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Friday, December 30, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard

From the earliest days of their movement, Holocaust deniers have largely centred their arguments on the Auschwitz death camp. Surveying the literature which makes up so-called Holocaust Revisionism the obsession with Auschwitz is undoubtedly one of its defining features. Since the early 1990s, with the advent of the modern world-wide web, Holocaust deniers have taken to the internet to try and argue their case. Until recently, the ensuing online debates between advocates of Holocaust denial and their critics have likewise focused on Auschwitz.

My friends at the Holocaust Controversies Blog have written an article that focuses on the Operation Reinhard camps, Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor, and the attempts to deny the reality of the murder at those camps by Holocaust deniers, Carlo Mattogno, J├╝rgen Graf, and Thomas Kues. They dedicated this work to the memory of Harry W. Mazal OBE.

The work is entitled, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard: A Critique of the Falsehoods of, Mattogno, Graf, and Kues. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Heat Death of the Universe

This post is part of a series, Nonsense and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The previous post is entitled Time's Arrow. The previous post is essential to understanding this post.

In most of the discussion of nonsense in this series, the nonsense stems from a poor understanding of physics.  This post introduces some nonsense that must be taken seriously.  Perhaps, this nonsense, also stems ultimately from a poor understanding of physics.  The people with the poor understanding this time, however, are some of the most brilliant minds in physics.

The School-Book Story

This discussion starts with the school-book story of the heat death of the universe.  By calling it the "school-book" story I do not mean to pooh-pooh it too much.  In fact, it is most likely the correct story.  Much of this post, however, will focus on caveats and complications to the story as it is usually told.

In thermodynamics, the universe is defined as the system and its surroundings.  We have seen that the second law requires that for any change the total entropy of the system and the surroundings must increase or stay the same.  As time goes by, therefore, the entropy of the universe increases.