Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Many Internet forums have carried discussion of the Electric Universe hypothesis. Much of that discussion has added more confusion than clarity, due to common misunderstandings of the electrical principles. Here we invite participants to discuss their experiences and to summarize questions that have yet to be answered.

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Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Botoxin » Wed May 14, 2008 7:57 am

Joshua Schroeder gave a presentation on "Pseudoscience on Wikipedia" at the 5th New York City Meetup event on Sunday 13 January 2008. There's also an accompanying video and PDF document. His case studies include the article on Redshift, and the the Electric Universe (now deleted).

Redshift

Schroeder claims that the article on Redshift listed seven different causes of redshift, while astronomers accept 3 or 4. Actually the article in June 2005 listed just 4 causes.

While astronomers consider just three causes of redshift, in the field of optics, a forth cause of redshift called the Wolf Effect was predicted by Emil Wolf in 1987, and confirmed in the laboratory the following year. The Wolf Effect has been described as a redshift by Prof Emil Wolf himself,[1] by his colleague, Prof Daniel F V James,[2], by Mark Bocko who demonstrated the Wolf shift in the laboratory,[3], and in academic text books.[4][5]. But why is all this mentioned in a presentation on pseudoscience, and why is a proven mechanism of redshift, excluded from an article on redshift?

Electric Universe

And on the Electric Universe, Schroeder give six reasons to delete the article including:

  1. An article is not valid if it is written by people who support it, because it is a conflict of interest. ie. people who support democracy, can not edit the article on democracy, because there is a conflict of interest!
  2. Contributors have "falsely claimed that this subject has been subject to peer review research [..] reinvorgated with the false claim that will be subject to a future peer-reviewed publication". Schroeder's prediction of the future (clairvoyance?) is poor, and a peer-reviewed paper appeared in Aug 2007.

Warning

Writing under his pseudonym "ScienceApologist", Joshua Schroeder wrote: "They're all involved at the thunderbolts forum where they take potshots at me for sport."[6] Obviously he doesn't know the difference between literary criticism, and personal attacks, and probably why he gave no examples.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu May 15, 2008 12:35 pm

Yes, and he has also falsely lobbied for IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science to be blacklisted as a journal, on account of the one or two articles he personally found distasteful or disagreed with.

Not to mention taking a personal potshot at me for no reason and with no supporting evidence.

Hmm, this article about Velikovskian pseudoscience was written this year. Done and done. Not to mention that Mgmirkin is just about the worst person we could find to discuss these matters ever. Axe to grind? ScienceApologist (talk) 22:34, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Who has what axe to grind SA?

He proved exactly the point I was making. He took issue with one single article from his POV, and somehow believed that that invalidates the entire journal, because he says so. An utterly rubbish argument, as I'd stated at the start of my disproof of his assertion. I might also add that there is nothing "Velikovskian" nor "pseudoscientific" in the article he cited either (about detailing a scientific lab setup in which hematite spherules were created via a direct arc discharge). He appears to have inserted his own opinion once again and asserted it as [an unsupported] "fact." I have in fact seen CJ Ransom's experimental setup (mid last year) and saw spherule formation via arc. IT was rather impressive. Especially insofar as it can be replicated with relatively inexpensive hobby-level equipment (as opposed to millions of dollars worth of government funding searching for non-existent black holes, etc.).

In fact many other types of spherules have been created via arc discharges in the lab (and nature), including clear glassy spherules with small bubble inclusions, and possibly others. One can pretty readily find evidence of spherules created naturally as a byproduct giant electric arcs. Y'know, the ones called LIGHTNING?

(Not just Rocks - Gallery)
http://www.notjustrocks.com/wst_page4.html

(Not Just Rocks - Ground Zero)
http://www.notjustrocks.com/wst_page6.html

(Glassy spherules created in association with a lightning strike; Huntsville, AL)
http://www.notjustrocks.com/uploads/ALsoilfulg-10L.jpg

Image

Granted, Fulgurites (as opposed to spherules) are a more commonly known direct product of lightning...

But the point of the matter, is he was on a personal crusade to invalidate IEEE TPS by whatever means necessary, but had no valid argument for doing so. He literally had only one (At most 2-3? Being generous, since no further examples were offered.) article to offer. Far short of his claim that they "routinely publish Velikovskian nonsense." In fact there is no preponderance of articles from "Velikovskians" or "way-out-there fringers" necessary to support his claim they they are "regularly published." One article does not "regularly" make. I hate to get into semantics, but really... Extraordinary claims of Velikovskian intent require more than personal distaste for one or two articles out of the entire run of a journal. If someone's personal opinion of one or two purportedly "bad" articles in an entire journal's lifetime was ScienceApologist's "gold standard" for condemning a "rubbish journal," then just about NO journal currently available on astronomy could meet ScieneApologist's standard of inclusion on Wikipedia.

ScienceApologist wrote:
Abecedare wrote:I don't know about the rest, but IEEE Trans. Plasma Science is certainly no fringe-theory outlet and has a decent reputation within the field [76]. Impact factors should be judged within the relevant field, and I can't think of a single journal published by reputable professional societies such as IEEE, APS, AMS, SIAM that would qualify as a fringe journal, even though traditionally the covered topics have relatively low impact factors especially compared with journals in medicine and biosciences. While I wouldn't vouch for the accuracy of every paper in any journal, we should be careful that we don't paint with too broad a brush. Abecedare (talk) 18:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


No, IEEE Trans. Plasma Science is definitely the most fringe of them all in terms of cosmology and astronomy. Aside from being listed only in the noise at the site you give for plasma physics and fusion, they routinely publish papers by Velikovskians and other way-out-there fringers who believe in all sorts of nonsense with regards to astronomy. I think it's because the editor in chief has trusted all the cosmology publications to be reviewed by Perrat and Eastman. I've sent them a request for information but they have replied that they believe in [77], and that's what I should refer my questions to. So they're conspiracy theorists in charge of IEEE's journal. However, the rest of the community ignores it. If you look at actual papers dealing with astronomy published by that paper, their citation rate is close to nil. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:44, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


After I utterly refuted his claim that Velikovskian fantasies are regularly published (with concrete examples of ACTUAL articles regularly submitted to the journal), he simply repeated his assertion that "they routinely publish papers by Velikovskians and other way-out-there fringers," with no further support.

ScienceApologist wrote:
MGmirkin wrote:No, that's utter POV rubbish, sorry to say.

[snip; to see the original longer version, go here]


No, IEEE Trans. Plasma Science is definitely the most fringe of them all in terms of cosmology and astronomy. Aside from being listed only in the noise at the site you give for plasma physics and fusion, they routinely publish papers by Velikovskians and other way-out-there fringers who believe in all sorts of nonsense with regards to astronomy. ... ScienceApologist (talk) 18:44, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


In fact, all he did was copy the first couple lines of his prior statement. He didn't even say anything new or attempt to offer new/additional evidence. His argument was basically worthless, as usual. All bark, no bite.

As Dusty Devil noted on another thread: ScienceApologist himself then closed the noticeboard request and issued HIS OWN finding on the matter supporting his own opinion.

ScienceApologist wrote:
Itsmejudith wrote:Thanks for the clarification. I think the conclusion on this noticeboard must be that both are peer-reviewed academic journals and therefore RS. You will need to discuss on the talk page of the relevant article(s) whether they are being used appropriately and whether due weight is being given. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:17, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


No, the conclusion of this noticeboard is that just because a paper is in a peer-reviewed journal doesn't mean that it is necessarily a reliable source. Thanks for playing. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:35, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


No... The conclusion of SA, lobbied for by SA, and disagreed upon by the other posters to the noticeboard does not in and of itself constitute "consensus!"

Isn't that a major Conflict Of Interest? Coming to the noticeboard, lobbying for action against IEEE TPS, not getting consensus of other editors, being told that the final decision should be that the source is peer-reviewed, notable, and is allowable for discussion on the relevant talk page(s), then issuing his own decision that his view was the consensus and closing the issue to further discussion... Shouldn't some non-interested party come in to make a ruling on consensus or lack thereof, rather than an interested party with an agenda making the ruling? Note also his condescending and mocking tone at the end, as though nobody else's opinion but his matters.

Oy... Wikipedia is such a farce sometimes. I hate to say it. It just seems to be losing credibility, in general. Too much in-fighting and POV-pushing over controversial issues. SA apparently feels justified because he POV-pushes the mainstream view. It is still, however, a POV (albeit an entrenched one that Wikipedia seems intent on maintaining, often at the detriment of other reasonably-well-sourced points of view).

[/end literary criticism]

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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Thu May 15, 2008 1:53 pm

A sorry tale indeed, Michael.
Sadly the thought police are everywhere these days. I can't really see who or what these people are 'protecting' unless it is their own prejudices or ego.
Anyone who accepts as gospel anything from a free 'encyclopedia' deserves all they get. In fact, anyone who thinks that there is any single 'one-stop-shop' for the definitive answer to any subject is gravely mistaken.
I have come across many wiki articles where the main body has been lifted wholesale from a website and I mean sites run by individuals.
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and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
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but people delight in complexity.
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Re: Wikipedia

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu May 15, 2008 5:45 pm

Grey Cloud wrote:A sorry tale indeed, Michael.
Sadly the thought police are everywhere these days. I can't really see who or what these people are 'protecting' unless it is their own prejudices or ego.


Or funding, or whatever.

Grey Cloud wrote:Anyone who accepts as gospel anything from a free 'encyclopedia' deserves all they get.


Especially one that can be monkied with at any time, for any reason, by anyone.

Grey Cloud wrote:I have come across many wiki articles where the main body has been lifted wholesale from a website and I mean sites run by individuals.


Those article should be tagged with {{fact}} (for any controversial unsourced statements) or put up for deletion, if the source(s) are not credible, or are simply self-promotional or copyright infringement (lifting text verbatim from commercial sites, etc.)...

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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby MGmirkin » Sat May 17, 2008 6:53 pm

Perhaps, this is a good place to go over some logical fallacies. We'll use Schroeder's attempted blackballing of IEEE TPS on Wikipedia as an example:

ScienceApologist simply asserted that IEEE's TPS "regularly publishes papers by Velikovskians and way-out-there fringers" (an implied ad hominem and borderline appeal to ridicule or appeal to motive, with a smidge of Bulverism toward any authors published in the journal). The allegation against IEEE's TPS is a rather extraordinary claim, which I refuted in no uncertain terms with specific concrete examples using a random sampling of ACTUAL articles from each issue from 2007 to see if there was an apparently systemic bias toward Velikovskians and fringe-science types. I found no such bias in the random sampling, and asked him to support his assertion, noting that I believed his position was based solely on one or two articles/authors that he personally found objectionable and not due to actual systemic bias.

In attempting to "prove his case," he offered only a single example (attempting and end run around my argument with proof by example) of what he claimed was a Velikovskian paper. It is readily apparent that he did not use any methodology to show a overwhelming bias. In fact, he was cherry picking and proceeding from the single example he had already selected in order to make a hasty generalization bordering on trying for an overwhelming exception.

In the process of trying to refute my argument, he also failed to add anything new when he simply copied the first several lines of his original statements (which I had already refuted) and pasted them again (that's commonly referred to as argumentum ad nauseum, argumentum ad infinitum or argument from repetition).

And, in responding, he threw out another baseless, unsubstantiated ad hominem potshot at me, just before he closed the case and made his own ruling in his own favor, despite dissent from other authors on the noticeboard, in a pretty evident COI (conflict of interest).

It boggles the mind.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Discipline » Sun May 18, 2008 12:39 am

He is attention starved and does his seeking through Wikipedia . It is a common trait of people who have that sense of arrogance. It is not always bad; it can drive people to great heights or drag them through the mud.

He makes grand insults to those who have earned their right to speak. He has only used complaining to gain his right to speak.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Solar » Sun May 18, 2008 7:02 am

I can't help but wonder if 'the mainstream' wants Wikipedia in the same manner that they've aligned themselves with some of the physics/science forums with add based support. Wiki survives on donations if I'm not mistaken. It appears that the founder's goal:
Imagine a world
in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. — J. Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

... is what's also under attack.

If his students are asking him questions that are considered erroneous and or "pseudoscience" apparently he's not satisfied with correcting that assumed problem in class. He wants to end it at the source via eliminating it's expression though such venues, which seems to deny freedom of speech and all that it entails.

If you want to express your ideas and ideals I guess you'd better by your own website. If he's successful with wiki where, will this stop? If he controlled publishing would The Electric Universe or The Electric Sky have ever made it to print?

No.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby MGmirkin » Mon May 19, 2008 6:14 pm

Discipline wrote:He is attention starved and does his seeking through Wikipedia . It is a common trait of people who have that sense of arrogance. It is not always bad; it can drive people to great heights or drag them through the mud.

He makes grand insults to those who have earned their right to speak. He has only used complaining to gain his right to speak.


On the one hand, I see your point. On the other, I'm sure there are other less controversial edits and suggestion he's made that haven't been so wide of the mark.

But he does seem to take on something of a snippy tone at times and lean toward uncivil tone when it suits him. In at least one instance he's argued FOR incivility, which is generally against WP policy. I tend to disagree that incivility is ever necessary, where well-referenced facts or meaningful dialog can be used to refute a position. Or outside assistance from ArbCom or an admin can be requested where a consensus can't be agreed to on a controversial edit or topic. Just my opinion.

So, whatever... C'est la vie.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby feline1 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:40 am

interesting to finally see what that mendacious hectoring loon "ScienceApologist" looks like!
A right wee Jack Spratt, by the look of him :lol:
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby rduke » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:22 am

:twisted:

Wow .. that video disgusts me... I love how it ended with the topic of the Electric Universe being asked about.. and him going no wah wah .. then I am sure something about him saying the word physics and laws.. and crap like that, notice how people like him always do that .. bring up and claim how something violates the laws of Physics, Science, etc.. but never actually show how it does it is intellectual bullying akin to bringing forth the name of GOD to shut up dissent and imbue supreme authority.

Yet how many actual defenses of their theories have you ever seen?... (Besides the typical abuses of power and technicalities to delete... all the way to outright banning and deletion of threads, articles and user accounts....oh wait there is Jack Thomson who wrote an essay in 1996 --which has subsequently been obliterated with evidence)

MGMIRKIN... You stay civil and pure... Allow me to get down and dirty.

<personal ad hominems deleted>

Anyone remember when he came here?

How much INFORMATION did he provide?

How much actual debating did that fool do..

<personal ad hominems deleted>

<personal ad hominems deleted>

Bah... let them have their petty powers..

They have been on such a losing streak when it comes to REAL information lately.. eventually they wont even be able to leave the house without fearing the sky falling on their heads because they have been so wrong.

Weird Al has totally nailed SA..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw

I hold anyone who I have seen try to reason with <deleted> in very high regard (looking at you Iantransman and everyone else who have control over their gag reflex to deal with that <deleted>)... READING Wikipedia histories ... well a picture comes to mind that describes how I feel about <deleted>..

<invective deleted>

Seriously... reading this kind of idiocy is very difficult

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wolf_ ... r.27s_edit

<personal ad hominem deleted>
Last edited by Forum Moderator on Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Deleted personal ad hominems as inappropriate to the spirit of the message board's Rules & Guidelines (fmx)
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby rduke » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:40 am

--We should extend the time allowed to EDIT a post on the forum--

The guy whittles my patience down pretty fast... I have a hair trigger for certain people.. and while I try not to fly off in a tirade of words that would make a sailor wince and cry.. I tend to pick the petty incorrectly.... so I need more then 5 minutes to edit sometimes.. :D

Ok so SA did not attend a Community College.. (there is nothing wrong with that---at all!... education is education..)

Apparently he attended places of prestige and is correct when he asserts himself an academic .. I will give him that, as it is irrelevant, and only makes him sound even more like a rancid rectum..

Plenty of twits go to big name places... and teach at them... John Yoo (War Criminal) teaches LAW at Berkley, and Bush (War Criminal) attended Yale, etc, etc... and I am sure we can go down the list of dastardly villains both modern and historically .. and find the same connections.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby rduke » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:18 am

Thank you for that Edit...

That is more satisfying!.. Sorry you had to do the work <invective deleted>.

I think I am going to just start writing like that <invective deleted> when I talk about that <<personal ad hominem deleted>> Science Apologist <invective deleted>!

I think it looks awesome!

Thanks for the inspiration to be a <invective deleted> better person!


:mrgreen:
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Re: Joshua Schroeder is pseudoscience

Unread postby Sparks » Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:13 am

Joshua Schroeder relies on misrepresentation for the most part.

For example, he frequently claims that the Electric Universe is based on Velikovsky's work, which is untrue. While the EU permits many ideas excluded by mainstream science, it is in no way reliant on the work of just one individual.

He seems to have serious hang-ups about Dr V's work, despite the fact that Carl Sagan and a number of others have admitted that the vicious suppression of V's work was a black day for science.

He has sent me numerous abusive emails, and he is also known to have hacked a number of plasma related sites, from both this home and University IP addresses. He later claimed that an over enthusiastic student of his had perpetrated these attacks, which is palpable nonsense.
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Phorce » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:45 am

Isn't this behaviour simply neurotic and bullying ? Industrialised societies have huge problems with bullying and abuse of all kinds (Vachss). There's no reason to think that Science is free of such things. Could abusers use Science and be attracted towards controversial arguments (like EU) in order to have a place where they can inflict pain with maybe less possibility of being unmasked as abusers ?
Exploration and discovery without honest investigation of "extraordinary" results leads to a Double Bind (Bateson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind ) that creates loss of hope and depression. No more Double Binds !
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Re: Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Unread postby Siggy_G » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:54 pm

Heh, yeah, what an excellent "summary" of the Electric Universe...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/5/56/Wikipedia_pseudoscience.pdf (Page 14)

Case study: Electric Universe
* Obscure, Velikovskian-based pseudoscientific belief:
-- Astrophysicists don't understand plasma physics
-- Electricity dominates over gravity
-- Most of modern astrophysics is a myth including cosmology, celestial mechanics, planetary science, and fusion-powered stars.
* Page was deleted after two years of bickering due to lack of notability.


Although the summary is misinformed, unessential and agenda biased, let me at least correct those statements for you, Mr Schroeder:

Case study: Electric Universe
- A cosmological theory partly triggered by some of Velikovsky's ideas, but primary based on Plasma cosmology
- Astrophysicists understate and often ignore the role of plasma physics at stellar and galactic scale
- Electricity plays an important role in initial galaxy formation and as stellar energy source, in addition to gravity
- Most of modern astrophysics keeps digging deeper into the wrong cave, as a gravity-only driven notion keeps ruling
* Page was deleted after two years of bickering due to lack of agreement with current consensus.
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