Daily Archives: January 22, 2014

Strange Bedfellows

How bad was the stuff published in the now-defunct journal Pattern Recognition in Physics? So bad, that Anthony Watts and his crew are raking it over the coals.

They have roundly criticized what passed for “peer review” at that journal. Now they’re even criticizing individual papers on purely scientific grounds. Here for example is Willis Eschenbach taking to task one of those papers (by R. J. Salvador) which amounts to nothing more than “mathturbation.” He even used the word “mathemagical” to describe the wishful-thinking aspect (I prefer my own term).

I have heard some criticism of this (in private circles), basically amounting to the implication that they’re only doing so out of nefarious motives (to distance themselves from this fiasco, or to don a cloak of legitimacy). I say, let’s not do that. Criticizing the faulty peer review, and the faulty papers, is the right thing to do. Let’s not assume that they’re doing the right thing for the wrong reasons just because they are our scientific adversaries.

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