Keith Windschuttle has just published a hoax article full of pseudo-science in Quadrant. And it wasn’t this article by Tim Curtin which contains such gems as the claim that Arrhenius borrowed his formulation of the enhanced greenhouse effect from Malthus (he didn’t), that the water vapour from burning fossil fuels is a more important greenhouse gas that CO2 (ignoring the fact that the CO2 stays in the atmosphere 10,000 times as long) and attributing all of the increase in food production in the last thirty years to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (I swear that I am not making this up).
By comparison, the hoax article seems almost reasonable, though the proposal to use genetically modified mosquitoes to deliver drugs seems a bit of a give away:
A trawl through two of CSIRO’s annual reports reveals that the organisation had previously abandoned plans to commercialise two other projects which involved modifying organisms with an array of human gene sequences. … Another was modification of malaria mosquitoes so they carry genes which produce human antibodies in their gut; thus rendering their bite less dangerous.
And the very first sentence of the hoax is good:
Quadrant readers will remember America’s “science wars”, spearheaded by the masterful Sokal hoax, a “hodgepodge of unsupported arguments, outright mistakes, and impenetrable jargon” designed to challenge standards of logic, truth and intellectual enquiry in scientific debate.
Windschuttle’s response is priceless. He denies that the piece is a hoax:
Rather than a hoax, her article is simply a piece of fraudulent journalism submitted to Quadrant under false pretences.
After a terrible two hours, Keith Windschuttle convinced himself he hadn’t been hoaxed at all. He was greatly relieved. How embarrassing such a stumble could have been for this fierce nitpicker, scourge of sloppy academics and current editor of the conservative Quadrant magazine.