Mathematician complains Wikipedia is promoting “pseudo-science” of multiverse
|March 10, 2014||Posted by News under Cosmology, Multiverse, News|
Earlier today, we noted that Neil DeGrasse Tyson was arguing for a multiverse. Skeptical mathematician Peter Woit notes, on the same topic, that the Wikipedia entry, Multiverse, is “an outrageously one-sided promotional piece for pseudo-science.”
So? A promotional piece is allowed to be “outrageously one-sided.”
If Woit lived up our street, he wouldn’t be surprised. What about Wikipedia’s “Darwinized” Abe Lincoln? (The assertion, just in time for Darwin Day, that Lincoln was smitten by Darwin’s work, when he in fact was referring favourably to another book. It was hastily “corrected” later.) Then there were the minor revelations that core articles “don’t earn even Wikipedia’s own middle-ranking quality scores” and that some “editors” are paid by outside sources.
As we said at the time:
Wikipedia shocked!, just shocked!! …that some editors act for pay to promote stuff. If so, it is a reasonable idea that some also act for pay to demote stuff. Hmmm.
If it took the Wikibosses this long to tumble to the first, it’ll be roughly a decade, maybe, before they land on the second.
Shrug. They don’t need to care. Teachers continue to justify allowing students to use their “Encyclopedia of Urban Legends” as a responsible source. After all, it is free.
So is gossip and profanity.
Anyway, Woit adds,
I include just a couple of random examples of problems with the entry. The “criticism” section has little actual criticism, just some mild comments from Ellis and Davies, together with positive quotes from them about the multiverse as a research program. Nothing from Gross or Steinhardt, for instance. Much of the “criticism” section is actually defense of the multiverse through claims about experimental evidence from Mersini-Houghton that I don’t think anyone except her takes seriously. Other claims of experimental evidence are completely outrageous, for instance we read that “Recent research has indicated the possibility of the gravitational pull of other universes on ours.” where reference  is to a Planck collaboration paper which states the exact opposite (“There is no detection of bulk flow”).
Last time Woit expressed his doubts about the rising tide of warm gas on the subject, he ended up defending himself against accusations that he is a “creationist.”
Facts don’t matter in comparison to a multiverse, and Woit may soon be called ruder names than “creationist” for not just cheering in unison.
Like we said then, in five years, shut up or else will be the new creationist.
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See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)