Response to slanderers

| 29 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, after I posted on Panda’s Thumb a brief response (see here) to Dembski’s amusing dismissal of my essay published in Skeptic, v. 11, No 4, 2005 (without his saying a word about the substance of my critique), on the website maintained by Dembski appeared a comment whose author accused me of false claims regarding my publication record.

As I had mentioned before, the last time I updated my list of publication was in 1985, when I applied for a position at CSUF. At that time the list already contained over 200 items, even though it did not include many of my published papers which were outside my professional work (many such papers were published in several languages in magazines such as Partisan Review, Midstream, Present Tense, Kontinent, Possev, Ukrainian Quarterly, Samtiden, Vremya Iskat [Et Levakesh], Vremia I My, and others).

Confronted with the libelous post on Dembski’s site, which Dembski chose to keep without rebuttals, thus in fact joining the author of the calumny, I searched my files and found my List of publications which I submitted to CSUF in 1985. It contained 211 items, even omitting many publications outside my professional research.

Dr. Wesley R. Elsberry kindly offered to scan and OCR the text of that list of publications (many thanks, Wesley). Thanks to Wesley’s generous assistance, this list, which is more than 20 years old, although containing a few OCR errors, can now be seen here.

I don’t think I need to prove that I did not abruptly stop publishing in 1984. Were the list updated after 1985, its size would grow by more publications, and more so if, besides my research papers, it included also papers dealing with pseudo-science in its various disguises. If my papers and the book which are not about my research in physics were added, the total would be now over 300 items, in tune with what I claimed in my response to Dembski’s post.

I apologize for taking space on Panda’s Thumbs by posting these remarks, but I feel it is proper to post them after the libelous comment appeared on Dembski’s site, where, as it is known, no comments are allowed which are short of either praising Dembski or attacking his critics.

29 Comments

It is also nice to know that scientists don’t feel compelled to sue as a knee-jerk reaction to every mistake out there (even though this one is more libelous than a certain creationist libel suit).

Dr. Perakh, thank you for your sense of restraint and professionalism. Others would do well to follow your example.

…the libelous post on Dembski’s site, which Dembski chose to keep without rebuttals, thus in fact joining the author of the calumny

That depends, I guess on the “side information” available. For instance, here at Panda’s Thumb, I note there’s minimal “policing” of the comments. Commenters have left all kinds of comments to posts that the authors of those posts find objectionable, even calumnious. I would not accuse the authors of joining in the calumny just for not removing the comment. As you note, though, Dembski is famously selective about which comments are allowed to stay. With that “side information” available, it becomes reasonable to impute a “design inference” to letting that comment stay.

Russel Wrote:

Commenters have left all kinds of comments to posts that the authors of those posts find objectionable, even calumnious. I would not accuse the authors of joining in the calumny just for not removing the comment.

The difference is that any such comment here is *always* challenged. I haven’t checked D*mbski’s place (I’d sooner try to insult Catro in Cuba - my comments would last longer), but I’m willing to bet that D*mbski has not even pointed out that the comment is a pack of lies.

In PT, libelous comments are challenged and their errors pointed out. In D*mbski’s world, libelous comments are allowed to pass without notice, as long as it insults or lies about one of D*mbski’s enemies, but anything slightly critical is promptly deleted

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Damn it, I apparently didn’t hit the back button fast enough.

There is no “fast enough”, as the “back” button is irrelevant; once you hit “Post”, the deed is done (unless you rip the cord out of the wall before the signal leaves your premises). Which is a good reason to hit “Preview” instead; that way you catch any of those nasty syntax error messages, and get to see the post as it will be displayed, before committing to it.

…the libelous post on Dembski’s site, which Dembski chose to keep without rebuttals, thus in fact joining the author of the calumny

That depends, I guess on the “side information” available. For instance, here at Panda’s Thumb, I note there’s minimal “policing” of the comments. Commenters have left all kinds of comments to posts that the authors of those posts find objectionable, even calumnious. I would not accuse the authors of joining in the calumny just for not removing the comment. As you note, though, Dembski is famously selective about which comments are allowed to stay. With that “side information” available, it becomes reasonable to impute a “design inference” to letting that comment stay.

So it “depends” on something that Dr. Perakh knows, and knows is well known here, making “in fact” well warranted.

I think it would be great if Dr. Perakh did decide to sue Dembski, and I would gladly chip in a few bucks.

Well Mark, I doubt that we will see either a retraction or appology come from the IDCs. I am sure that Dembski feels in his poor wounded soul that he is owed many appologies.

So, can we get some sort of plug in for blogs to use to count how long it takes Dembski to correct an error on his blog?

I took the trouble to check articles which citated perakh, m* at Science Citation Index. There are appreciably more than cite dembski, w*. No articles which cite the former have “cheap tuxedo” in the title.

Ed said:

So, can we get some sort of plug in for blogs to use to count how long it takes Dembski to correct an error on his blog?

Interesting idea. Of course, the plug-in would have to be smart enough to detect errors in order to know when to start timing – which unfortunately means that it would be swamped immediately, because Dembski’s blog is composed mostly of errors. I would not subject an intelligent agent of any kind, even a software agent, to such abuse.

And you have how many patents and how many scientific publications, DaveScot? Put up or shut the f… up.

DaveScot said

Gee Mark, what about my search of the patent database? It only revealed one patent where you were one of five listed inventors.

Gee, Dave, which patent database did you search? Did you think that only the U.S. can issue patents?

Mark only claims to have one U.S. patent (cited in entry number 190); the others are explicitly identified as having been issued in Israel, W. Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada, and elsewhere.

So you have just provided, apparently despite your intentions, confirmation that Mark’s list is 100% accurate with respect to his claims about U.S. patents. Thanks, dude!

Hint for the future: read things (preferably with some care and attention) before you mouth off about them. Failing to do so in a forum like this, you’re guaranteeing that you’ll be hoist on your own petard.

This is Davescot we’re talking about here! The man who claims he is a master of logic but a man whose basic reading comprehension skills are less than masterful.

DaveScott’s reading comprehension exceeds only his sense of fair play.

I just did some homework on DaveScot, and came very quickly across his juvenile and asenine remarks to Wes over on Austringer.

Back in the old Usenet days, we called folks like him flamers, and the more sensible people just let them spew.

So I will henceforth ignore anything he says: he’s clearly not worth the breath. Anyway, poking holes in his posts is like shooting fish in a barrel – too easy even to be amusing.

Sorry, folks, for not sizing him up sooner.

Anyway, poking holes in his posts is like shooting fish in a barrel — too easy even to be amusing.

One of the reasons I came here was that the email lists and talk.origins were full of nutters, and I wanted a shot at the best and brightest that ID had to offer. Alas, after arriving here, I quickly found that there are nothing but nutters here too. The braibnless minions are just as idiotic here as they are on the rest of the Net. And the ID’s towering “luminaries” (Dembski, Nelson, Cordova) simply don’t seem to have the ping-pongs to deal with open public debate (other than the occasional hit-and-run, where they show up for a few minutes, wave their arms frantically, and then quickly run away). Instead, they seem to prefer to stay safely cloistered in their own little feifdoms, where they can control the conversation and quickly squelch anything they don’t like or can’t deal with.

They are cowards, pure and simple.

Cordova is a luminary. In what regard exactly? Maybe he plays a mean game of pinball?

Cordova is a luminary. In what regard exactly?

Apologetics

Two notes. (1) In several comments in this thread their authors refer to a comment by DaveScot. However, I don’t now see DaveScot’s comment in this thread. Because there are references to DaveScot’s comment, it is obvious that it used to show up but has somehow disappeared. This may create an impression that I have despammed DaveScot’s comment. In fact I have no idea why it does not show. Unlike Dembski, I do not remove hostile comments regardless of their quality and adherence to facts. The situation can, however, easily be corrected, as I automatically receive copies of all comments posted to my threads. So, to show that I have not tried muzzling DaveScot, here is a copy of DaveScot’s comment (his email address was given as dspringer56AThotmal.com; “AT” to be replaced with the symbol @).

DaveScot wrote:

Gee Mark, what about my search of the patent database? It only revealed one patent where you were one of five listed inventors.

Oh yeah, I know. The communists ate my patents…

So sue me.

ROFL

It certainly speaks for itself.

(2)Regarding DaveScot’s suggestion that I sue him, it reminds me my grandson Adam. When he was 11, once he was using some tools in our garage, and after having finished whatever he was doing, he did not put the tools back on the racks. I asked, “Adam, why did you not put the workbench in order?” The little brat replied with a smirk, “Sue me!” Since then he grew up and became smarter. DaveScot seems to stay at the level of a 11-years old.

Cheers!

Quick nitpick: one gets hoisted ‘by’ or ‘with’ ones own petard, not ‘on’ it. To avoid this, the sapper’s union advises using longer fuses and/or running faster.

A simple patent search reveals the following information. DaveScot’s ability to do research seems to be quite limited

Chromium plating Inventor: PERAKH MARK; GINSBURG HANA; Applicant: PERAKH MARK; GINSBURG HANA; EC: C25D3/04 IPC: C25D3/06 Publication info: US4234396 - 1980-11-18

CHROMIUM ELECTROPLATING BATH Inventor: SALOMON E; PERAKH M; Applicant: YISSUM RES DEV CO (IL) EC: IPC: C25D3/06 Publication info: IL54231 - 1981-09-13

CHROMIUM ELECTROPLATING BATH Inventor: PERAKH M; RUBINSTEIN L; Applicant: YISSUM RES DEV CO (IL) EC: IPC: C25D3/06 Publication info: IL54230 - 1981-09-13

PRODUCTION OF SELENIUM FILMS Inventor: AHARON PELED; MARK PERAKH; (+1) Applicant: YISSUM RES DEV CO (IL) EC: IPC: B05D7/24; G03G5/00; (+1) Publication info: IL49647 - 1978-09-29

PROCESS OF ELECTROPLANTING WITH CHROMIUM AND BATH THEREFO Inventor: PERAKH M (IL) Applicant: YISSUM RES DEV CO (IL) EC: C25D3/04 IPC: C25D3/06 Publication info: IL47041 - 1977-07-31

Well, doesn’t this just show what the ID people are really about. Discredit the “enemy” by any means necessary, let negative comments stand long enough to become part of ID folklore about the enemy (wonder how often it’ll be before we see these false allegations being repeated after not having been corrected), and suggest that discrepancies in the enemy’s biography (whether real or alleged) somehow mean that his scientific background is too suspect for his statements to be taken seriously - and in the meantime allow yourself to be called a scientist when your qualifications are in philosophy, theology, maths, or engineering.

The amusing thing is that the ID people are constantly on about the destructive social and cultural consequences of “scientific materialism,” all of which will somehow be solved by replacing natural processes with Goddidit, while themselves engaging in some very dubious behaviour. I suppose that if it’s done in the name of returning America to Christ, it must be a good thing even if godless heathens can’t quite see the difference between lying for Jesus and just plain lying.

Cordova is a luminary. In what regard exactly?

Oh, he illuminates very clearly, to everyone present, exactly what ID is all about.

Quick nitpick: one gets hoisted ‘by’ or ‘with’ ones own petard, not ‘on’ it. To avoid this, the sapper’s union advises using longer fuses and/or running faster.

Or one can eat less beans. (http://www.answers.com/petard)

Dr. Perakh,

You complain that Dembski dismissed your critique without addressing its substance and that instead he attacked your qualifications. I agree with you. His behavior is beneath what we may justifiably expect from folks who claim to be seriously engaged in the search for the truth. But is his behavior all that different from your attitude toward Landa’s book, which I brought to your attention a few weeks ago on this site? Did you not say, without ever having read the book, “why should I waste my time reading another.…”?

Your attitude toward Landa’s IN THE BEGINNING OF and Dembski’s attitude toward your critique can both be summarized in one sentence. “My mind is made up, do not bother me with the facts.”

Now, just so we don’t have everyone here jump to the conclusion that I am out to sell you a book (which even if true would not add one cent to my net worth), I will make you the following offer: I will see to it that your are shipped a FREE copy, one that you may keep, if you will indicate here that you will read the book in its entirety with an open mind and will then provide us (or at least me) with your reasoned analysis.

So, if the book is just rehashed garbage, you have wasted, I am guessing, a few hours of your time. That is a significant investment to you, I concede. It is also to me, for time is the substance of life. But on the other hand, if the book does show that the original first eleven chapters in Genesis can reasonably and correctly be translated with NO CONFLICT with science on any important matter, well, then we have attained an important achievement - the removal of the one leg upon which the creationists stand. Seems to me that its worth the risk.

I await your response.

Re: Comment 46541 by Carol Clouser. It is amazing how stubbornly Carol Clouser continues misusing Panda’s Thumb tolerant policy by endlessly posting comments advertising Landa’s book. Panda’s Thumb readers are aware of Carol’s close connections to Landa and of her appearance on Amazon in the disguise of an unbiased reader and this knowledge makes Carol’s comments not quite as impressive as they would be if those facts were unknown.

I appreciate Carol’s kind offer to send me a free copy of Landa’s book. There is no need, though, for such an act of charity: Landa’s book sits on my shelf since the time Carol initially advertised it on this blog. I could not fail to notice the dedication “To Carol” by Landa, which one more time confirms what was obvious anyway: Carol is not an unbiased reader but rather is closely connected to Landa. I could not fail to notice that the publisher’s email address coincides with Carol’s personal email address… Well, the story has been discussed on this blog before and Carol’s standing as a Landa’s book’s appraiser needs no further clarification.

Regarding the merits of Landa’s book, I see none. The very idea that discrepancies between the biblical story and the data of science stem from the inadequate translation of the Hebrew text is preposterous. The scholars of the biblical text do not base their conclusions on any translation of the Bible into English or any other language but study the Hebrew original itself. Btw, Landa’s idiosyncratic spelling of Hebrew words (such as “Audum” instead of “Adam,” or “shileeshee” instead of “shlishi,” and the like) is at the very least comic, and his arbitrary interpretations of the words’ meaning make one shrug. In those few cases when Landa’s interpretations make sense, he is just breaking through an open door, as such interpretions are commonly known.

Regarding Carol’s comparison of Dembski’s attitude to my critique and my attitude to Landa’s book, it is too obviously neither here nor there. In Dembski’s case, the point is that he does not respond to the essence of the arguments of his critics. On the other hand, Landa’s book has no relation to my work, so there is nothing in his book I have to respond to.

Furthermore, Dembski often denigrates his critics by contemptuously referring to their qualifications, degrees and credentials. In my response to Carol’s advertising effort, I did not say anything about Landa’s degrees or credentials, but expressed my opinion of the contents of his book so much admired by Carol - the book which, in my view, is without merits.

Is it not the time, Carol, to finally cease inundating this blog with comments whose sole goal seems to be promoting (in vain) the book of your friend Landa?

Carol, are you back here shilling your, uh, infallible book yet again?

(yawn)

Dr. Perakh,

I do not wish to beat a dead horse here but I have yet to see SOME SUBSTANCE, even ONE translation in Landa’s book that you deem to be wrong and on what basis you have arrived at that determination. Then we can discuss the merits of his argument vs. yours. Absent such content, I can only conclude that you have no substance to support your allegations of “preposturous”, “no merit”, “comic”, “arbitrary,” and so on. And while you are under no obligation whatsoever to respond to Landa, your use of such terms without substantive backing sounds Dembski-like to me, particularly since you have already made a substantial and public investment of time, energy and resources (for which, may I add, we are all grateful) to the religion vs. science controversy, and Landa’s work does impinge upon some of your contributions.

As to the transliteration style, it was deemed helpful to the reader who is totally unfamilar with Hebrew. For example, the word Audum in Hebrew, according to Landa, can refer to (1) a human, (2) a man, or to (3) a particular individual by the name of Adam, and the story in Genesis uses the word in all three different ways at various points. To transliterate all these as “Adam” would have invited extreme confusion on the part of the English-speaking (but novice in Hebrew) reader.

And I need to repeat here again what I have said elsewhere, for the same reason that you felt compelled to respond to Dembski’s allegations. One, Landa is not my friend. (I might wish he were, but that is just not the case.) Two, I do not use my personal email here. Three, the book is dedicated to “Carol and those who believe all things happen for a reason”. The reference is to Landa’s wife, whose name also happens to be Carol, and the many tragedies and challenges the couple have endured together, about which Landa’s wife usually sums up her feelings by saying “all things happen.…” Four, I am an editor in a firm that published a book by Landa. I see no conflict. I have no stake in the book. The fact that I am well-acquainted with the book does not disqualify me to speak up about it. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Would you deem it awful if the editor for your Unintelligent Design spoke up here in favor of that book? Five, who are those nameless scholars and why would you, as a scientist, continue to appeal to authority? Is that not akin to someone saying to that young patent office clerk, “your ideas are preposturous because it goes against Galileo and all the other giants of physics”? Six, I know of no reputable scholar who has debunked anything Landa says in that book, and neither do you. Yes, some take a different approach, but that is not the same as disproving Landa.

I have yet to see SOME SUBSTANCE

That’s another falsehood from you, Carol, since I have already repeatedly told you a very simple point where Landa’s approach fails at the first hurdle: the order of events given in Genesis is wrong. No amount of quibbling over things like the precise translation of day-ages can fix that. Every excuse he makes of that nature is utterly futile in explaining away the discrepancies between the Bible and observable reality. For example: Gen.1:20 has birds created with fish on the 5th day before the land animals (including humans) on the 6th day Gen.1:24+.

Carol is simply a crank. Let us forget about her once and for all.

Re: Comment 46649 by Jim Harrison:

Carol is simply a crank. Let us forget about her once and for all.

Agreed.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Perakh published on August 28, 2005 4:27 PM.

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