Mark Perakh dies

| 19 Comments

I was very saddened to receive the following a few minutes ago:

It is with great sorrow that Talk Reason announces the death of TR co-founder and major contributor Mark Perakh on May 7, 2013, following a brief illness. He was 88 years old.

Mark Perakh was a professor emeritus of mathematics and statistical mechanics at California State University in Fullerton, CA. Perakh taught physics and wrote some 300 scientific papers. His work in physics focused on superconductivity and his book on thin films was translated into eight languages. He also wrote and published the novel Man in a Wire Cage.

Perakh’s fame particularly comes from writing about science and religion on Talk Reason (a website he helped found) and from his regular contributions to the blog The Panda’s Thumb. He also wrote a book critical of pseudo-science, Unintelligent Design.

His death is a great loss to the scientific blogging community.

Mark also contributed considerably to Why Intelligent Design Fails (which I edited with Taner Edis) and was available any time I needed advice. I will miss him greatly.

19 Comments

He will be missed.

But at least his contributions to preserving science will inform the web for a long time.

Glen Davidson

He lived a long and intellectually productive life, right to the end.

It’s sad that he is gone, but his life is mainly one to be celebrated.

I am saddened to hear of his death. He gave me useful prepublication comments on an article I wrote on William Dembski’s arguments, and wrote a forceful critique of Dembski’s methods to accompany my article.

His writings were impressive and never dull.

Hello everyone. Before you get excited - no, unfortunately it this is not actually Mark proving there after-life after all. This is his son, Alik, posting posthumously [hopefully] on his behalf and well as his widow’s and my own.

We know how important Panda’s Thumb and talkreson.org were to my father and were his main, if not only, intellectually creative as well as social outlets in the last few years of his life.

We are not entirely clear on the exact roles he played in these organizations/sites besides contributing content, but it is very much our wish that the work continues on his behalf.

If there is a need for anyone to take over any of his functions in order to facilitate this and there is/are volunteer(s) for such positions please contact me at [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

I will most likely be able to provide any needed login access to the correct party once their qualifications for the job have been verified.

And thank you all for the audience you provided my father.

Aw, damn. Mark was one of the genuine good guys. Sometimes irascible, but always helpful, thoughtful, and responsive. I hate hearing this.

For those who haven’t seen it, TalkReason is here.

Damn.

Alik, thanks for posting. Your father was a wonderful voice on these fora. Best wishes to you and your family.

To Alik

Your father provided some of the most insightful and pungent criticisms of bad ideas, and some of the most illuminating explanations of good ideas that I have been fortunate to read.

Sympathy to his loved ones from someone you have never met (and celebration of a life fully lived).

Dulce et decorum.…

fusilier James 2:24

I hadn’t talked with Mark for nearly a year. I am sorry he is gone.

I had many nice discussions with Mark Perakh by e-mail, but I never met him in person. I think he was always a little miffed that he did not get more credit for his work analyzing intelligent design and pseudoscience. His valuable presence will be missed, but his work will go on, in the form of the TalkReason site and his books.

There is an obituary of Mark Perakh at the NCSE web site http://ncse.com/news/2013/05/mark-p[…]dies-0014840 and a Wikipedia biography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Perakh.

Jeffrey Shallit said:

I had many nice discussions with Mark Perakh by e-mail, but I never met him in person. I think he was always a little miffed that he did not get more credit for his work analyzing intelligent design and pseudoscience. His valuable presence will be missed, but his work will go on, in the form of the TalkReason site and his books.

I too had many nice discussions, but I also met him in person.

He will be missed.

So sad. My condolences to his family. Never got the chance to meet him in person but loved everything I read from him.

I am sorry to hear about this; I very much enjoyed his critiques of intelligent design.

My condolences to his family.

Mark Perakh said:

Hello everyone. Before you get excited - no, unfortunately it this is not actually Mark proving there after-life after all. This is his son, Alik, posting posthumously [hopefully] on his behalf and well as his widow’s and my own.

We know how important Panda’s Thumb and talkreson.org were to my father and were his main, if not only, intellectually creative as well as social outlets in the last few years of his life.

We are not entirely clear on the exact roles he played in these organizations/sites besides contributing content, but it is very much our wish that the work continues on his behalf.

If there is a need for anyone to take over any of his functions in order to facilitate this and there is/are volunteer(s) for such positions please contact me at [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

I will most likely be able to provide any needed login access to the correct party once their qualifications for the job have been verified.

And thank you all for the audience you provided my father.

Mark Perakh said:

Hello everyone. Before you get excited - no, unfortunately it this is not actually Mark proving there after-life after all. This is his son, Alik, posting posthumously [hopefully] on his behalf and well as his widow’s and my own.

We know how important Panda’s Thumb and talkreson.org were to my father and were his main, if not only, intellectually creative as well as social outlets in the last few years of his life.

We are not entirely clear on the exact roles he played in these organizations/sites besides contributing content, but it is very much our wish that the work continues on his behalf.

If there is a need for anyone to take over any of his functions in order to facilitate this and there is/are volunteer(s) for such positions please contact me at [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

I will most likely be able to provide any needed login access to the correct party once their qualifications for the job have been verified.

And thank you all for the audience you provided my father.

My condolences to you and your mother, Alik. Yes he will be very much missed.

V

Mark Perakh said:

Hello everyone. Before you get excited - no, unfortunately it this is not actually Mark proving there after-life after all. This is his son, Alik, posting posthumously [hopefully] on his behalf and well as his widow’s and my own.

We know how important Panda’s Thumb and talkreson.org were to my father and were his main, if not only, intellectually creative as well as social outlets in the last few years of his life.

We are not entirely clear on the exact roles he played in these organizations/sites besides contributing content, but it is very much our wish that the work continues on his behalf.

If there is a need for anyone to take over any of his functions in order to facilitate this and there is/are volunteer(s) for such positions please contact me at [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

I will most likely be able to provide any needed login access to the correct party once their qualifications for the job have been verified.

And thank you all for the audience you provided my father.

I feel sympathetic towards you, and your family. He was a great scientist, perhaps an even greater philosopher. He will be missed.

Best wishes

EvoDevo

Mark will be missed. The vistas of science he sketched, his experiences, his encounter with Landau (RESPECT) and his contribution to the scientific case against IDC, his struggle to study the sciences while battling the Stalinist establishment, his thoroughness will be with me forever. Dasvidanya!

EvoDevo said: while battling the Stalinist establishment

A courageous man as well as a scholar!

Just found out about this, very saddening. Mark was a strong, smart, multi-talented and gracious man with a total dedication to honesty, science and reason. He led an incredibly full and adventurous life (fun fact: in his youth he actually met Lysenko!), without compromise all the way to the end. He will be sorely missed. Sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on May 12, 2013 1:02 PM.

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