself amused by the way some users seem to stalk me.

I am seriously "behind the curve" on the latest high-tech gadgetry. I do not own any kind of smartphone, Android, or other similar teenagers' playthings. I own a laptop computer (several of them in fact) and am quite literate about actual computer science. I do not have "FIOS" or any similar things; just plain cable internet. I do not use things like Skype or Instant Messaging (or Tinder, or Facebook, or SnapChat, or Pinterest, or Twitter ..., though I have, under duress, used IM at work. However, I am capable of high-bandwidth communication with people through email, using attachments when the information transfer quantity requires it. People desiring to contact me are strongly encouraged to use the email account given above.

In addition to the email above, I have accounts, all under the same name (SamHB) at Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Ameriwiki (I am an administrator), and that other place that rhymes with "national picky".

There is a section about the Daily Beast article on my talk page. It was originally on mainpage talk, and seems to have disappeared.

A few words about vandalism and parody in science and math articles. There's a lot of it. I have reverted a lot of it. Just in the last few weeks I cleaned up some parody in the articles on Calcium and on Gabriel's horn. (Well, in the latter case I just pointed it out.) Both parodists' accounts are still active.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that there is a lot more parody in math and science articles. It's just too much for one person to fix.

Stop hand.svg
This user has been blocked 19 times.
SP This user knows how to use "Show preview".
This user knows that evolution explains the origin of species.
Earthsat.jpeg This user knows that the Earth is billions of years old according to conservative scientific measurements.
Universe expansion.png
This user knows that the Big Bang explains the origin of the Universe.
UserCross.jpg This user is a Protestant.
This user respects your right to be a fundamentalist, but does not necessarily accept whatever scientific conclusions you might draw from that.
Horse picture.jpg
While this user deplores deviant and perverted sexual behavior, it is not a source of embarrassment, or a sore point, with him.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for physical phenomena at scales for which field theories are applicable.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the result of the Michelson-Morley experiment.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the result of the Pound-Rebka experiment.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the connection between radioactive decay energies and the precise isotopic weights that are summarized in periodic table charts hanging in science classrooms all over the world.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the observed frequency anomalies in GPS satellites.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the "frame-dragging" effects observed by the "gravity probe B" satellite.
600px-Albert Einstein Head.jpg
This user knows that relativity provides a good explanation for the observed behavior of pulsar PSR_B1913_16.


This little bit of patriotism was inspired by a recent discussion on my talk page.
The reader's attention is particularly drawn to the last two lines of the second stanza.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

People who write about relativity but don't know what they are talking about

I occasionally run into people wishing to weigh in on relativity, opposing it. This of course sets off my sycophancy alarm. They seem to be agreeing with Andy with very little understanding of the topic. When asked for an explanation, they typically run away. To be clear, Andy is the only person I know of that can communicate relativity denial with any degree of effectiveness or erudition; all others that I have seen are either sycophants, vandals, or just plain troublemakers. (Though I'm openminded enough to allow that another articulate relativity denier could show up in the future.)

Arguments for or against relativity are conducted at a rather sophisticated level here at Conservapedia. The topic is not for amateurs.

Here is my homework assignment for people wishing to join the anti-relativity bandwagon. Read the following articles:

I would really love to see User:Conservative slowly and painfully burn

his opponents in a debate.

Unfortunately, I'm not likely to see that, in view of his appalling lack of skill at convincing people that he is worth debating. Perhaps the most recent example is his page Essay: Debate challenge to new atheist Kyle Kulinski. Mr. Kulinski has made it very clear, in this video, that he will not debate anyone at Conservapedia, and has no respect for the way the admins marshall their arguments.

There are other instances of Cons backing out when people were willing to debate him (I was actually involved in one of these.) Perhaps the most famous case was one in which a person offered to donate 12,500 British pounds to a Christian charity, but Cons backed out. The web site on which this took place cannot be named here, but one can Google the exact phrase "actually laughable collections"

While Cons's debating and general rhetorical skill are appalling, there is one tactic that he is exceptionally good at—lifting quotes out of context. Probably the best example of this is the article Essay:_Atheist_PZ_Myers:_"I_despair_over_atheism_as_I_watch_it_burn...". This is, like so many of his other articles and essays, really just a collection of links to other of his articles. But it has an illustration showing a burning house, the same caption as the article itself: "Atheist PZ Myers: 'I despair over atheism as I watch it burn...'".

What's in that ellipsis? Well, there is an external reference to this article at PZ Myers' "Pharyngula" blog. The actual quote from that article was "I despair over atheism, as I watch it burn away allies and embrace the default attitude of patronizing bro-ness." It seems to be about feminism and PZ Myers' atheism. Or something. It's actually quite boring, like most of his writing, and I haven't read it.

But taking the phrase "watch it [atheism] burn away allies" and turning it into "watch it burn" is the most astonishing act of quoting out of context that I have ever seen.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quote (well, paraphrase)

God grant me the serenity to accept the things that are above the table of contents, the courage to change the things that are below it, and the wisdom to know the difference

What does that refer to? It refers to the fact that someone recently added some sycophantic rubbish to the Second Law of Thermodynamics page. Fortunately, it was above the TOC, so I didn't have to move it. Unfortunately (fortunately, actually) AugustO is even less patient with nonsense than I am.

Never asked God for forgiveness?

So help me understand why you thought God could use a man who’d said he’d never asked God for forgiveness, who serially committed adultery, who said he could grab women by the genitals, who cheated contractors and workers ... [who] didn’t even know how to say “Second Corinthians,” which he called “Two Corinthians,” and when asked for his favorite Bible verse struggled to name one until he landed on “an eye for an eye.” And you know what Jesus said about that one.

—Susan M. Shaw, Oregon State University

Bible verse, Matthew 6:19-21

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Bible verse, Matthew 25:34-36

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me, I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Bible verse, Galatians 6:7

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Bible verse, Matthew 23:12

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Late August, 2016, Do ants harvest? Do snakes hear?

I don't know. I have no expertise in this field.

Early March, 2016, I get blocked, and then weird things happen

I was blocked by my friend, after replacing an incredibly asinine page with a delete notice. The original block was for one week, extended an hour later to two weeks. The next day the same person, after apparently being taken to the woodshed, unblocked me. (I nevertheless stayed away for three weeks.) This person then (perhaps after advice given in the woodshed) went to considerable lengths to inform me that the block had been lifted.

He left a note on my talk page:

== I shortened your block. ==
I shortened your block. You are now unblocked. Conservative (talk) 11:53, 8 March 2016 (EST)

And he sent me an email, to my account (which he had never used before):

Received: by ******** with HTTP; Tue, 8 Mar 2016 11:17:09 -0800 (PST)
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 14:17:09 -0500
Subject: re: You have been unblocked at Conservapedia
From: "********" <********>
Dear Sam,
I unblocked you at Conservapedia.
User: Conservativie

(He often types his own user name incorrectly.)

And another note on my talk page, to be sure I see it, in case I don't check the sam4557 mail very often:

== I sent you an email and... ==
I sent you an email.
Second, let me know when you get this message. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Conservative (talk)

To which I left this reply: (All this was taking place on my talk page at the time, later moved here to my user page.)

See my user page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by SamHB (talk)

I no longer remember exactly what reply was referenced.

Then, a few weeks later, things got quite weird. He sent me 3 more emails:

Received: by ******** with HTTP; Sat, 2 Apr 2016 15:07:44 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 18:07:44 -0400
Subject: re: talk page post
From: "********" <********>
To: Sam Becker <>
Do you have Skype? If so, we can talk about the TAR matter.
If you have a Skype account, what is your Skype name?
User: Conservative

Received: by ******** with HTTP; Sat, 2 Apr 2016 17:07:39 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 20:07:39 -0400
Subject: Re: talk page post
From: "********" <********>
To: Sam Becker <>
I was hoping that you would get the email soon given that I have some free time tonight.
But since you didn't get the email soon, there is no need for the Skype call. I think the TAR matter will be settled via the talk pages.

Received: by ******** with HTTP; Sat, 2 Apr 2016 19:12:47 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 22:12:47 -0400
Subject: Re: talk page post
From: "********" <********>
To: Sam Becker <>
I see you are active editing again.
Do you have a Skype name you wish to share? I am free to Skype a bit tonight.

and left another note on my talk page about this:

I see you are editing again. Recheck your email. I sent you another email message. Conservative (talk) 22:17, 2 April 2016 (EDT)

I indirectly replied to all this on this user page (search above for "behind the curve") stating that I do not use Skype. I never replied to any of this by email.

Then this appeared on my talk page:

== The prank that never happened ==
As you know, I/we recently invited you to Skype call about a matter.
Second, I know you are skeptical that the User: Conservative account has been used by more than one editor (despite the evidence to the contrary. Evidence that a website which has devotees of CP noted).

[He really likes to misspell user names, by putting in a blank, perhaps to make them unclickable/unpasteable.]

Well, the Skype call was going to employ voice changing software so the voice of User: Conservativetism would be many. With proper notice, the various editors of User: Conservatism could have spoken to you via a Skype group/conference call. :) Conservative (talk) 01:09, 3 April 2016 (EDT)

[And this time it's "User:Conservativetism".]

Wait! He was going to use some kind of "voice changing software" to rig up a Skype conference call with me in order to "prove" that he is multiple people?????? Really?

Hey, he asked me via talk page to e-mail him and then via e-mail to Skype him. What you suppose he's doing? He asked 1990'sguy the same thing, I believe.--Nathan (talk) 14:44, 4 June 2017 (EDT)

Early December, 2015, On the Curious Matter of Sex With Horses

I'm not an expert in poetry, atheist or otherwise, but I found Atheist poetry, and its talk page, to be a welcome contrast from most of the topics Cons[1] writes about. Cons got into a spirited discussion of the topic with User:JohnSelway and User:JohnZ on the talk page. So I congratulated him on his good taste in this matter, with a note on that talk page. But I also expressed disappointment that he had seemingly grown tired of the poetry topic, and had gone back to writing about bestiality.

At about that time, he went on an editing binge, making 43 edits on the subjects of "Atheism and bestiality" or horses, including the creation of the article Essay: I say NAAAAAY to atheism and evolutionism!, complete with a picture of a horse, which clearly suggests a particular interest in the topic of sex with horses.

For some inexplicable reason, Cons moved my comment to the talk page for Atheism and bestiality, and wrote a long reply about bestiality.

Not having VargasMilan's vocabulary, I am at a loss for words to express how revolting I find that topic, and Cons's extensive writing about bestiality in general. Conservapedia was originally intended as a learning resource for home-school students, presumably in the junior high and high school age range. Everyone is encouraged to watch this video to see Conservapedia's original mission, as explained by Andy Schlafly himself.

Now, to reply to Cons's remarks:

>> SamHB, because you are an evolutionist and a defender of evolutionary pseudoscience ...

I prefer the term "one who accepts the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution". And I don't recognize the term "evolutionary pseudoscience". Sorry.

>> (along with holding to liberal theology which often tends to be anti-supernatural in character)

I believe I pointed out to you, at User talk:SamHB#Daily Beast evolution article, the significance of a comma in distinguishing a "restrictive clause" from a "nonrestrictive clause". By not using a comma after "theology", you are saying that, of all liberal theologies, I hold to one of those that "often tends to be anti-supernatural in character". You're right; I do. But perhaps you meant to say that all liberal theologies often tend to be anti-supernatural in character. If that is what you meant, you should have used a comma.

>> I can understand why the evolutionary belief and bestiality and Atheism and bestiality articles are upsetting to you

No, those articles don't upset me at all, except insofar as they make a mockery of Conservapedia's goals.

>> especially since you cannot find a single factual error in these articles.

We've been through this before, relating to various other things you've written. Find a factual error? I can hardly find a coherent sentence!

Mid-October, 2015, another vape-a-thon by Cons, over Pat Tillman

Disclaimer: I am not familiar with the case of Pat Tillman, except that it was apparently a tragic friendly-fire battlefield death in Afghanistan. I have absolutely no information on whether he was an atheist, and apparently no one at Conservapedia does either.

But that didn't stop Cons from getting really worked up in a giant kerfuffle with some people (mostly user "Ebionite") over whether he was an atheist. Now Ebionite was obviously a troll, and a foul-mouthed one at that, and deserved to be blocked. But he really got Cons worked up. Cons vaped (oversighted, "burned the evidence") the discussion 23 times in 51 minutes. I didn't save the stuff (I no longer log Cons's goings-on in detail) but the gist of the argument was the idea that Tillman could not have been an atheist because Cons knows that "No atheist would do [XYZ]." All this in spite of statements by people that knew Mr. Tillman personally.

Sorry Cons, but whether someone is an atheist does not depend on, and is in fact totally unrelated to, what goes on inside YOUR head. And the fact that you say "there are no good reasons to be an atheist" does not mean that there are no atheists in the world. It just means that you have not thought this through. There are atheists in this world. I know a number of them.

September 23, 2015, in which Cons leaves a note on my talk page about "User: Math" and then vapes it

Oh, Cons! Bad, naughty Cons! You left a note for me, and then vaped it. (You did the same on VargasMilan's talk page, telling him that you had sent him an email.) In fact, you've been doing an enormous amount of vaping lately. One might wonder whether this is because you are starting to be embarrassed about how many tiny edits it takes for you to say something. As I believe I told you elsewhere, the fix for that is to compose what you want to say in an editor, think about it, polish it into the form you want, and then upload it. I believe you said at about the same time that you were going to vape ("oversight") things more, in order to keep the Recent Changes log from getting so cluttered. Well, I'm sure you've noticed that, with the new wiki software, acts of vaping are even more visible than they were before. It just makes the problem worse. I'd suggest that you go back to just editing the way you used to. The bean-counters over at ritionalwaki will continue doing their thing, of course.

By the way, you shouldn't ever revert, much less vape, things on talk pages, especially users' talk pages. Talk pages should simply be archived. And I think that vaping another user's talk page is particularly rude. I wouldn't be surprised if VargasMilan was offended by what you did. (Actually, I would be surprised, since his notions of proper behavior seem to be different from mine.)

Now, getting to the issue at hand, you told me about a user called "User: Math". Complete with the space after the colon that you so charmingly like to put into these things. You apparently thought I would be interested in what such a person had to say, presumably because you know that I am interested in mathematics. A quick check (removing the space, of course) showed that there is no such user at Conservapedia. You gave a web URL. I went there, and, sure enough, there is a user called "Math". So I looked around at his profile and contributions. I found this and this (his profile) and this. When I got to the last one, I thought "Aha! I understand it now! This is why Cons is interested in this guy. Homosexuality and the Bible."

Unfortunately, I found no connection at all with mathematics in anything that I saw, though I admit I didn't look into every nook and cranny. You apparently thought I'd be interested in what someone with a screen name of "Math" would say. But no, I'm not interested in a fundamentalist crackpot who just happens to have chosen the name "Math" as his screen name on a crackpot backwater blog, and writes not about math but about homosexuality and the Bible.

Then you also indicated that this person might have something to teach me about the Generalized linear model. So I went and refreshed my memory about this. As I recall, you once tried to win an argument (Evolution, Atheism? Who cares?) with someone by telling him that he needed to know more about the generalized linear model. And yet your edits to that article were little more than links to the statsoft web site, and showed no actual knowledge of the topic. I called you out on this, and challenged you to a debate on the subject. I was actually quite specific in one of my challenges, suggesting that we could give each other some data sets to analyze. My intention was, of course, to find out whether you knew anything about the algorithm that begins with L-M. Fortunately for you, your bunny-hole was close by.

In any case, no, I don't think user "Math" at the bible discussion forum web site has anything to say to me on the subject of the generalized linear model. But my debate offer still stands. One thing you might do, short of a debate but still demonstrating some degree of mathematical erudition, would be to edit the Generalized linear model page and say, in your own words, what binomial distributions and Poisson distributions are.

Early September, 2015, in which Cons exhibits his expertise in computer network behavior, gets shot down, and then claims he is right and asks me to apologize

The exchange is here.

Conservapedia's server experienced a serious storm of sporadic server outages. Cons weighed in with the advice "get a faster browser", and was totally shot down by knowledgeable people—AugustO, Bringreaganback, MelH, and myself. I explained in great detail why Cons's theories were incorrect. Cons thrashed around for a bit, and then cited an article in the "askleo" web site. He attempted to make that web site seem authoritative by citing its Alexa rank of about 25,000. This isn't necessary; any technically literate person can look at the web site and see for himself that Leo knows what he is talking about. Alexa ranks don't make a site more authoritative. And that's a good thing, because Conservapedia's rank is about 105,000. (By the way, ritionalwaki's rank is about 23,000, a little better than askleo.)

Leo says that he is very familiar with the error. In the article, he repeatedly says that it's a server error, not affected by anything the user might do. Finally, in the "some straws to grasp at" section, he mentions some things that a user might do, including trying a different (not faster; different) browser. But he makes clear that those are very far-fetched scenarios.

In late January, Cons changed the phrase "including trying a different (not faster; different) browser", from the paragraph above, to use boldface and a large font, and gave the edit comment "VICTORY". I am baffled by this. The "askleo" site mentioned using a different browser, not a faster one; what Cons had suggested was a faster browser. He still seems confused about browser speed and server errors. Why he considers it a victory to call attention to this confusion by putting it in boldface and a large font is a mystery.

So, no, Cons. There is no need for me to apologize.

Now one of the things that I pointed out in the exchange was that Cons was writing "word salad" (or should I say "file attribute salad") in what he wrote. The attribute specification that he gave, "-rwxr-", makes no sense, and does not appear in the page that he cites. I suggest that this "calls into question the veracity of Cons's internet research on other topics as well." The significance of this is that it shows that Cons can't even cut-and-paste accurately from another web page. He just makes things up. Why does that call his veracity on other topics into question? Because he writes very prolifically on a number of subjects (atheism, homosexuality, bestiality, Richard Dawkins, etc), pretending to back up what he is saying with references to things on the internet. I rarely look at the cited articles; I just take Cons's word for it that the person said that. And I'm not an expert on these topics (especially bestiality). I have to take the author's word for it. But if Cons just makes things up, I can't.

Postscript: In late September, Cons added a note to Talk:Main_Page, thanking Andy for fixing the sporadic outage problem, and pointing out that he no longer gets the errors. The rest of us had noticed that things were working normally weeks earlier. For some reason, Cons must have had second thoughts about his note, because he vaped it. In fact, he committed 8 acts of vaping of this page in late September, some of them probably to other people's edits; I didn't note them in time. One of the vapings was of a routine archiving.

PostPostscript: At 12:59, 26 September, Cons put the note thanking Andy back in again, this time on Andy's talk page.

March, 2015, On the Curious Matter of Putting Ferris Bueller's Day Off in italics

At 15:04, 28 March, User:ConsMovies made an edit to the "Greatest Conservative Movies" page correcting the italicization of the title of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, along with 3 other movies (The Goonies, God's Not Dead, and Man of Steel.) Cons blocked him 1 minute later. ConsMovies' edits in general were of a somewhat provocative and snarky nature, but movie titles are generally in italics on that page, and his edit was correct. Cons reverted the edit 3 minutes after that, so that those movie titles are no longer in italics.

I complained about this on Andy's talk page on March 12. There was a long discussion on this topic, as seen here.

An interesting (to me, at least, as a "Cons-watcher") thing to note about that discussion is that, from looking at the history log, Cons twice burned down (completely deleted) Andy Schlafly's talk page, and recreated it, once at 23:21, 12 March, and once at 14:21, 13 March! He had apparently made some edits that he realized were inappropriate, and needed to cover his tracks. He has since then learned to use more sophisticated techniques to "vape" embarrassing material.

As of this writing, the errors in the 4 movie titles are still there!

Breaking news: At 22:03, 7 February 2016, the page finally got fixed. Congratulations to User:Northwest.

A note on the second law of thermodynamics

There seems to be a good deal of confusion and unclear writing in the article.

The subject of thermodynamics, including the second law, was well established during the 19th century, by such people as Carnot, Gibbs, Clausius, Clapeyron, Maxwell, Helmholtz, and Thompson (Lord Kelvin). This long predates the advent of quantum mechanics. The subject of statistical mechanics, and the "randomness" or "uncertainty" were well understood. It does not depend on the uncertainty (the "Heisenberg uncertainty principle") of quantum mechanics.

There are two generally recognized types of "perpetual motion machine." A "perpetual motion machine of the first kind", which is what people generally mean when they use this term, is one that violates conservation of energy. Since the first law of thermodynamics is just conservation of energy, such a machine would violate the first law.

Such a perpetual motion machine is generally taken to mean one that actively gives out nonzero energy (you can see ads for these things on the internet[2][3][4]), rather than one that simply holds its own, even though a machine that holds its own, that is, never runs down, could obviously be considered a "perpetual motion machine."

Entities that hold their own and never run down actually do exist. Atoms are examples of them. The electrons orbiting the nucleus, if they are in their ground state, never stop. They never lose energy at all. (OK, the fact that they never lose energy depends on quantum mechanics, and I said above that quantum mechanics isn't involved, but the radiation from accelerating charges was unknown when thermodynamics was formulated.) Other things that never stop are quantum-mechanical harmonic oscillators, and gas molecules in their random motion. The latter was central to the kinetic theory that led to the development of thermodynamics. That is, the people developing thermodynamics were aware of the perpetual, never running down, nature of gas molecules. They postulated, correctly, that gas molecule collisions are perfectly elastic and never lose energy. They really are "perpetual motion machines."

The second law of thermodynamics relates to a more obscure fictional device, a "perpetual motion machine of the second kind." This would be something that violates the second law by causing heat to travel, without introduction of energy from an external source, from a colder body to a warmer one. In fact, it can be shown (and was shown in the 19th century), that any heat engine more efficient than that required by Carnot's law is impossible, because it would permit the construction of a machine that moved heat from a colder body to a warmer one.

From looking at the edit history of the article, there seems to be something of an edit war involving an insistence that the impossibility of a perpetual motion machine be described using the word "derail". This is an extremely unhelpful word, suggesting a similarity with a railroad train running off its tracks, and seems to be an attempt to evoke the commonsense notion of macroscopic mechanical devices wearing out due to friction. The second law is actually very clear in what it states and does not state. The article also muddies the thinking by including a folksy and cute, but woefully imprecise, layman's description by a famous science fiction author. While it is true that a person's room will tend to get messy if not attended to, and shuffling a deck of cards leads to more disorder, this is related to statistics, and involves an entropy change that is utterly minuscule compared with what goes on in thermodynamics. The "intelligent intervention" that the article describes (cleaning up the room, or sorting the cards) is statistically infeasible in the thermodynamics case. In fact, the scientists formulating the second law of thermodynamics considered this, in the form of a "Maxwell's demon", and showed that it was impossible.

The claim that the second law of thermodynamics disproves relativity or evolution is too preposterous to reply to.

When I get the time, I will probably write some articles on thermodynamics elsewhere on the internet.

My Past Contributions

I have contributed to the following articles. Some contributions were minor, but most were major, and many of these articles were created by me. Some got moved from my "sandbox" pages into article space by other people.

Algebra, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, exponent of "r" in Newtonian gravity, Calc3.1/2/3/4/5, tensor, wave equation, e (mathematics), vector, vector space, vector field, conservative vector field, irrotational vector field, Maxwell's equations, Hodge star, exterior derivative, Cramer's rule, Riemann integral, Green's theorem, dense subset, limit (mathematics), boolean algebra, mathematical paradoxes, function, complex analytic function, continuity, countable, group, real number, rational number, complex number, Cauchy sequence, Dedekind cut, bijection, injection, surjection, ham sandwich theorem, two-pancacke theorem, divergence, curl, cross product, dot product, infinity, functor, continuous function, Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem, principle of induction, general relativity, real analysis, Pierre Simon Laplace, diagonalization.

My Future Plans

This section . I may need to consult with some sysops on this. Fixing the Compass and straightedge article is an important item.

The comment above, about consulting with sysops, referred to the fact that I was blocked and reverted by Daniel Pulido after an earlier attempt to discuss math, so I wanted to contact him by email to get his approval. But he has himself been blocked, so maybe things are OK.

While there are a huge number of things that need in the mathematics area, I've picked out four that would be good to on. I want to collaborate on these with Ed Poor, who is the other math expert currently around, so I have placed and extensive discussion on his talk page, which see. I'm also going to bring this to the attention of User:JamesWilson, who may be another up-and-coming math contributor.

  • Compass and straightedge—This has been rescued from "parody hell", but it needs much more work to present the material in a way that is logical and understandable to the target audience.
  • Elementary Algebra—This has been a topic of discussion between me and Ed for quite some time, generally centering on the question of "how do you explain to an elementary student what the question 'x+3 = 7' is really asking?"
  • Peano axioms—The fundamental logical basis for all of arithmetic. I dimly recall a discussion between Ed and someone else on this topic; it didn't seem to get anywhere. It is an extremely fascinating topic for the target audience!
  • Center—This has been a disaster for a long time. I really don't know how to write the "headline" sentence for this; that is, what's the first thing you say about what the "center" of a geometrical shape is? I solicit any insight that Ed (or anyone else) can provide.

More thoughts on math

Since there is a renewal of interest in writing mathematical articles, I'd like for people to feel free to use my talk page for discussion of math articles, if they so desire. I may be able to offer advice or guidance, or suggest fruitful topics.

People should also feel free to discuss math writing in general, including the topic that is near and dear to me—setting the right educational level for our expected audience. I only ask that:

  • Do not tell me we need extremely advanced articles at the college level. See here for the latest example of misguided advice along these lines. Just don't ask. I'm not interested.
  • If criticizing my or anyone else's writing level or style, please provide a link to a sample of your own writing on the same or equivalent topic and at the same depth, so that we can see just what you have in mind.

I see AlanS's talk page has finally been deleted

He seems to have made his last contribution on December 26, 2008. He was blocked at 19:19 on December 31, two minutes after I was blocked for being a sock of him. I never knew who he was. Looking through his block log, he seems to have gotten into fights with sysops and admins to an astounding degree, suggesting that he was, at heart, just a troublemaker. He seems to have dabbled in "light science" topics, but our paths don't seem to have crossed.

The Bugler/LowKey incident

User "Bugler" was an extremely brutish user who climbed the status ladder at Conservapedia rather quickly, developing a reputation for blocking people and generally being destructive. He very nearly made it to "administrator", the rank currently held by only a few people—Andy, Ed Poor, Karajou, JPatt, Conservative, and a few other inactive people. At the end of the process, while being interviewed by Andy and asked his real name, he apparently said it was "Brian Ugler", thereby unmasking himself as a vandal and parodist of the worst kind. He was immediately banished, of course.

User "LowKey" was one of Bugler's frequent victims, and complained at length on his user page, before Bugler's fall. Lowkey's user page, as of 12 January, 2009, may be found here. I am saving it because it is in danger of being vaped.

Helpful stuff

To mark a page for deletion

Use {{Delete Notice}} The explanation is not an argument; it is in the following text.

Or {{speedy}} to explicitly diss it for being "obvious vandalism, sarcastic mockery, or inappropriate".

Also {{db|whatever}} The explanation is in the argument. This method seems less effective at being noticed.

To make a nice quotation block

blah blah

Indented quote, but without the big quote marks. (You can get pretty much the same thing with colon.)

blah blah

To put in footnotes etc.

See How to put links and footnotes into your articles.

To welcome a new user



  1. User Conservative, affectionately called "Cons"