There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
That way, we know who you are and have a quick way of contacting you. It's especially important if you're using a non-recognizable or readable sig. Spriggina (tal) (framlög) @ 19:51, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
- Just put "~~~~" after your message on talk pages and it will fill in your user name and timestamp automatically. It saves everyone some grief. Bongolian (talk) 01:19, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Hi Darth Maul
- Darth Maul has these weird horns, and I don't know why the horns are there. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 03:55, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Huge Long Userpage
Your name change
Mecha-Spider Cyborg Mega Jesus
All bow down before Mecha-Ultra Spider Cyborg Super Mega Jesus! He will cleanse the Earth of sin with his Holy Nuclear Missiles that fire out of huge cannons on his back. All of the infidels will perish before the nuclear might of Mecha-Ulta-Spider-Cyborg-Super-Mega-Death-Jesus! (You said you wanted pseudo-religious bullshit on your talk page, so...)--Palaeonictis (talk) 12:22, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
Got to ask...
The end has come...
...and as I face my mortal foe in combat, the dreadful world serpent himself, the mighty Jörmungandr, I come to understand the inner duality of things, there will always be the oppressor and the oppressed, the victim and the victimizer, the friend and the foe, etc etc etc. This is a battle I have long dreaded, but have toughened my hammer Mjölnir in preparation for regardless, it is my destiny as the Norns have foretold. The serpent himself dashes at me, consumed by unholy rage he makes the first strike, I wince in pain but stand as solid as a stonewall regardless. I lift my almighty hammer, and I make the first blow. Jörmungandr wildly writhes and lashes out in pain, the eardrum-bursting shriek he made as my hammer slammed down on his head causing blood to poor out of my nostrils. He bites me in the leg and coils himself around me, before I fall to fate I swing my hammer down hard one last time, and we both fall. The next thing I see is a black veil, and I know that death has arrived, both the serpent and mine's eternal fate is to dwell within the gloomy reaches of Hel forevermore, she looks on with delight as both God and Giant accept her cold embrace. I shudder, and sigh. The End has come, as the Norns have foretold. — Ɖøn Ĵuan Harass 15:50, 5 January 2019 (UTC)
- Pasque Dieu! I especially like te conclusion the hero reaches in his mind, as if before he naïvely thought that evil could be forever destroyed. And, the two both bringing each other down is a bonus. Kudos to you. སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (talk) 18:38, 5 January 2019 (UTC)
Your question to Nerd
I will answer it. According to my doctor I am underweight, not overweight. If CP's (read Ken's) proposition were true I should be massively overweight to a truly staggering degree, given that I am not only an Atheist but also a Gnostic Anti-Theist as well. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 03:16, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
- I had no idea you were gnostic. Isn't the spirit/matter duality present in Gnosticism? སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (talk) 03:37, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
- Well, this is embarrassing. I seem to have mispoken. After double checking I found that you are correct and I was not. To clarify, I lean heavily toward camp C, that there are no deities and that Theism has not only failed to meet its burden of proof, but can also at this time be said to be incapable of doing so. That being said, I am not so naive as deny my own ability to reach incorrect conclusions. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:26, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Your question about space and matter
That matter can neither be created or destroyed is an empirical fact in chemistry and biology. Things become different in nuclear and high-energy physics. If you have enough energy, you can create matter and antimatter. If matter and antimatter collide, they create energy again. It is true, however, that mass-energy is conserved.
You have likely seen the equation before. This holds in the case of an object at rest. The full equation is . Here is the (relativistic) momentum of the object. Intuitively, momentum is a measure of how hard it is to stop a moving object. Yes, it is related to inertial mass. The faster an object is moving, the more momentum and energy it has. This equation literally tells you that mass and energy are convertible. Separately they are not conserved, but together they are.
In order to measure how much mass an astronomical object has, one measures its gravitational field by observing its effects on nearby objects. There are many ways to do this. For example, astronomers deduced the mass of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way by tracking the orbits of stars around it. Since the stars are sufficiently far from the hole, Newton's laws of motion and gravitation, and thus Kepler's laws, work just fine. Indeed, the orbits are elliptical, as predicted by Kepler's first law. Given the orbital period and the semimajor axis of the ellipse of orbit , one can use Kepler's third law to determine the mass of the central object. Mathematically, Kepler's third law reads
We see that the masses of the stars are immaterial. (If you have taken physics before, try deriving it in the special case of uniform circular motion.)
Another common method is by observing gravitational lensing. In this phenomenon, gravity literally bends light, the way a lens does, hence the name. The correct treatment of gravitational lensing requires general relativity. Gravitational lensing is especially useful in determining the mass and distribution of dark matter, which by definition does not interact electromagnetically and therefore cannot be observed via traditional means. Sometimes, you need two sets of observations, one set before the lensing object enters the space between you and the whatever it is you are observing, and one at the time of lensing. You need the first set in order to figure out where the test object originally is. The second tells you the angle of deflection, using which you can deduce the mass of the lensing object. At other times, the lensing is so strong it is more obvious. You see arcs of light in your telescope. If the test object, the lensing object, and you lie on a straight line, you get an Einstein ring, with an Einstein radius, which is a function of the mass of the lensing object. In most cases, though, perfect alignment does not happen, but you can still approximate the arc as a part of a circle, then use the above method. Nerd (talk) 21:42, 7 March 2019 (UTC)