Meanwhile, Keith Windschuttle continues to deny that he was hoaxed, because:
A real hoax, like that of Alan Sokal and Ern Malley, is designed to expose editors who are pretentious, ignorant or at least over-enthusiastic about certain subjects.
Windschuttle says that the article was “only 10 to 15 per cent invented”, and apparently this is not a high enough percentage to expose him as ignorant. He digs the hole a little deeper with this:
Moreover, Margaret Simons confirmed to me yesterday that only one of the 18 footnotes in the article was completely bogus and in another six cases the articles, books and footnotes cited all exist but do not contain some or all of the information ‘Gould’ claims. Eleven of the footnotes are genuine.
In other words, he didn’t check the footnotes for accuracy at all and he still hasn’t. Jeff Sparrow explains why this is a problem for Windschuttle.
The critical issue on which I was allegedly hoaxed, the claims about inserting human genes into animal stock and crops to give immunity to human consumers of those products, is anything but nonsense. As Kelly Burke and Julie Robotham reported in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (January 7):
… the projects cited by ‘Gould’ as having been dumped by the organisation [CSIRO] are not in themselves implausible, and similar technologies are in active development. Human vaccines against diseases including hepatitis B, respiratory syncytial virus and Norwalk virus have been genetically engineered into crops as diverse as lettuce, potato and corn, and shown to provoke an immune response in humans.
Gould also suggests the CSIRO abandoned research into the creation of dairy cattle capable of producing non-allergenic milk for lactose-intolerant infants and a genetically engineered mosquito that could stimulate antibodies against malaria in humans who were bitten, mitigating against the spread of the disease. Both ideas are under serious scientific study by research groups around the world.
At most, all that ‘Gould’ has done is misrepresent her own identity and the direct involvement of the CSIRO in some of the research projects she cites.
Well, the projects are similar, but the difference is that the real ones involving mosquitoes and milk don’t involve inserting human genes into animals. Which Windschuttle thinks was the critical issue.
But you have to wonder if there really was any point to the hoax. The hoax wasn’t even the second-most nuttiest article in this month’s Quadrant. Besides the Tim Curtin piece, there was also an article repeating the discredited story about how Manning Clark was awarded the Order of Lenin:
Now Windschuttle has given Ryan the pages of Quadrant to finger Matthews for defending Clark against imputations “which (right or wrong) would in themselves not one bit have surprised many people who knew him well”. Which means what? That the biographer should have endorsed the Order of Lenin claims right or wrong because they squared with malign suspicions?
If they want to save themselves from neverending rounds of cake, they should drop this story. Now and forever. The Courier-Mail scoured the old Soviet archives for any kind of proof and found nothing to back these claims. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
I’m starting to think that Quadrant is beyond hoaxing and beyond parody.
Update: Check out Quadrant‘s response to the criticism in the quote directly above. Truly beyond parody. And there’s more.