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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

But... but... it's PEER-REVIEWED

Ergo it must be Science and therefore beyond criticism from mere unscientific mortals:

[M]any producers of bogus “work” actually have high standing in academic world.... It is sad that some academic institutions and, in larger extent, some publishers back those people up. For example, Elsevier has a journal called Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, included unfortunately in the A+ category in quality by the Australian Academy of Sciences, in a powerful commercial citation factory called Current Contents and with high “impact factor” over 3. It is not that in Chaos etc. there are no good papers, some are normal regular hard science. But, a significant and very visible percentage of papers there belong to one and the same group of people including the very editor, certain El Naschie, a person with many bogus affiliations, and writing in recent years papers with practically no arguments but high predictions based on numerology, coincidences and fancy pictures combining Lie algebras, chaos theory and so on, at the layman level.

That fine scientist Daniel Dennett would, of course, insist that non-scientists should readily place their trust in everything El Naschie publishes in peer-reviewed journals because a few physicists have really precise models that correspond very well with observable reality.

I'm not sure if the profession of science is entirely broken yet, but there's little question that it's breaking under the weight of its own corruption and hubris. As always, it's the economists who have the last laugh. Well, the cynical ones, anyhow. "Dismal science" is really a misnomer; a much better description would be "the mordant science".

UPDATE - Slashdot informs us that it just keeps getting better:

[A software-]generated paper has been accepted with review by the 2008 International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE).... Even better, fake author Herbert Schlangemann has been selected as session chair (PDF) for that conference.

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