Sunday, January 11, 2015

Yet More Credential Inflation at 'Uncommon Descent'?


As I've noted before on this blog, one of the many dishonest rhetorical strategies used by ID creationists is credential inflation: taking any Joe Schmoe off the street who agrees with them and claiming they are an expert. For example, David Berlinski is called a "mathematician"; wedding photographer Laszlo Bencze is called a "philosopher", and so forth. And when their friends actually do have some qualifications, they are stretched: William Dembski, for example, is often labeled as a "leading information theorist".

Here's yet another example: Denyse O'Leary (aka the World's Worst Reporter™) refers to "Daniel Bakken" and calls him an "exoplanet expert". Yet, according to Web of Science, nobody called "D. Bakken" or "Daniel Bakken" has published a single article in astronomy! (He does seem to have some joint papers with titles like "100mm Diameter GaSb substrates with extended IR wavelength for advanced space based applications" and "Molecular beam epitaxy on gas cluster ion beam-prepared GaSb substrates: Towards improved surfaces and interfaces", but these are papers about semiconductors, not exoplanets.) His astronomy qualifications seem to be, according to his own web page, as a part-time instructor at a community college.

I guess that's what passes for being an "expert" for creationists.

7 comments:

William Spearshake said...

Colour me surprised. Next you will be telling us that Denyse, Barry and Gordon (KairosFocus) Mullings don't have the qualifications to talk about science.

Now where will I go to get my scientific information?

Diogenes said...

Thank you for keeping track of creationist credential inflation.

As another example, Casey Luskin, creationist lawyer, has repeatedly called himself a "scientist" and been called a "scientist" by other IDiots. He recently contributed a chapter to the book "More than Myth", which seeks to prove that the Book of Genesis is true (thus falsifying the IDiot claim that ID starts with the scientific facts, not Scripture. No, it was always about Scripture.) That book's "About the Authors" section describes Luskin as having a Master's in geology. In fact, he has a Master's in earth science.

Dembski has called himself a "scientific researcher" and Stephen Meyer, Ph.D. in philosophy, is routinely called a "scientist" by other creationists.

The list of fake Ph.D.s and degrees from diploma mills among creationists is very long, too long to give here.

John Calvert, another lawyer, recently (as COPE; Calvert was formerly of IDnet) sued the state of Ohio saying that teaching evolution in the NGSS should be banned as it makes atheism the state religion. He has a long history of activism and lawsuits. In 1999 when he addressed a state school board he called himself a "geologist."

They all do that. Every time there's a school board meeting on the topic of teaching the "weaknesses of evolution", the crackpots show up, bragging about their doctorates bought from a diploma mill on Vanuatu, demanding they be called "Doctor", wearing lab coats when they have never entered a laboratory, and, in the now-trending fad among crackpots, donning Indiana Jones fedoras and calling themselves paleontologists.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I don't see a big difference between master's in "geology" and "earth science". It may be technically incorrect, but not very much so.

Diogenes said...

If geology were the same as earth science, why change it? Of course, Luskin says "geology" because he wants authority from which to lie about the fossil record.

From Wikipedia:

The following fields of science are generally categorized within the Earth sciences:

Geology...

Physical geography...

Geophysics and geodesy...

Soil science...

Ecology...

Hydrology...

Glaciology...

Atmospheric sciences...

Jeffrey Shallit said...

In some places (like here in Waterloo) it is impossible to get a master's in "Geology". The department is named "Earth Sciences" and that's what your master's degree says. So I think this particular point is not worth it.

Mark said...

Some schools simply changed the name of their "Department of Geology" to "Department of Earth science" or "Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences."

How about Kurt Wise? He went through the motions of earning a PhD., studying under S.J. Gould. He met the requirements of the degree, yet seems to have tossed most of his knowledge away as he pursued a career as a Young-Earth Creationist.

edthemanicstreetpreacher said...

Even the URL to the community college on his website is broken!