Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bogus Editors for Bogus Journals?

I've been looking some more at the journals published by CS Canada, the inexplicably-named group that runs the "Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture" and the "Canadian Research and Development Centre of Sciences and Cultures".

I contacted a professor listed as a "deputy editor" of

and editor of Studies in Literature and Language. She told me that she has "no editorial responsibilities for any of those journals" and remarked, "How strange!".

It's not strange at all; this is typical behavior for bogus journals. I notice that the editor-in-chief of the journals listed above are "Prof. William Kent", "Shawn Barnes", and "Alvin Linden". No legit institutional affiliation is given for any of them and I have not been able to find anything about them online. Do they even exist? I doubt it very much.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another Dubious Journal Solicitation

Reader J. B. passes on the following solicitation from the dubious Progress in Applied Mathematics:

Dear Dr. B., J.

I read your article of "[title redacted]". And I know that you are an expert in this area.

I am Anthea L. Stock, the editor of Progress in Applied Mathematics (PAM) which is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, published by Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures. It is a journal focuses on the fields of Mathematics, geometry, mathematical physics, statistics, mathematical biology, dynamical systems, financial mathematics, optimization, algorithms, numeric analysis, symbolic computation, mathematical model, statistical software, topology, computer, operational research, Riemannian geometry, differential manifold, math software.

Many respected abstracting/indexing services covered our journals like:

AMICUS of Canada; ProQuest; Gale; EBSCO Publishing; DOAJ; Ulrich’s; PKP Open Archives Harvester; Open Access; Open J-gate; Ulrich's Periodicals Directory; CNKI; Google Scholar

We are calling for submission of papers for the coming issue of January 2014. Please send the manuscript to: Or you could find the journal’s profile and submit manuscripts online at:

If you have any questions, please contact with us at:;

It is appreciated if you could share this information with your colleagues and associates. Thank you.

We are recruiting reviewers for the journal. Please find further details at:

Best regards,

Anthea L. Stock| Editor
Progress in Applied Mathematics
ISSN 1925-251X [Print]; ISSN 1925-2528 [Online]
Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures
Address: 758, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada
Http://; Http://

All the warning signals for this journal are there: preposterously wide coverage; ungrammatical solicitation; sponsorship by the clunky-named "Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures" (which itself has a ungrammatical description and is apparently based in some apartment building), etc.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

When Moose Attack

There's nothing better than an annoyed moose. Beware!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What to Do With a Photographer that Doesn't Understand Evolution? Why, Publish Him, of Course!

I'm always amused by the creationist site, Uncommon Descent. They employ all the usual creationist tactics, including the elevation of nonentities to the status of experts, and all the usual crackpot tactics, like attacking the most celebrated theories and scientists.

Here is a good example, where we are treated to the vapid analysis of one Laszlo Bencze. Bencze seems to think that evolution should be "laden with intimidating mathematical formulas and at least as difficult to master as Newton’s Mechanics or Einsteins [sic] Relativity", but it is not. And therefore it's wrong. Or something.

Who is Laszlo Bencze? As far as I can see, the guy's just some wedding photographer who lives in Sacramento. No evidence that I can see that he's ever studied science at an advanced level, let alone biology or evolution or mathematics.

Anyway, Bencze is wrong. If you learn more about evolution than you can find in creationist cartoon books, you know right away that the mathematics of evolution is well-studied and taught in biology classes at nearly every university. For example, there's Haldane's celebrated calculation of the probability of fixation of a new beneficial allele A in a large population; it's about 2s, where s is the selective advantage of A. How much do you want to bet that Bencze doesn't know this classic result from 1927 (!), let alone be able to derive it? Can he state and prove the Hardy-Weinberg theorem? It's not that hard! Does he know the basics of coalescent theory? Very, very doubtful.

Yup, Bencze's just another in a parade of ignorant anti-evolution blowhards. That's why it's so funny to see him promoted by the intelligent designoids as an expert with a point of view worth publishing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twin-Prime Problem and Goldbach Conjecture Solved?

I was tipped off about this by a reporter at our local newspaper: a local man, James P. Moore, is apparently claiming a solution to the twin-prime problem and the Goldbach conjecture. I haven't read his work. However, the manner in which the claim is being made raises real questions about its correctness.

Moore is apparently not a mathematician by training. Here it is stated that he has a systems design engineering degree from Waterloo.

According to MathSciNet, the database that attempts to review every mathematical publication of interest, Moore has not published any mathematical papers, at least under the names "James P. Moore" or "J. P. Moore". The chances that an amateur without previous mathematical publications could solve these important and famous problems are, for all practical purposes, zero. (Prior to his celebrated recent success on the twin-prime problem, Yitang Zhang, a professional mathematician, had two published papers in good journals.)

Instead of placing his claimed solution on the arxiv, or publishing it in a journal -- as would be customary in such a case -- Moore is selling his solutions online in three different books for $27.05 each. One book is entitled either "The Proof of the Primes" or "The Proof of Primes", a title that doesn't make much sense mathematically.

Moore apparently is working with a public-relations firm to get the news out about his work. You can listen to an interview with him here; it is one of the most painful interviews I have ever heard, largely because the interviewer seems to have no comprehension at all about what the solution might consist of -- she keeps referring inexplicably to DNA -- and seeks to fill the time by repeating the same information over and over.

Moore gave a talk yesterday at the University of Waterloo, but I didn't attend. It wasn't sponsored by the Pure Mathematics department, though. As far as I can see, his public-relations firm hired the room. Again, that's not a good sign.

Here his PR firm suggests that his solution consists of "developing a formula capable of generating every prime number progressively and perfectly". This would not be of much interest, since such formulas are already known. The page also claims that such a method would "create stronger security systems". This is a common misunderstanding; encryption systems such as RSA, while they use prime numbers, would essentially be unaffected by faster ways to generate them. RSA's security would be affected by faster ways to factor products of two or more primes, which is a very different and essentially unrelated problem.

If amateurs think they have solved a famous problem, probably the best route to fame and fortune is to post the paper to a preprint archive. If you can't get an endorser for the arxiv, there's always vixra. Believe me, if your solution is correct, or even close to correct, you'll be acclaimed rather quickly. Hiring public-relations firms and selling your solution in books pretty much guarantees you will be ignored.

Addendum: here Mr. Moore claims, about the primes, that "there is no equation to define them". This is certainly false. They can be defined by a number of different equations; for example, see the talk by my colleague Eric Rowland here.

Another addendum, February 23 2014: Someone showed me a copy of Moore's claimed "proof" of Goldbach's conjecture. Needless to say, it is not correct, and introduces no new ideas at all.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Poor Conrad Black

Poor Conrad Black!

Let us all weep for this disgraced Canadian hero, who has received "many good wishes" and claims "for the first time, at any stage of this long and relentless persecution, I have not received a single negative message."

(Should you wish to disabuse Mr. Black of the notion that everyone stands behind him, negative messages can be sent to

Mr. Black says that "Honours do not make a man, any more than the withdrawal of honours unmakes one." But being convicted of mail fraud and obstruction of justice certainly unmake a man. Then again, that same man has a history of dishonest behavior, starting with selling stolen exam papers when he was a student at Upper Canada College.

Mr. Black boasts of supporting letters written by Henry Kissinger. If one wants to rehabilitate one's reputation, I can think of no one better than Kissinger, whose sterling reputation has never been besmirched. Just like Mr. Black's.

Monday, February 03, 2014

I Get Email

Just the latest of many crackpot e-mail messages I get:
I came across your uwaterloo page and had read the write-up blatantly attacking creationist research.
What YOU fail to see, is that you promote the Smithsonian, a religious institution. You might want to check
the Jesuit IHS logo against that of the Smithsonian. And you might want to check the fact that natural science comes from religion.
The pure ignorance of your position is already noted as you cannot provide one shred of evidence for either evolution, big bang, dark matter or the heliocentric universe
and yet stand by science as the be-all and end-all. Where were you when the earth was created and man put upon it? Where is your research in understanding everything
you reference within the sciences is actually mathematical models, a knowledge fantasy and does not subscribe to even the definition of true science....yet more or less falls
within the realm of an oxymoron, science-fiction. I am not sure you even understand what science is. It's also quite funny that you subscribe to mysticism that has been created by priests, such as evolutionary science. Professing yourself to be wise, you have become a fool. 
This guy was not honest enough to sign his real name. Big surprise.