Home » Darwinism, News, Peer review, Physics » Mathematician Granville Sewell denied right to respond to rebuttals in journal

Mathematician Granville Sewell denied right to respond to rebuttals in journal

Once again, Darwinism’s questionable relationship to thermodynamics is the issue.

Readers probably remember mathematician Granville Sewell from last year when a journal, Applied Mathematics Letters, pulled one of his accepted papers because a Darwinist blogger objected. They offered “sincere and heartfelt apologies,” but now that critics are publishing rebuttals, he is not allowed to respond in the journal:

Now, Sewell’s critics are being given space in the journal Mathematical Intelligencer (MI) to critique his censored article in AML. Nobody can reasonably object to critics having their say about Sewell’s work, but it’s outrageous that Sewell can’t publish his article staking out his position, while his critics are allowed to publish their article attacking it. In this latest development, Sewell is facing censorship again: MI won’t let him publish his response to critics!

- Casey Luskin, “Double Censorship: Granville Sewell Can’t Publish Article, Now Denied the Right to Publish His Rebuttal to Critics” (Evolution News & Views, April 25, 2012)

Sewell’s views are based on thermodynamics (here’s a vid), a topic on which Richard Dawkins also barked his shins a while back.

The reasonable conclusion to draw would be that Sewell is right, and his critics are mounting a politically correct defense against him because they cannot risk simply addressing the subject with him in an open forum. That’s been true about Darwinism and thermodynamics for so long now that – as so often where Darwinism is concerned – something stinks.

Sewell has responded here:

Since I will not be allowed to respond in the journal, below is my response, so at least ENV readers can see it. In his MI Viewpoint, Bob Lloyd begins by successfully linking me to Discovery Institute (after which, further rebuttal is hardly necessary), and the rest of the paper is almost entirely dedicated to showing that my “X-entropies” are not always independent of each other, that under certain circumstances they can influence each other.

In fact, in the AML paper I acknowledged that while these different entropies are independent of each other in “our simple models, where it is assumed that only heat conduction or diffusion is going on, naturally, in more complex situations, the laws of probability do not make such simple predictions.” Lloyd says that universal independence of these X-entropies “is central to all the version of his arguments.” Except that I never claimed or believed they were always independent — see point one in my response for more detail on his primary criticism, which entirely misses the main point of the AML paper. In 11 exhausting years of writing on this topic, I have noticed that criticisms are invariably directed toward some minor, peripheral point, while completely ignoring the main argument, which is extraordinarily simple, and made clearly in the last paragraph of my rejected response…and even more clearly in the video below.

- “How the Scientific “Consensus” on Evolution is Maintained” (Evolution News & Views, April 26, 2012

It actually doesn’t matter what Sewell says. He can be made out to say something else, something more easily refuted.

Remember that when you hear that scientists overwhelmingly accept Darwin’s theory or Darwinism in the schools. Too bad for them if it is true.

Note also the difference the Internet makes. You can read what Sewell has to say irrespective of whether the journal accepts his response. Heck, if it weren’t for the Internet, you probably wouldn’t even know what had happened. Read it and judge for yourself.

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5 Responses to Mathematician Granville Sewell denied right to respond to rebuttals in journal

  1. Uncommon Descent DOES allow Dr Sewell to respond, so…..

    He often refers to “the Second Law of Thermodynamics”. This would be a good occasion for Dr. Sewell to state what the Second Law says.

  2. ‘Totalitarianism’ is vile as the political ethos of national governance, but when adopted by quasi-official organs of a professional establishment, charged with overseeing the progress of research, no expression of disgust would be adequate.

    So depraved is that ‘ethos’, that, apparently, theft of the work of a scientist who submits the results of his research for peer-review by one of its actual reviewers, is by no means unknown; with publication of his research denied publication in the meantime, of course.

    A fine education was never a guarantee of elementary honesty and common decency; indeed, surely, less and less, with atheism, with all its anomian and anarchic values, so rampant in recent decades.

  3. Folks:

    Sadly typical of too many objections to design thought: set up and knock over an ad hominem laced strawman-scapegoat, having led away from the real issue with a red herring.

    And for those who actually want to look at the relevant thermodynamics issues, this may be a start. Notice in particular what is happening with Clausius’ isolated system and its sub systems, then what happens when we go on to a heat engine.

    Then look at the implications of the information perspective and the statistical view.

    I hope that helps those who actually want to think this through.

    KF

  4. F/N, fixing an oopsie: Sewell, in his ENV rebuttal, skewers the nasty game that has been playing out well:

    So the AML article was not worthy of publication, even after it was accepted, an article slamming the unpublished article is worth publishing, but not any response to that. Well, now you have an illustration of how the scientific “consensus” on certain controversial issues is maintained. And if you watch the video you will understand why, on this issue at least, suppression of all opposing viewpoints is so necessary to maintain the consensus.

    See why that Tennessee law on protecting teachers who discuss controversies and limitations of science is necessary?

    KF

    PS: And of course the excuse offered for withdrawing publication of Sewell’s paper is now utterly threadbare.

  5. chris haynes:

    Uncommon Descent DOES allow Dr Sewell to respond, so…..

    This is pure blindness on your part, Chris. To think that an available online outlet is equivalent to being able to respond to a published criticism against you, is to stick your head in the sand when it comes to ideas of fairness and of outright censorship.

    But, of course, you don’t like Sewell’s point of view, so it’s OK what they do. This is called bias.

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