Talk:Essay:Best New Conservative Words/archive3

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Mother Nature[edit]

In the New Liberal Terms section, I put the term Mother Nature in the list. Is it right?--Willminator 18:40, 22 April 2010 (EDT)

I won't argue whether or not Mother nature is a liberal term on the grounds that I think the distinction between conservative and liberal words is dubious at best, however it is most certainly not a new word. The idea of mother nature is as old as the ancient greeks or older. --Ben Talk 18:46, 22 May 2010 (EDT)

That's a clever way to dispose of a vexing question.--Andy Schlafly 18:56, 22 May 2010 (EDT)

Well I don't want to waste your time by arguing the point Mr. Schlafly. If you want to put the term back in feel free. --Ben Talk 19:24, 22 May 2010 (EDT)

How is it dubious? Also, I haven’t heard of any writings or speeches where the term Mother Nature was used hundreds of years ago. Show me at least one speech or writing where the term was used. Liberals use it to discredit Father God’s role in creation. They think that it was nature, not God, who made us. To Liberals, nature is their goddess. Funny how Wikipedia’s article on Mother Nature denies the atheistic, evolutionary and environmental implications of the term.--Willminator 19:55, 22 April 2010 (EDT)

Look up "Gaia" or "Terra Mater" - "Mother Nature" or "Mother Earth" has been around thousands of years. PaulBurnett 22:23, 16 June 2010 (EDT)
The idea of personifying all of nature as a woman surely predates the liberalism of 20th century and early 21st century America. But the way in which the natural world came into existence, specifically the planet Earth which supports all life known to exist, is unknown to science: speculation is not "science" unless expressed as a theory to which a counterexample could conceivably be found (see falsifiability).
Those scientists who deny God's role in Creation are committing the same intellectual offense they accuse intelligent design theorists of. It is also not "science" to comment on metaphysical ideas, unless we grant that the scientific method can be applied to matters beyond physical science.
The trick which liberals are playing with their anti-conservative words is to pretend that they are talking about one thing, while they are actually talking about another. This is literally the oldest trick in the book; recall that the serpent tempting Eve told her, "You will not die" yet Jesus explained later on many occasions that "life" and "death" correspond to being able or unable to love God. So eating the forbidden fruit did indeed cause Eve's death. (See verses like, "You have the name of being alive, but you are dead" in Revelations and, "Let the dead bury their own dead" in Luke 9)
We need precise definitions of words, to prevent being tricked and fooled by deceivers with a hidden agenda. The so-called "peace movement", for example, never wanted peace but simply the victory of America's anti-democratic enemies. The "save the earth" movement is not at all concerned with preserving the environment for the well-being of human beings: it's an excuse to increase centralized control over resources, in a way which will destroy prosperity, hurting the world's poor more than any one else.
Now it's a matter of personal belief for me that God has a feminine aspect; my church specifically teaches that the Holy Spirit is feminine, and that God is a being whose harmonized masculinity and femininity are reflected in men and women (see Gen. 1:27) but I won't preach here. The issue is the relationship between Nature and human beings.
Liberals claim that science has proved Evolution without providing any evidence for it, let alone discussing a means by which the theory might be falsified (thus providing a highly prominent example of pseudoscience). Then they misuse this idea to hint that science has also discovered the source of the physical world (Big Bang theory) and the origin of life. Of course, when pressed, they must concede that the Theory of Evolution does not tell us how life came into being. But high school biology textbooks write about life as if it simply "evolved" from inorganic chemicals. This, by the way, is a great example of how New Liberal Words are misused to trick people. --Ed Poor Talk 07:10, 6 July 2010 (EDT)
That's a fascinating analysis, Ed. Thank you for sharing it. I appreciate the suggestion that the Holy Spirit is feminine. Usually groups of people, like nations or large audiences, are considered to be more feminine than masculine in nature.--Andy Schlafly 10:13, 6 July 2010 (EDT)

"Bully pulpit"[edit]

How about "bully pulpit"? When Teddy Roosevelt coined this, "bully" meant something like "excellent" rather than overbearing.--Andy Schlafly 19:47, 22 May 2010 (EDT)

I guess it's kind of like the word gay. At first gay meant happy and now it means something else.--Willminator 19:55, 22 April 2010 (EDT)


I think this article needs a clear definition of what is meant by "conservative words." As I was reading it, I found it unclear as to whether it's about words invented by Conservatives or words representing Conservative values. I gather it's the latter, but I had to look in the talk page to find that. Either way, the introduction to the article isn't very clear and I'm reluctant to write a definition since I'm not sure I'm on the same page as the contributors. Would someone care to do that? EMorris 13:49, 2 June 2010 (EDT)

As far as I can tell, it seems to be "words we like to use." I think it's pretty apparent that the claim that they "represent conservative values" is false... saying that, for example, the word "carpetbagger" represents conservative values is kind of insulting. Some of the words here are obviously included for their utility in showcasing liberal failings rather than their inherent "conservative value". I would argue that the using the term "conservative words" is actually kind of pejorative; while not quite as catchy, perhaps "words you may find useful" would be better? Calling them conservative words allows liberals to dismiss them more easily: "Those aren't real words, those are just conservative neologisms." Ptorquemada 17:00, 4 April 2011 (EDT)

33 million sites turn up in a Google search for "anti-Christian" - Wrong![edit]

For the term "anti-Christian" the article claims "thirty-three million sites turn up in a Google search."

Where did this number come from? Go to Google and type in "anti-Christian" (in quotes) and you get 945,000 hits. Type in "anti-Christian" (NOT in quotes - which is totally sloppy Googling) and you get 7,590,000 hits. Where did the "thirty-three million" come from? PaulBurnett 22:11, 16 June 2010 (EDT)

That's an interesting observation, Paul. The number of Google links retrieved for the search "anti-Christian" has fallen substantially. That begs the question of why.--Andy Schlafly 22:18, 16 June 2010 (EDT)
Should we correct that number in the article? ChrisGT90 22:41, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Please improve as you think best!--Andy Schlafly 22:58, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
The user who added that (User:DrewDice) was subsequently blocked for prevarication. The one-million figure Andy added seems about right in my searches. KyleDD 23:05, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Before you round the number down, consider rounding it up. [1] The answer is 74.6 million. Google anti Christian with no quotes, no hyphens, English language only. --Jpatt 03:24, 7 August 2010 (EDT)
That is true, but such a Google search would include Christian sites about "anti-abortion" stances or "anti-Biblical" lifestyles. KyleDD 21:43, 17 August 2010 (EDT)
A good indication that my search results are accurate can be judged by the first 10 page results, nothing but anti-Christian in the title. Does it include anti-abortion and anti-American? Possibly, we are talking 78 million pages but I didn't see any through the top 10. I frown on the smaller number of 1 million.--Jpatt 22:14, 17 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm sorry you feel that way. A good indication that your search results are inaccurate can be judged by using the "Search within results" function. Half a million of your results pertain to the Christian "anti defamation" commission. Another half million are for "anti abortion". 184,000 deal with "anti immigration". And the list goes on and on...173,000 are about the punk rock band "Anti-flag". I'm sure hundreds of thousands more results are about things that people named Christian don't like. The only way to accurately gauge the use of the phrase "anti Christian" on Google is to search for that phrase, not its components. KyleDD 11:50, 18 August 2010 (EDT)
I did a search for anti-Christian both with and without the hyphen when Paul Burnett first brought the issue up, and both returned the same number of hits (about the 7.5 million he mentioned). I think that Jpatt may have misread the number and moved the decimal place over. Even now, I'm only getting 10.8 million hits, both by typing in what Jpatt described or by clicking his link. I'm changing the article now to say 10 million, but I think the number should ultimately be removed. It just changes to quickly for the article to stay up-to-date unless somebody is going to check every morning. Also, on the first page of ten results, on is a list of anti-Christian movies, one is lamenting the anti-Christian bias in America, and one is against anti-Christian defamation. If you want to only use the first 10 results as a sample of the 10 million (which anybody who's taken a statistics course would tell you is a horrible idea), about 30% of those results are nothing hostile towards Christianity. ChrisGT90 23:12, 18 August 2010 (EDT)
JPatt's search results extended further into the past than a normal google search. For the same reasons I explained to him, your 10 million number is inaccurate (you can verify by searching within your results). I'm changing it back to 1 million for the time being, but maybe you're right that it should be removed outright. No one doubts that it is a widely-used term. KyleDD 17:54, 20 August 2010 (EDT)
There are 10.8 million results when you search anti-Christian on Google. The claim being made was not that there were X million results hostile towards Christianity, just that there were X million results. No attempt was made at qualifying them, and the statement in the article does not indicate any attempt at qualifying them. It doesn't matter if only one in ten of those results is actually something anti-Christian; the claim is only about how many results there are. I'm changing it back to 10 million, because that's how many results there are (not good results, or relevant results, just results in any form). With that being said, it is a fairly pointless claim to make, because we don't know how many of those results actually are anti-Christian, we only know that they make some reference to "anti-Christian." ChrisGT90 20:17, 21 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm blanking the description on this term. The number of Google results is subject to wide variation, and the number of Google results is hardly an informative piece of information, as per discussion above. The term is included in the unabridged Merriam-Webster dictionary (Link). I don't know of a suitable replacement description, so I'm just going to leave it open to somebody else. ChrisGT90 13:52, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

Adding Obama Portmanteaus[edit]

I've noticed the list does not have any of the Obama portmanteaus, like Obamanation, Obamunism, etc. Shouldn't these terms be added? They are great for described the unfortunate turn this country is taking. JonS 17:13, 27 June 2010 (EDT)


Conservative term imho. Seeker of greatness against the odds. Cinderella story. David (underdog) slays Goliath. The meek (underdog) shall inherit the Earth. --Jpatt 03:09, 10 July 2010 (EDT)

I agree that "underdog" is a conservative term, and I will promote it now. Thanks for mentioning this.--Andy Schlafly 08:42, 10 July 2010 (EDT)

Excellent scholarship[edit]

In the face of such well founded scholarship, Liberals will never manage to disprove the remarkable growth pattern illustrating the doubling per century of Conservative words. Nevertheless, perhaps the essay could be improved slightly by adding that Conservative words are words that express a Conservative concept or words that are used significantly more often by conservatives than Liberals. AmandaBunting 17:20, 14 July 2010 (EDT)

Not sure what confusion you're trying to clear up here. Conservatives words express insights that are conservative. These words are freely available to liberals and conservatives alike, though liberals may indeed irrationally try (in a fool's errand) to avoid using them.--Andy Schlafly 00:34, 15 July 2010 (EDT)
The essay begins by mentioning Conservative terms, then a list of Conservative words and terms follows, nowhere in the essay is it made clear what Conservative words or terms actually are. That, I think, should occur at the beginning of the essay. Supplying a definition of what a Conservative term is, will underpin the observation that the data supplied irrefutably proves a "1-2-4-8" geometric increase for new conservative terms. AmandaBunting 14:51, 30 July 2010 (EDT)
Definition by example seems best here. Other proposed definitions are, of course, welcome.--Andy Schlafly 15:35, 30 July 2010 (EDT)
Other definitions are not required, your own excellent, clear and concise definition that Conservatives words express conservative insights is more than adequate. However, definition by example begs the question, are the words in the list because they are Conservative or are the words Conservative because they are in the list? AmandaBunting 15:48, 31 July 2010 (EDT)
The terms are obviously Conservative independent of being in this list. You wouldn't request a definition for "List of Words beginning with G", so why are you demanding a definition for "Conservative term"? Are the component words of the phrase that obtuse for you? We're not using them in any aberrant way. --CathyB 18:04, 31 July 2010 (EDT)
Nowhere did I demand a definition, I merely suggested that providing one would underpin the excellent scholarship presented in the essay. G is a well established concept amongst literate people. "List of Words beginning with G" is a definition, therefore it logically does not require a definition. The term 'Conservative words' is not as well established as G, therefore a definition helps those unfamiliar with the term understand it and benefit from Mr Schlafly's excellent insights. AmandaBunting 16:57, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
What you say cannot be true, because in the world I live in, people know and understand what "conservative" means, and they don't need it spelled out for them. Talking about the "excellent scholarship presented in this essay" smacks of sarcasm from the tone of the rest of your post. If you were a real conservative, you wouldn't have to be asking what a "conservative word" was. --CathyB 21:29, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
My suggestion to elaborate was in order to elucidate the term 'Conservative words' not the word 'Conservative'. The elucidation is intended for visitors unfamiliar with the term, not for myself. Many come to Conservapedia seeking an alternative to the atheistic anti-Christian misinformation, gossip and pornography prevalent elsewhere on the internet. Elucidation enables such people to better understand and appreciate what Conservapedia has to offer, and may facillitate bringing them into the fold, so that they may also profit from the many Conservative benefits. AmandaBunting 18:01, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
If liberals are so devoid of intelligence or honesty to clearly understand the simple application of an adjective to a noun, then why should we dumb down our article just for their pea-sized brains? --CathyB 21:57, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

"AmandaBunting" (if that really is your name), I've reviewed your contributions and you're not doing much more than talk, talk talk. We conservatives favor substantive contributions to this project, so if all you can do is complain on talk pages, Wikipedia might be a better place for you and your misguided ideology. It's obvious you're not here to help anyone learn. DanielPulido 18:18, 31 July 2010 (EDT)

I am neither complaining nor have I a misguided ideology. I am simply making substantive suggestions about how I think this excellent essay may be improved. As a Conservative I would have expected more chivalrous behaviour here, there is much you can learn from Conservapedia. AmandaBunting 16:57, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
But you didn't suggest a definition, even though one would have been (and still is) welcome from you. Wikis are not answer boxes; they are places where people contribute ideas and substantive edits, and then others improve them.--Andy Schlafly 21:34, 4 August 2010 (EDT)
I had already mentioned that other definitions are not required because you had already supplied supplied an excellent, clear and concise definition that Conservatives words express Conservative insights. I have added that to the essay, furthermore the definition itself links to the insightful article Conservative insights. AmandaBunting 17:38, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

Maggie Thatcher[edit]

Great article. How about some of Margaret Thatcher's great new conservative terms:

  • U-turn: What liberal politicians do all the time
  • There is no alternative: Liberals pretend that they have an alternative to conservative values
  • Oxygen of publicity: What liberals want to give to terrorists
  • Fight to win: What conservatives should do!

BenjyB 19:03, 14 July 2010 (EDT)

Get this! Adding those four terms takes the total for the 20th century to 160 - we're getting very close to a perfect geometric progression. BenjyB 19:07, 14 July 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm not sure the above terms meet the high quality level of the entries. Perhaps because "Maggie" was actually not very conservative by American standards? She seemed fine with nationalized health care, for example.--Andy Schlafly 00:29, 15 July 2010 (EDT)


quack, coined 1638, to refer to charlatans deceiving others with pseudoscience. Used extensively today to describe the favorite "medicines" of new-age liberals. DouglasA 20:40, 14 July 2010 (EDT)

Interesting and informative suggestion. However, the term strikes me as name-calling rather than insightful. I'm not sure its use would be consistent with our rules!--Andy Schlafly 00:26, 15 July 2010 (EDT)

Kiss of Death[edit]

The term "Kiss of Death" clearly originated earlier than 1943, as the article would suggest, as there was a 1916 film by that name. In fact, I'm not convinced this was the origin of the term, which has probably been in use since Judas' betrayal. DanieleGiusto 22:01, 14 July 2010 (EDT)

Your link to Wikipedia is broken, and the movie was probably a literal rather than figurative use of the word. Merriam-Webster gives a date of 1943.--Andy Schlafly 00:24, 15 July 2010 (EDT)
Fixed the link; thanks for the heads-up. DanieleGiusto 13:38, 16 July 2010 (EDT)


Possibility for 1800's: Carpetbagger[edit]

While the term originally related specifically to northern politicians interjecting themselves into the politics of the Reconstruction-era south, it has since come to be used for political opportunists in a more general sense. Since this sort of behavior is common among Democrats (Hillary Clinton, anyone?) I'd argue that the term has value as a conservative word. --Benp 12:52, 19 July 2010 (EDT)

"Carpetbagger" is a fascinating suggestion. Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy were modern senatorial examples. Perhaps there are other modern examples also.--Andy Schlafly 16:45, 19 July 2010 (EDT)

Well...hmm. There's John Garamendi, the former lieutenant governor of California, who ran for election to the House in a district where he didn't live. His defense, as I recall, was "Well, I don't live there, but my front yard's in the district." (It wasn't.) --Benp 17:26, 19 July 2010 (EDT)

Research method[edit]

I just wanted to point out that actively looking for words to fit the geometric rate of growth, from a scientific point of view, is a biased method of research. You will ALWAYS find words in a 1-2-4-8 geometric growth rate, if that's what you actively look for. A more neutral research method would be to ***randomly*** (I can't stress it enough, it MUST be random) pick up, say, 1000 words created after 1600, and see if they match that growth rate.

This method CAN lead to a scientific result, mind you, but only after ALL words created after 1600 have been taken into account, whether they match the growth rate or not. Feel free to refute my reasoning if I made a logical flaw in it, and if you think that actively choosing words to fit a 1-2-4-8 growth rate has scientific validity, please explain me why I am wrong. Thank you! --MarcoT2 11:35, 20 July 2010 (EDT)


What does everyone else think about militant atheist? I had to listen to someone rail at me for being a Christian on the train this morning for an hour and it got me thinking. I've been hearing the term since I was a kid, but that would probably fall into the 20th century. William Ayers anyone? My argument in favor is that most of them try to pass themselves off as peaceful, tolerant, etc, when (only my opinion here) that isn't really the case. We should call it as we see it here. I can't provide a year, but maybe someone with more experience can? What do you think? Tyler Zoran Talk 13:23, 20 July 2010 (EDT)

Selection Bias and Proposal for an Unbiased Test[edit]

Selection bias[edit]

The easiest way to see this is the history of your finds: You have repeatedly achieved what you call a perfect layer (1-2-4-8) of new conservative words, i.e. 1 word of the 17th century, 2 of the 18th century, 4 of the 19th century and 8 of the 20th century.

What's the probability to get a perfect layer? Here are the probabilities for the century of origin of a random conservative words, assuming that your insight is correct:


For a layer, we have to take 15 words. It's easy to calculate the probability that these 15 words form a perfect layer:

15!/(8!×4!×2!×1!) × (1/15)1 × (2/15)2 × (4/15)4 × (8/15)8 = 675675 × 234 / 1515 =0.0265

2.65% is the probability to chose 15 words and get a perfect layer instead of 2-1-4-8 or 1-2-5-7... And how often was this remarkable deed performed?

That you were able to repeat this process for a couple of times shows that you were actively (though not necessarily consciously) looking for words to match your pattern, i.e., you showed a selection bias - a kind of affirmative action for newer words...

Selection bias exists in any study. The issue is not whether there is selection bias (there always is), but whether the selection bias is so great that it disqualifies the results. Unless there were a strong underlying pattern of increase by century, it would be almost impossible even with high selection bias to attain the resulting pattern of doubling by century.--Andy Schlafly 10:51, 25 July 2010 (EDT)
  • Selection bias exists in any study. But most scientists try to avoid it (even in the social sciences), and try to monitor its effect. They most certainly should not embrace it as a way to make their point (that is, they are called on it when they do so...)
  • Unless there were a strong underlying pattern of increase by century, it would be almost impossible even with high selection bias to attain the resulting pattern of doubling by century. But Conservapedia's Law doesn't claim that their is a increase by century. No, it explicitly states that conservative insights increase over time at a geometric rate, as in 1-2-4-8-16-etc. For example, there is a doubling in effective new conservative terms per century. While their may an increase over the centuries, the rate of this increase (doubling, i.e. an increase by 100% by century) is an artefact of the way you perform your search: That is, even if the real rate is 70% , 130% - or 83% (the maximum likelihood estimator for your current set of words taken into account the year of their creation), you end up with a perfect fit of 100% - unless you have enumerated all conservative words at least for one century.
RonLar 09:44, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

An unbiased test[edit]

Andy, f you are interested in testing your insight, I really would like to help you. The hidden table below contains 500 words which - according to the Merriam-Webster - originated between 1600 and 2000. The list was generated by taking words of the ubuntu-dictionary at random and checking their age automatically via the site of Merriam-Webster. This was repeated until 500 feasible words were found.

If you mark each conservative word with an "r" (and perhaps each liberal word with an "l"), we'll get an estimate of the percentage of conservative words - and a fairly unbiased distribution over the time.

Please be aware that the distribution of this sample doesn't follow a geometric law. Here are the number of words by century of origin:

CenturyNumber of Words
Your proposed test is an interesting one, and I do see far more conservative words from the 1700s than the 1600s. Indeed, I'm pleasantly surprised how many conservative words show up in your random selection, as I never claimed that conservative (or liberal) words were a substantial percentage of all new words generated.
That said, the defect in your proposed test is the weakness in dictionaries publishing more recent new conservative words from, say, the 1900s. Dictionaries are good at defining old words, but not-so-good at recognizing and defining relatively new concepts. That's what we need Conservapedia for! :-).--Andy Schlafly 11:07, 25 July 2010 (EDT)
  • That said, the defect in your proposed test is the weakness in dictionaries publishing more recent new conservative words from, say, the 1900s. That's hardly a fatal flaw which would render the test useless. But we can even circumvent it: Let's just concentrate on the period 1600-1899! As you acknowledge that dictionaries are good at defining old words, in the next list you will find 500 words from these three centuries. I assume that Conservapedia's Law should hold not only for the 20th and the 21st century. (the list is a wikitable with two columns, just add a marker for a conservative word in the second column. I omitted the years of the creation of the words (all taken from the Merriam-Webster) and I would advice you against checking the age before marking a word - though of course the age of quite a few words is apparent)
  • A dictionary is the obvious choice when talking about the number of words. But you are absolutely right that dictionaries are biased towards older words. I assume that the percentage of words in general use which were created in the 20th century is much higher than those of the 17th century! When one is interested only in the distribution of conservative words , one could sample over Conservapedia's articles, and try various methods to get the age of the newest words used. But this is of course more cumbersome than just looking into a dictionary, so I'll postpone it for a while.
RonLar 09:47, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

Table of random words[edit]

RonLar 09:15, 25 July 2010 (EDT)

Second table: 500 random words 1600-1899

RonLar 09:49, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

I identified several dozen words as possibly conservative. But the problem here is that a general sample does not catch enough real conservative words. Still, you might assess the centuries of my selections (I didn't look at any dates before making these selections) and we can go from there.--Andy Schlafly 22:36, 27 July 2010 (EDT)
Thank you for your work! I now added the dates of the words, as found automatically at the Merriam-Webster. Here a first table:
16s 17s 18s Σ
conservative words 15 9 17 41
all words 176 114 210 500
percentage of conservative words 8.52% 7.89% 8.1% 8.2%

RonLar 11:29, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

That's a fascinating analysis, but its meaning is simply this: roughly 8% of all new words are conservative in nature. That is greater than the number of words I would have identified as liberal in nature.
But very few of these words qualified for our list, which expressly consists of the "best" new conservative words. Those words are being generated at a geometric rate.--Andy Schlafly 11:55, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

Destruction of words[edit]

Andy, your model takes into account only the creation of new words. But in any living language, words fall out of use, too.

Imagine a country where a constant number of conservative words is created each year, but where these words have a half-time of 100 years, that is, e.g, only half of the words used in 1600 were still in use in 1700.

Such a country would have the same distribution of conservative words as Conservapedia's Law implies - but the overall number of conservative words becomes constant after a while...

RonLar 10:02, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

The conservative words are remarkably durable and long-lasting, while the liberal terms (like "population control") fall out of favor quite quickly.--Andy Schlafly 22:17, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

PERFECTION: 20-40-80-160 BY CENTURY[edit]

For my statistical analysis, I recounted the words in the table: in fact, the numbers in the small table of the words per century doesn't match the list of the conservative words:

century 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st
claimed 20 40 80 160 13
recount 20 40 81 150 14

An examination of the page's history showed that on Oct 31, 2009 this error was introduced (with Segway) - and preserved ever since.

century 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st
pre Segway 14 28 56 112 6
post Segway 15 28 56 124 6
my count 15 29 57 114 6

How does this confirm that selection bias is the driving force behind the Conservapedia's law? Well (ignoring the 21st century for a while), if this law holds then ~53% of the words you find should be from the 20th century, ~47% from the three earlier centuries.

But in the time from Oct 31, 2009 until Apr , 2010 when you claimed 17-34-70-141 by century - spectacular, near-perfect geometric growth continues, you found only 17 words from the last century, and 22 older words, that is, instead of 53% / 47% the odds of 44% / 56% !

After reaching this mile stone, your ratio rebounded...

So, you always reached your goal, though this was an arbitrary one, set by a typo. This implies that you are actively targeting a ratio, and that this ratio is independent of a actual distribution of the conservative words.

RonLar 11:16, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

Typos and counting errors are, of course, inevitable; your own comment above has an error in its last seven words. Errors can be found in the greatest of works, such as Bernard Riemann's famous mathematical lecture. None of this undermines the value of Riemann's work ... or ours. The best new conservative words do double by century, and it would be nearly impossible to identify such a large number closely fitting that pattern unless the underlying pattern existed.--Andy Schlafly 12:06, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

You are right: It´s not about typos - it's about the phenomenon I'll explain in the following section RonLar 10:46, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

Too Good to be True[edit]

Imagine the hypothesis: There are as many male writers as there are female ones.

To proof this hypothesis, round for round, a player A names a male author, then a player B a female one. The round one player runs out of names - and the other doesn't- the hypothesis is falsified. If both stop in the same round, the hypothesis is true.

But what can be said about the validity of the hypothesis before this last round? There are thousands and thousands of authors, what do we know when we reach round 300?

Nothing. At least nothing about the ratio of female and male authors! In fact, imagine the game with player A naming two male authors for each of player B's female writer. After 300 rounds, this game is far from being finished, but we can't conclude anything!

Unless this game is played to its end, it's just an exercise in futility.

Statistics try to find methods which allow to draw conclusions without exhausting the whole population1

So, what's another way to create data for validating or falsifying the hypothesis? Let's think of player S who says that he will gather authors at random - and that this list will beautifully exemplify the hypothesis.

And so it does: he gives a couple of hundred names and - lo and behold - exactly half of them are males! He even goes a step further and says that each two consecutive name would mirror the hypothesis.

When would you start to suspect that he is not an honest player? The probability that a pair of authors consists from a man and a woman is 1/2. And in a random list of names, you'll find many such pairs. But if S announces: the next pair is gender-mixed, the one thereafter, too, and the next one, again - that's like predicting three heads when tossing a coin three times. If he does it ten times, you would be a fool not to think that something fishy is happening, i.e., that the names are not taken from a random list of authors, but in fact are chosen deliberately. His data is just too good to be true!

Such a list has no more significance than the first couple of hundred names generated by our players A and B.

Andy, I hope you see how this scenario applies to your method of generating best conservative new words.

At least four times you announced the start of a new layer, and each time, you were able to complete it perfectly. Though the probability to find the combination 1-2-4-8 for 15 words may be bigger than for each other combination, it's at best 2.6508% . Doing this four times in a row yields odds of 1:2,000,000.

Again, your findings are just too good to be true, therefore, they are not believable, and don't support your claims made in Essay:Conservapedia's Law.

RonLar 10:46, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

Disbelief of something because it is "too good to be true" is not a strong argument against it. Perhaps it is not precisely true as stated, but is a rough approximation, for example. Your specific arguments against the proposition above don't withstand scrutiny.
Finding the best new conservative words is like drilling for oil. Of course it is not a random process. That would be silly. But the lack of randomness does not mean that no intelligent conclusions can be drawn. We can properly conclude that there is more oil in the Arabian Peninsula than in Pennsylvania, where oil was first discovered, despite the lack of randomness in drilling oil wells. Our conclusion would be based on the difference in output, and the implausibility that any reasonable selection technique would produce such a differential if there were not also an underlying difference.--Andy Schlafly 13:06, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

A summary with graphs...[edit]

On June 9, 2009, Andrew Schlafly proclaimed his Essay:Conservapedia's Law:
Conservapedia's Law</b> is the observation that conservative insights increase over time at a geometric rate, as in 1-2-4-8-16-etc.
For example, there is a doubling in effective new conservative terms per century.
This remarkable precise observation was bolstered over the time by a list of 300 conservative words
Powerful, insightful new conservative terms have grown at a geometric rate, roughly doubling every century. For every insightful new conservative term originating in the 1600s, there are two new terms originating in the 1700s, four new terms in the 1800s, and eight new terms in the 1900s, for a pattern of "1-2-4-8". This implies a more conservative future and a correlation between conservatism and truth. The year 1612 is our starting point: the King James Version of the Bible was published in 1611, and William Shakespeare had written nearly all his plays.
The pic on the right shows the percentage of terms per century in which they were first mentioned.
Best Conservative New Words
The distribution of these conservative words is even more remarkable as it doesn't reflect the general trends of creating new words. To exemplify this, I took a sample of ≈ 42,000 words from the word-book of my ubuntu-distribution and checked their creation date with the Merriam-Webster (the gray areas of the two diagrams overlap)
distribution of 42,000 words
To convince Andy Schlafly's that the distribution of the words in his list is just an artifact generated by sample bias, I at first showed that it doesn't hold for shorter periods of time than centuries. But Andy Schlafly told me that he didn't see any merit in my challenge: The entry observes that new terms are generated at higher rates during productive periods within decades, for example just after or during religious awakenings.
Cons. Words per Decade
Interestingly, I couldn't observe any effect of the Great Religious Awakenings, neither in the number of conservative words nor in the number of all words.
All Words per Decade

No methodology is given how the conservative words are detected and gathered. To put the whole thing on a sounder ground, I asked Andrew Schlafly to take an unbiased text: I gave him a list of 500 words, which were - according to the Merriam Webster - first mentioned between 1600 and 1999. Andrew Schlafly objected to this sample as newer words are not well represented in word-books. When I propelled a second sample, consisting of 500 words all originated between 1600 and 1899 (300 years should be enough to prove his law), he was willing to mark the words he things to be conservative.

I'm very grateful that Andrew Schlafly took part in my little experiment: Thank you!

The five hundred words were taken at random from the suitable subset of the 42,000 words which I had dated, and so the sample distribution matches the overall distribution
500 Words per Centuries
Andrew Schlafly identified 41 words (8.2%) as conservative. The distribution of these 41 words over the centuries does not show a geometric progression.
Identified as Conservative
In fact, their distribution mirrors the distribution of the whole sample, as each century ≈ 8% of the words are identified as conservative
This linearly dependence can be found for shorter periods of time (here for steps of 20 years) - and is found to be statistically significant.
Periods of 20 years
A striking contrast to this is the absence of any connection between Andrew Schlafly's list of over 300 conservative words, and a general distribution of the creation of words.
Periods of 20 years
However, if one maps the percentage of words in - e.g. - a 20 years' period in the corresponding century (24% of all 20th-century word are from the 1900s, 18% from the 1920s, 26% from the 1940s, and so forth...), one finds again a positive correlation.
percentages over 20 years

Andrew Schlafly explains the discrepancies as follows:
That's a

fascinating analysis, but its meaning is simply this: roughly 8% of all new words are conservative in nature. That is greater than the number of words I would have identified as liberal in nature. </br>But very few of these words qualified for our list, which expressly consists of the "best" new conservative words. Those words are being generated at a geometric rate.--Andy Schlafly

11:55, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

I've to take exception to this: Andrew Schlafly has shown that he is able to generate candidates for his list for any time period as it is needed to fit his prediction. He could as easily make a list following a 1-3-9-27 (or 2-3-5-7-11) pattern.

Even a claim like: the number of Best New Conservative Words is not corroborated in any way by the list of the Essay:Best New Conservative Words, and the geometric progressions seems to be just the approximation of a phantasy.

RonLar 13:23, 3 August 2010 (EDT)

Ron, your quantity of commentary is impressive and your graphs (the ones that show up) are informative. But quantity is no substitute or quality. You never addressed my point above about how finding the best conservative words is like drilling for oil. Even if the same percentage of drills in Pennsylvania struck oil as in the Arabian Peninsula, that would not mean that both regions are equal for drilling for oil. Much better wells can be found in the Arabian Peninsula, and that's what this analysis is all about. Those good Arabian wells cannot be found in Pennsylvania, even though oil was first discovered there.--Andy Schlafly 21:04, 3 August 2010 (EDT)
  • Ron, your quantity of commentary is impressive and your graphs (the ones that show up) are informative. Thanks. BTW, all the graphs are in Conservapedia's database - you can get directly to the missing two bcw-003.png and bcw-004.png. It seems that the thumbs and the previews weren't produced correctly - maybe a glitch in your software to which you want attend?
  • But quantity is no substitute or quality. You mad a couple of quantifiable claims (1-2-4-8 pattern), so a quantitative analysis is what you get. You may rest assured that the quality of my information is good, too, and the math behind the analysis is sound: It's just basic statistics done with R.
  • You never addressed my point above about how finding the best conservative words is like drilling for oil. As far as metaphors go, this isn't such a bad one: Imagine four oil fields. If you put one, two, four and eight wells on them, you get oil out of them according to your geometric progression. This works as long as there is enough oils in the fields, but you can say something about the amount of oil in the fields at first when they start getting dry. The English language is very rich, it seems that 8% of its words are conservative, so there should be an abundance even of best conservative words. Until you have sucked a century dry, you cannot say anything about the distribution of the best conservative words.
RonLar 08:14, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

One way of marrying the two ideas above (that there is no increase of conservative terms over time and that there is an increase in the "best" conservative terms over time) is simply to suggest that conservative terms are getting better in quality and not quantity, which is the point that Mr. Schlafly makes, I believe. An explanation that might want to be considered is that after a new term is coined, it may slowly lose its relevence over time. I would suggest that if you look at the vocabulary from the 17th century, many words have lost their relevence greatly. This presumably applies to conservative terms as well. So, a partial explanation for conservative terms increasing in "quality" over time may be the decrease in time-lag and thus an increase in relevence.--GrahamB 12:15, 6 August 2010 (EDT)


Can I challenge 'decrypt' as a conservative word? Take the greatest decryption exercise in history, the breaking of the German Enigma code in World War 2 by British and Polish cryptographers. Alan Turing, who made the crucial breakthrough, was homosexual. Several others involved may have been communist sympathisers. The great majority were recruited from either the civil service (= Big Government) or universities (= Professor Values) and returned to those professions when WW2 was over. Bottom line: not a very conservative bunch. (Check the Bletchley Park website.) BenjyB 18:05, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

Beware of liberal revisionism, where historians try to give credit to liberals for achievements no matter how unjustified. It was Polish mathematicians who decrypted the enigma, not an Englishman. The British are notoriously weak in mathematics.--Andy Schlafly 18:11, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Andy, you don't seem to know so much about the decoding of Enigma. I gave you the reference to the Bletchley Park website so you can read about it there. The main contributions from the Poles were (1) stealing a German Enigma machine, (2) working out how Enigma encoded messages, (3) getting the Enigma machine to the Brits and (4) proposing a method for automated decoding of ciphers (the "Bombe"). The bombes that were eventually built were constructed by British engineers and used some principles but not the details of the Polish mathematicians' idea. Pretty much everything else was done by the British, including the first decipherment of Enigma, the second decipherment when the German Navy introduced a more sophisticated code, and the building of Colussus, the world's first programmable electronic computer, which played an essential role in decoding the later, more complex Enigma codes used by the U-boat fleet. Turing's role was crucial (that ain't liberal revisionism - go on, read about it). Some Poles who'd escaped to England did indeed work with the British but it just ain't true that they decoded Enigma.
As for "the British are notoriously weak in math": you're having a laugh, as my British colleagues would say. BenjyB 19:47, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Benjy, British liberals famously support and credit each other, often undeservedly so. If you find a great British mathematician who ranks with the best in the world, please do tell us who he is!
As to decoding the Enigma, perhaps the Brits did some machinery to help, but the mathematicians who provided the brainpower were Poles.--Andy Schlafly 20:14, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Sir Isaac Newton was a British liberal (he was a non-standard Christian that wrote extensively on the occult) who was the first to scientifically describe gravity and his 1687 publication Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica is considered the seminal work in classical mechanics. The top physicists in the world consider Newton one of the two greatest physicists in history, and his name is still used in science today, for example, "a non-Newtonian fluid". He may also have been homosexual, conisdering he was largely sexless in an age where homosexuality could get you burned at the stake. JohnQP 21:44, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Brilliant logic. 17th century tabloids tell us little of the women in Newton's life, therefore, there must not have been any. As for his writings on the occult, perhaps your referring to his beliefs that some tales in Ovid's Metamorpheses were inspired by physical fact? If I recall, he was proved right in this regard, when he demonstrated that the chemicals which corresponding to classical elements ascribed to certain mythological figures actually, in one case, produced a cracking purple "web-like" effect when combined - just as in Ovid's story. I'd hardly call this un-Christian, especially since he also used translating the Bible as inspiration for much of his work. JacobBShout out! 21:50, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
I must agree with you, JacobB. This is nothing other than rank liberal revisionism of the highest order. Slandering the good name of such a noble Christian is just plainly offensive. --CathyB 21:54, 5 August 2010 (EDT)

" If you find a great British mathematician who ranks with the best in the world, please do tell us who he is!" - Here is a small list of some whom I would consider to rank with the world's best (in no particular order):

  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Charles Babbage
  • Alan Turing
  • G.H. Hardy
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Roger Penrose
  • Andrew Wiles
  • Arthur Cayley
  • William Rowan Hamilton
  • George Boole
  • Augustus De Morgan

Whilst I agree that Polish mathematicians played an important role in cracking the Enigma code, but to jump from that to saying that not only are there no great British mathematicians, but that also Brits are 'notoriously weak' at maths - is clearly unfair and incorrect. FionaN 07:40, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

While I am respectful of the contributions of those on your list, as a group they are a far cry from the greatest mathematicians and many would not be considered "British". Hamilton was Irish, for example, and Newton was pre-modern and pre-Britain. Wiles did his work in the U.S. Russell's work was deflated by Godel, and others on the list don't even come close to being great mathematicians.--Andy Schlafly 12:21, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Fiona seems to miss the varying degrees of "mathematician", "great mathematician", and "one of the greatest mathematicians" as if they're all the same thing. We saw the same thing when another contributor was unable to grasp the difference between "conservative words" and "best conservative words". It's as if liberals can see everything in the world only in black and white terms, as if everything falls perfectly into one of two categories, e.g. "mathematician" and "not-mathematician". I think this is another example of Liberal Inability To Abstract. DanielPulido 14:42, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

Andy, you stated: "It was Polish mathematicians who decrypted the enigma, not an Englishman" and "The British are notoriously weak in mathematics". Both these statements are not only untrue but ridiculous. I've tried to contribute to this encyclopedia but I'm not going to waste my time messing around if you fill it up with your own uninformed prejudices, refuse to do some easy reading to check your facts, and get absurdly defensive when your statements are corrected by people who are more knowledgeable on the subject in question. Laziness is not a conservative character trait, least of all intellectual laziness. Please tell me if you're going to check your facts before shooting your mouth off in future, in which case I'd be pleased to continue contributing to CP. BenjyB 15:40, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

Benjy, please rant somewhere else instead. We tell the truth here, whether Anglophiles accept it or not. The relative weakness of Britain in mathematics is an objective fact.--Andy Schlafly 15:44, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Have you any proof for your assertion? SamI 16:37, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
(EC) Hi Andy. Are you talking about mathematical ability in the general UK population, or about the number of major contributions to the field by British mathematicians? Thanks, --JoanZ 16:48, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
(EC) Look at any list of the greatest mathematicians of the past 200 and count how many were from Britain. Or list the greatest modern mathematical achievements and count how many came out of Britain. I'm sorry liberals don't teach this, and that's why there is a need for Conservapedia.--Andy Schlafly 16:50, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
According to this blog, 9 of 99 were British - and that's an all time, Ancient Greece to present list. Now you; would you care to support your position with sources? SamI 17:05, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
And your source comes from a blog? How about you, SamI, come up with non-blog, official sources yourself to support your position. Karajou 17:16, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Rather a blog than my own imagination. Would Andy care to provide his sources? The burden of proof, and all that. SamI 17:21, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
(EC)This list gives 3 British and 1 Irish out of 14. And why do I keep having to fill out captcha boxes? SamI 17:25, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Andy said "Look at any list" (my emphasis). This is a list already on the Internet so SamI is just following Andy's advice. Please note that there are no people on that list who were born in the U.S.A. GeoffA 17:23, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Guess, SamI, just accused Andy of using his own imagination, and since you, GeoffA, is supportive of Sam's statement, both of you are going to get official sources to support your side, otherwise I'm going to assume you are using your own imaginations just to troll here. Karajou 17:31, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
I would say that the second source I posted above is fairly official. And why do we need to support our side, but Andy doesn't have to support his beyond saying 'oh, it's an objective fact'? SamI 17:39, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
How about the Fields Medal as a rough proxy? I count six awarded to UK mathematicians out of a total of 48 (12.5%), compared to thirteen awarded to Americans (~27%). Not bad for a small island. --JoanZ 17:27, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
Well there you go "Karajou". Since the USA has a population ~5 times larger than the UK, it looks like the UK is doing pretty well. And don't you think Andy can talk for himself without you leaping to his side? What are your sources to support his statement? GeoffA 17:36, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
There are better ways to prove us wrong then by coming here and making demands; one of those ways is to provide a reasonable explanation which supports your position, backed up by valid sources, and being polite about the whole thing. See ya in a couple hours. Karajou 17:44, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

(outdent) Well I used the two "ours" you gave me to find some sources.

How about this commercial source? Of the 20 mathematiciams, John Napier, Ada Lovelace, Lewis Carroll, Alan Turing and William Oughtred are British. That's 25%. No Americans.

Or how about this article listing a top 10? 1 Brit - no Americans.

The Scientific Computing Laboratory at Hong Kong Baptist University lists four Brits out of 14. Yes - Christains disagree with you too.

Another blog (I know you don't like them, but surely the "Best of the Public" is always right? Your boss thinks so) here has two Brits out of 25. No Americans.

Centre College lists 24 for last century alone. Four Brits and Five Yanks. That's still not bad for such a poor, small, atheistic island.

Lastly, in the magazine Mathematics Teacher (I.7. Vol.55, 1962), W.C. Eells published a list of the 100 greatest mathematicians of all time. I'm not going to go through all 100, but Newton, Napier, Wallis, Hamilton, Barrow, Taylor, Briggs, Babbage, Smith, H.J.S., Cotes, Boole, Halley and Lord Kelvin were all Brits. That's 13/100.

So. There are your sources. I note that SamI can't respond because TK blocked him/her. Since I fully expect the same fate to befall me after this post for having proved you wrong, I'll say goodbye now. I suppose it's unrealistic to expect you or Andy to provide sources to back up your point of view. GeoffA 19:43, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

Granted, GeoffA, I would agree with your point that we should provide sources to back up our point of view. But we're not going to do it for someone on demand. And there lies the end of the lesson. Hope you learned something about tact. Karajou 21:05, 6 August 2010 (EDT)
  • Is there something in the water over there in the U.K., or is it your atheism? Perhaps its the generally gloomy economic picture and remnants of the class system that make you as you are! Godspeed to all of you. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 17:38, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

Brits, we're talking about mathematicians in this thread. Do you know what a mathematician is? That's not a physicist (Penrose), a computer geek (Lovelace, Babbage, Turing), or a political hack (Russell). One more tip: the Irish (Hamilton) do not consider themselves to be British.--Andy Schlafly 20:25, 6 August 2010 (EDT)

  • Newton was pre-modern and pre-Britain: The Oxford calculators were pre-modern, but English. John Napier or Richard Recorde where Scottish or Welsh - though they weren't English, they were inhabitants of the British Isles, and therefore British in the same sense as most Haitians are Hispaniolians as well. Both are modern mathematicians - in the usual sense of the word "modern" when talking about periods of history. You may describe them as early modern. Sir Isaac Newton - who lived even later - was e a modern mathematician, too. And as a subject of Queen Anne of Great Britain, he was most certainly British.
  • Do you know what a mathematician is? A mathematician is someone who contributes to the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are not squeamish: you could be covered with green fur and be a baker - if you solve an open Hilbert problem, they will you love you, and count you as a mathematician. Penrose, Lovelace, Babbage, Turing and Russell were great mathematicians, even if they were part-time physicists, geeks or hacks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RonLar (talk)
Additionally, the overlap between mathematics and physics is huge - especially applied mathematics. Sophie Germain, a woman mathematician who appears on several of those lists, contributed a huge amount of work to the subject of elastics, and her work was used extensively, for instance in the construction of the Eiffel Tower. She is universally considered to be a mathematician, but you would apparently describe her as a physicist or even an architect. Russell was deeply involved in the Hilbert Program, which though ultimately unsuccessful provided modern mathematics with a solid framework. His work Principia Mathematica is one of the most important works on the subject.
I cannot understand why you have such a closed mind on this subject. You have plenty of evidence that contradicts your opinion, so it's now only fair that you present evidence to support your hypothesis or at least consider revising it.
Please note, that I am not claiming that Britain is the pre-eminent country for producing mathematicians. Germany would probably win that prize across modern history, and if you take the last 50 years or so, it's probably the U.S.A. (although I have no hard evidence for that statement). I merely take issue with your statement that "The British are notoriously weak in mathematics". GeoffA 08:43, 7 August 2010 (EDT)

General reply to Brits, if any, who commented above[edit]

The Brits who protest so stridently illustrate to me the problem of Anglophilia.--Andy Schlafly 22:22, 7 August 2010 (EDT)

"curiouser and curiouser" - for me, it looks as the Anglophobes are justignoring the evidence:
Field Medalists by Country
country # medalist
USA 13 Jesse Douglas, John Milnor, Paul Joseph Cohen, Stephen Smale, John G. Thompson, Charles Fefferman, Daniel Quillen, William Thurston, Shing-Tung Yau, Michael Freedman, Edward Witten, Curtis T. McMullen, David Mumford
France 9 Laurent Schwartz, Jean-Pierre Serre, René Thom, Alexander Grothendieck, Alain Connes, Pierre-Louis Lions, Jean-Christophe Yoccoz, Laurent Lafforgue, Wendelin Werner
Soviet Union/Russia 8 Sergei Novikov, Grigory Margulis, Vladimir Drinfel'd, Efim Zelmanov, Maxim Kontsevich, Vladimir Voevodsky, Andrei Okounkov, (Grigori Perelman)
UK 6 Klaus Roth, Michael Atiyah, Alan Baker, Simon Donaldson, Richard Borcherds, Timothy Gowers
Japan 3 Kunihiko Kodaira, Heisuke Hironaka, Shigefumi Mori
Belgium 2 Pierre Deligne, Jean Bourgain
Finland 1 Lars Ahlfors
Norway 1 Atle Selberg
Sweden 1 Lars Hörmander
Italy 1 Enrico Bombieri
Germany 1 Gerd Faltings
New Zealand 1 Vaughan F. R. Jones
Australia 1 Terence Tao

RonLar 15:04, 9 August 2010 (EDT)

Klaus Roth was Prussian. Michael Atiyah is Sudanese/Egyptian. Simon Donaldson does his work in four-dimensions when this world obviously only has three. I imagine if I made up the math as I went, I could get a Fields medal as well? And Richard Borcherds is from South Africa.
So spectacularly, you provide maybe two candidates for British mathematicians. Hardly impressive, considering Finland managed to get one. And who cares about this "Field's Medal" anyways? It's just some award experts give to each other to make each other feel better, and exclude the best of the public. --CathyB 20:07, 9 August 2010 (EDT)
For the record, "Cathy," the cobordism work of Donaldson was not only essential to the classification theorems which have revolutionized modern topology, but also have important applications in quantum mechanics and other fields that deal with "this world." For somebody who apparently has such extensive knowledge in the history of 20th century mathematics, you are certainly lacking in understanding if you believe Donaldson "made up the math as he went." As for the Fields medal (no apostrophe) being something that the best of the public are excluded from, you should be aware that best of the public exemplar Gregori Perelman was OFFERED a Fields medal and turned it down.
Before you continue your pattern of jumping into talk page arguments with on-the-spot research, I suggest you make significant and substantive edits to our mainspace articles.JacobBShout out! 20:38, 9 August 2010 (EDT)

Connive is too early[edit]

With an origin date of 1601, "connive" is too early, I think. We start at 1612, after publication of the KJV and completion of nearly all of Shakespeare's works. But "connive" is a fascination suggestion.--Andy Schlafly 00:42, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

I was debating to put it in the Conservative Downgraded terms.--Jpatt 00:56, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
That would work! It's always good to preserve information for everyone's benefit.--Andy Schlafly 00:57, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

New Layer Suggestions[edit]

These would take it to a 21-42-84-168 progression.

Cogent (1650-1660): to the point; relevant; pertinent. Yankee (1750-1760): a native or inhabitant of the United States. Minuteman (1765-1775): (sometimes lowercase) a member of a group of American militiamen just before and during the Revolutionary War who held themselves in readiness for instant military service. Secularism (1850-1855): the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element. Theonomy (1885-1890): the state of an individual or society that regards its own nature and norms as being in accord with the divine nature. Populism (1890-1895): grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism. Secular Humanism (1980-1985): any set of beliefs that promotes human values without specific allusion to religious doctrines. Ecoterrorism (1980-1985): violence carried out to further the political or social objectives of the environmentalists .

Any thoughts? "Secularism" and "secular humanism" might provoke some objections, and I know that "isms" raise some red flags, but I would argue that they're important terms. They clearly identify these types of thought as organized and agenda-driven movements, and identify that agenda.

--Benp 19:00, 15 September 2010 (EDT)

Ben, your suggestions are fabulous. My only reservations are with "Yankee", which today means a Northeasterner and is often derogatory in the singular, and "Populism", which is increasingly conservative today but probably not so when it originated. Your thoughts?--Andy Schlafly 19:44, 16 September 2010 (EDT)

Well, Yankee has certainly had a varied history--it wasn't a term of endearment when spoken by a Southerner during the Civil War or Reconstruction! On the other hand, it also gives us Yankee ingenuity and "Yankee Doodle." The soldiers of the Greatest Generation were "Yanks." I think it would be a shame to let the fact that it's sometimes used in derogatory fashion undercut the rich heritage of the term. (After all, "Red Stater" is a term of derision to liberals, but a badge of honor to those who live there!) Populism...well, it's harder to argue that one; some highly leftist movements have been identified as "populist" in the pass. I cheerfully concede your point! --Benp 20:58, 16 September 2010 (EDT)
This is a fascinating issue and discussion. I'm wondering if a word can be more derogatory as a singular noun ("Yankee") than as an adjective or when used in the plural. Southerners, who tend to be conservative, would have no trouble with "Yankee Doodle" but I suspect when they call someone a "Yankee", it's meant to be an insult. Interestingly, the dictionary (Merriam-Webster) lists the first (original) meaning of "Yankee" to mean a New Englander rather than an American.--Andy Schlafly 23:30, 16 September 2010 (EDT)

Suggested Way To Format Page[edit]

I would like to suggest that the formatting on the page might be easier to follow if it were organised into centuries, instead of purely alphabetically. I suggest this because, when I first looked at this page, I could not follow the progression clearly. If it was organised firstly into centuries, and then alphabetically, people just passing could see the progression quickly, thus making them more likely to read it thoroughly.

As I do not consider myself very good at editting pages, I do not trust myself to make this change.

I will understand and accept any critiscm of this idea, as it was a spur of the moment thought. Griffirg 16:15, 12 October 2010 (EDT)