Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Strange Case of Richard Sternberg and His Apologists

Sorry folks, but this needs to be said, and I can't seem to get conditional tags to work properly...they sort of

Once again, Joe Carter's shilling "intelligent" "design" again, and attacking scientists (and some of his commenters are attempting to deny that engineers aren't applied scientists.)

Carter thinks there's this big conspiracy in "science" to suppress "radical" "new" "ideas" like "intelligent" "design."

He has - in the name of his beliefs- descended into baseless attacks on scientists, engineers, that is, the people who basically brought the world out of poverty, misery, disease, and dirt.


Kevin T. Keith gives a good assist over at Carter's post. Especially of interest is the article from The Scientist he quotes; which essentially corroborates what I've said below the fold. What I also suspected, but didn't write is pointed out there too: this publication is a little-read biology publication. It appears this is an element of the "wedge" strategy to take control of the editorial process of a research journal, in the same manner that school boards were taken over by stealth methods. It's a pretty damning indictment of the ethics of those involved, or should I say lack of ethics.

I also thank the other scientists and engineers who've responded to Carter's diatribe.

Click here for more!

Carter cites the case of one Louis de Branges, who claims to have a proof for the Riemann hypothesis. The proof, if it is one, can be found here.

I am just a poor Buddhist Ph.D. in engineering with a wife and child; I'd have to read two books in topology and devote a great deal of time to study de Branges proof, but it is, on a cursory reading, quite badly written. Proofs should be "perspicuous," that is, the structure and flow of the proof's ideas should be graspable in large measure, and the over-arching ideas should be strung together with a series of lemmas to make the proof easy to follow in broad and detailed examination. Unfortunately, de Branges' work doesn't do that. Furthermore, the fact that he'd previously been claiming to have "proofs" when he didn't hurt his case.

So, Joe Carter: de Branges is not a good example to use. You should educate yourself before making sweeping generalizations.

But the meat of Carter's post is concerned with this "Opinion Journal" piece, which in its Orwellian way, is describing a witch hunt against scientists who dared to question how Richard Sternberg snuck into a journal on taxonomy a "review" of "intelligent" "design," evidently so they could say they finally, at long last, have a "peer-reviewed" paper on the subject, even if they have never gone near answering the copious charges made by scientists against this pseudo-science.

Anyone can see the article here. This article's lack of an abstract is a giveaway- evidently this was to be a stealth activity, since abstracts are published online and separately for this journal (and for pretty much all academic journals). This is so the article can be referenced by other researchers. But that wasn't the point of this article. This article- by its own words a "review" re-hashes articles previously brought up by those folks like Behe and Dembski, and conveniently ignore the charges made against them.

Sternberg did bad science - those marks are evident here and he should be the one under investigation for theft of services, making false reprorts, etc.

Panda's Thumb reviewed the article here. It seems that Carter has been shilling this "research" before, judging from that post.

And Joe Carter owes the scientific community an apology.

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