RE: Scholarly credibility

Gatherer, D. (
Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:22:55 +0200

Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:22:55 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: Scholarly credibility
To: "''" <>

>So, Aaron, I suggest you either put up or shut up.

More foul language from Gatherer.

Don't be so sanctimonious. I express my opinions honestly, directly and
forcefully, as a scientist should, not in wheedling and underhanded
insinuations like you do (I'll give you an example in a minute).

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

I was paraphrasing Disraeli. Obviously it went over your head.

He has announced "mouthfoaming anger."

Absolutely, and with good reason.

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.

Oh come on, for goodness sake! Please stop spouting all this self-serving
nonsense!! The 70s? Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman had published a whole string
of articles in PNAS (and you can't get much more mainstream than that),
Rogers and Shoemaker were in their 2nd (or was it even 3rd?) edition. This
persistent advertisement for yourself as some kind of genius pioneer makes
me absolutely sick! It horrifies me that some of the less well read people
casually browsing the internet, or maybe even on this list, might actually
believe you!!

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?

Because he did _genuinely_ pioneering work.

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.

Here you go again, wheedling insinuation. 'Lucrative religion and science
enterprise' - I don't know what it is, and it certainly has nothing to do
with me. Here are the facts:

1) I published and article in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
2) I am not religiously motivated, nor indeed do I have any religious
3) I have not received a penny for anything I have done in memetics, ever -
apart of course from a salary from the dear British taxpayer (but that isn't

And as for your attempt to prove that a typo constitutes bad scholarship....
well what can I say?

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