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  #101  
Old 04-18-2016, 11:09 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by Arrendajo View Post
Well, there was Isaac Newton and all that alchemy crap.
For a very generous definition of "recent":
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Originally Posted by the OP
I am hoping to find out who exists--or has recently existed--who fits the following criteria:
  #102  
Old 04-19-2016, 12:54 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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The article I linked to quoted Ralph Holloway, who said Gould was a charlatan. Here's a few quotes from Robert Trivers, one of the most influential evolutionary theorists of all time, who appears to agree with Holloway's assessment:
That's a laugh. Bob Trivers accusing someone else of being an intellectual fraud and of self-serving fantasy. Trivers' own reputation in the field isn't that great on those accounts. That's the pot calling the kettle black. (I've met both Trivers and Gould by the way.)
  #103  
Old 04-19-2016, 10:25 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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That's a laugh. Bob Trivers accusing someone else of being an intellectual fraud and of self-serving fantasy. Trivers' own reputation in the field isn't that great on those accounts. That's the pot calling the kettle black. (I've met both Trivers and Gould by the way.)
So far you've only offered your personal opinions in this thread. Sorry but I'll take the opinions of Trivers/Holloway/Yudkowsky/Krugman over yours any day.
  #104  
Old 04-19-2016, 10:42 AM
Kelevra Kelevra is offline
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My half-brother's step father wrote this book.

I only met him one time. He was on his way to San Francisco to some conference where he was expounding on his theory that all chemistry was wrong. How reactions work is by "loop closure of electrically charged molecules". He somehow tied all that together with his concept of "psycles".

Mostly it just gave me a headache so I could never explain it adequately. Plus I've used enough quotations in this description already and a lot more would be needed to go further!
  #105  
Old 04-19-2016, 11:22 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Originally Posted by Surreal View Post
So far you've only offered your personal opinions in this thread. Sorry but I'll take the opinions of Trivers/Holloway/Yudkowsky/Krugman over yours any day.
If you want to cherry-pick your sources, go ahead. However, I think others should understand that the sources you refer to are not reliable ones on the subject. In any case, the characterization of Gould as a "crank" is absurd by any standard. (If Gould is a "crank," then the sources you cite could also be considered such.)

Last edited by Colibri; 04-19-2016 at 11:25 AM.
  #106  
Old 04-19-2016, 12:11 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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Originally Posted by bonzer View Post
  • Lord Kelvin and the age of the earth Lord Kelvin was not an idiot. The whole debate is rather more complicated than anybody who has read
    on the details will assume.
If you're interested, this article http://www.americanscientist.org/iss...of-the-earth/1 has a lot of detail about Kelvin's calculations of the age of the earth.
  #107  
Old 04-19-2016, 01:35 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
If you want to cherry-pick your sources, go ahead. However, I think others should understand that the sources you refer to are not reliable ones on the subject. In any case, the characterization of Gould as a "crank" is absurd by any standard. (If Gould is a "crank," then the sources you cite could also be considered such.)
Well, he does make a point. He has offered cites, and you have not. Do you have cites?
  #108  
Old 04-19-2016, 01:44 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Well, he does make a point. He has offered cites, and you have not. Do you have cites?
You want cites that Gould was not a crank? Seriously?

He hasn't offered any reliable cites, which was my point.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-19-2016 at 01:46 PM.
  #109  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:00 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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You want cites that Gould was not a crank? Seriously?

He hasn't offered any reliable cites, which was my point.
Gould was awarded the 1975 Schuchert Award by the Paleontological Society for his work in evolutionary theory and elected President of the American Society for the Advancement of Science in 1999.
  #110  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:10 PM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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He hasn't offered any reliable cites, which was my point.


Robert Trivers was awarded the Crafoord prize (roughly equivalent to the Nobel prize) in 2007 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  #111  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:18 PM
wevets wevets is offline
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Well, he does make a point. He has offered cites, and you have not. Do you have cites?

There's some inside baseball going on there. Gould had a very public "feud"* with sociobiologists in the 1970s and '80s, and Robert Trivers heavily influenced and inspired** the development of sociobiology in the 1970s.


This kind of intellectual feud happens all the time in academia and is not a reliable indicator of crankism.


*You'll see his name 7th on the list signing that letter

**He is even sometimes referred to as a 'sociobiologist' as opposed to just a biologist
  #112  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:19 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Gould was awarded the 1975 Schuchert Award by the Paleontological Society for his work in evolutionary theory and elected President of the American Society for the Advancement of Science in 1999.
He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a posthumous recipient of the Darwin-Wallace Medal by the Linnean Society of London. He published over 470 peer-reviewed papers and 22 books, many of them highly influential in the field, in particular his seminal work on punctuated equilibria with Niles Eldredge.

Gould certainly was a controversial figure. Some of his work has been criticized, and some was no doubt wrong. But the OP asked for "crank levels of wrong by a large number of others in the field," and nothing that Gould published is anywhere near that. And calling him a charlatan is nonsense.
  #113  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:22 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Originally Posted by wevets View Post
There's some inside baseball going on there. Gould had a very public "feud"* with sociobiologists in the 1970s and '80s, and Robert Trivers heavily influenced and inspired** the development of sociobiology in the 1970s.


This kind of intellectual feud happens all the time in academia and is not a reliable indicator of crankism.


*You'll see his name 7th on the list signing that letter

**He is even sometimes referred to as a 'sociobiologist' as opposed to just a biologist
Thank you, that explains a lot.

I also dont think Gould is/was a "crank". But he was very controversial and I have seen times where he went soft on the hard science in order to prove his point.
  #114  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:23 PM
jbaker jbaker is offline
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Another possibility might be Joseph Greenberg, one of the most prominent linguists in the world until his death in 2001. His argument that all native American languages (other than Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene languages) belong to a single linguistic family has been rejected by the large majority of historical linguists. Responses to his theory of the Amerind languages have been that it "should be shouted down in order not to confuse nonspecialists" (Lyle Campbell) and that it is "unsupported by valid evidence" (Wikipedia). Greenberg continued to have access to publication in high-profile journals after the 1987 publication of his much-criticized book, Language in the Americas.
  #115  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:25 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Originally Posted by Surreal View Post


Robert Trivers was awarded the Crafoord prize (roughly equivalent to the Nobel prize) in 2007 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wevets View Post
There's some inside baseball going on there. Gould had a very public "feud"* with sociobiologists in the 1970s and '80s, and Robert Trivers heavily influenced and inspired** the development of sociobiology in the 1970s.


This kind of intellectual feud happens all the time in academia and is not a reliable indicator of crankism.


*You'll see his name 7th on the list signing that letter

**He is even sometimes referred to as a 'sociobiologist' as opposed to just a biologist
Right. Trivers is a member of the opposite camp with regard to some of the views that Gould challenged. The debate between the two sides got extremely heated in the 1970s when I was in graduate school. (I recall our professor of Animal Behavior, a sociobiologist, heckling Gould when he lectured at my department.) Trivers' research has been accused of similar kinds of bias to that he accuses Gould of, though in the opposite direction. There was a lot of sloppy science conducted in the name of sociobiology too.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-19-2016 at 02:28 PM.
  #116  
Old 04-19-2016, 02:50 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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While I wouldn't characterize him as a crank or a charlatan either, Trivers does have a well-deserved reputation for eccentricity in his private life. He was friends with Black Panther Huey Newton and actually joined the party; he was banned from the Rutgers campus for five months due to an altercation with a colleague; and recently has been castigated in the press for remarks alleging that patronizing a 14-year-old prostitute is not that heinous.
  #117  
Old 04-19-2016, 05:29 PM
Toxgoddess Toxgoddess is offline
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Ben Carson is a recent high-profile example of someone brilliant in his field and utterly bonkers outside of it. I don't know if he's published anything, but he certainly has publicized his creative interpretations of Biblical narratives.
  #118  
Old 04-19-2016, 07:09 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Not currently existing, but: John Desmond Bernal, famed crystallographer, Communist fellow-traveller, and devotee of Lysenko way after it ceased to be credible. I'm not sure how much he published in that area, though.
  #119  
Old 04-26-2016, 08:43 AM
barath_s barath_s is offline
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The impenetrable proof

Shinichi mochizuki and inter universal teichmueller theory is an interesting case which may not fit your conditions.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...etrable-proof/

Essentially the man published a series of papers that could be rather revolutionary/prove the ABC conjecture. But so abstruse that no one can make out whether it does so.

Even more confusing, he has the intellectual chops and the 20 year monomaniacal concentration required that he could be right.
  #120  
Old 04-26-2016, 10:37 AM
davidm davidm is offline
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Originally Posted by barath_s View Post
Shinichi mochizuki and inter universal teichmueller theory is an interesting case which may not fit your conditions.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...etrable-proof/

Essentially the man published a series of papers that could be rather revolutionary/prove the ABC conjecture. But so abstruse that no one can make out whether it does so.

Even more confusing, he has the intellectual chops and the 20 year monomaniacal concentration required that he could be right.
I read it. It's wrong. He divides by zero on page 2.

  #121  
Old 04-26-2016, 11:57 AM
barath_s barath_s is offline
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
I read it. It's wrong. He divides by zero on page 2.

From the article: only four mathematicians have read the entire proof. All of them worked with him in Japan.

> one must look at whole numbers in a different lightóleaving addition aside and seeing the multiplication structure as something malleable and deformable. Standard multiplication would then be just one particular case of a family of structures, just as a circle is a special case of an ellipse

So division by zero isn't proof the theory is wrong. Welcome to the club.
  #122  
Old 04-26-2016, 12:02 PM
davidm davidm is offline
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Originally Posted by barath_s View Post
From the article: only four mathematicians have read the entire proof. All of them worked with him in Japan.

> one must look at whole numbers in a different lightóleaving addition aside and seeing the multiplication structure as something malleable and deformable. Standard multiplication would then be just one particular case of a family of structures, just as a circle is a special case of an ellipse

So division by zero isn't proof the theory is wrong. Welcome to the club.
You do realize that I was joking?

The problem is that he uses Ultra-Mochizuki-Division to divide by a 12 dimensional zero matrix.
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