Re: Scholarly credibility

Aaron Lynch (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 10:48:58 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 1999 10:48:58 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: Scholarly credibility
In-Reply-To: <2CDFE2C8F598D21197C800C04F911B203493D5@DELTA.newhouse.akzo

At 12:57 PM 10/4/99 +0200, Gatherer, D. (Derek) wrote:
>It occurs to me that my silence on this article [by Paul Marsden] may have
>been mistaken by
>some as indicating tacit agreement, or even that you [Paul] Marsden] have
>scholarly credibility after the JASSS "review."
>As far as I'm concerned, and as far as anyone else is concerned, Paul has no
>problems with scholarly credibility.

Really? Anyone who can give a cursory read of his references section can
start finding errors quite quickly. Start by looking for the book whose
title is mutated into inflated language. If Marsden wants to improve his
scholarly reputation, then perhaps he could start by going to the library
and actually reading the titles of the works he cites directly and report
back the correct titles and other information. I am not going to do the
work for him: he should have already done it himself. Nor am I going to
assume that he has actually seen, let alone read, all the works he cites.
The misquotations and falsifications of my own work are a main subject of
my upcoming rebuttal.

>What are your credentials to decide on this matter, anyway? Have you held
>an academic position? Do you have a higher degree?
>If someone who is qualified to judge on matters of scholarly credibility
>were to tell me that Paul is discredited as a scholar, then I might be
>prepared to listen - but so far no one has.
>So, Aaron, I suggest you either put up or shut up.

More foul language from Gatherer.

He has previously published unscientific (if caustically amusing) terms
like "damned lies," etc. that should never have made the scientific
literature. He has announced "mouthfoaming anger."

For those who are honestly wondering why I do not hold certain conventional
academic in memetics, it is because the paradigm I use was too new when I
started in the 1970's. Still, famous professors have endorsed my thesis on
a less formal basis, and while acclaimed professors have invited me to
contribute to their publications. Are my credentials a big problem? If so,
then why back someone who cites Le Bon, another honest and serious author
who does not have conventional credentials?

Incidentally, the present (October 4,1999) issue of _Forbes ASAP_ sheds a
bit of light on the conflict between Dawkins and the lucrative "religion
and science" enterprise. The article is called "Snake Oil and Holy Water,"
(p. 235-238) but I would not be surprised if that Dawkins has criticiced
"religion and science" subjects long before this. Given the money involved
and the audiences Dawkins reaches, I would also not be surprised to find
many people angry about it.

--Aaron Lynch

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