Windschuttle hoaxed, the update

The identity of the person who hoaxed Keith Windschuttle has been revealed. Katherine Wilson had left many clues and several people figured that she was the hoaxer.

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.

More 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.

Comments

  1. #1 Jessy
    January 11, 2009

    clearly both Katherine Wilson and Windschuttle are both muppets…Ms. Wilson has a track record on woo thats not even funny

    One example::

    “UK soy allergies skyrocketted after GM soy was introduced there in 1999. Smith documents evidence of a causal link…”
    see http://www.madge.org.au/Docs/katherinewilson-review.pdf

    this is bull and were debunked at the time in 1999 when the Irish Times really questioned the York Lab researchers who then claimed they were misquoted in the British press……(SEE IRISH TIMES PIECE BELOW)….even the anti’s at the time didn’t believe it (SEE GENET piece below)

    however that hasn’t stopped Ms Wilson being hoaxed/duped (on purpose) by Smith in Genetic Roulette (pg. 51) where Smith claims:
    “In March 1999, researchers at the United Kingdom’s York Laboratory, tested 4,500 people for allergic reactions and sensitives to a wide range of foods. In previous years, soy had affected 10% of customers. In 1999, that figure jumped to 15%. The United Kingdom’s Daily Express wrote soy “moved up four places to ninth and now sits alongside foodstuffs with a long history of causing allegergies, such as yeast, sunflower seeds, and nuts”…….

    …………..John Graham, spokesperson for the York laboratory, said, “We believe this raises serious new questions about the safety of GM foods (citiation no. 95 – Mark Townsend, “Why soya is a hidden destroyer”,” Daily Express, March, 12, 1999

    complete woowoooooo…

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Irish Times, March 19, 1999

    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/1999/0319/99031900025.html

    “Controversy over indications of increased sensitivity of people to soya has led the director of York Nutritional Laboratory in Britain to claim he was misquoted in the British press. He had not linked the finding to GM soya. Mr John Graham, who runs a food allergy company, told The Irish Times it had simply noted that “soya had crept into the top 10 foods associated with chronic illness alongside some beans, grains and fruits”.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    http://www.gene.ch/genet/1999/Mar/msg00056.html
    To: “‘GENET nieuws’”

    Subject: Soya and food allergy
    From: Huib de Vriend
    Title: Soya and food allergy

    Dear all,

    Through GENET news we received the article from the Daile Express of 12 March about soya allergy, suggesting that genetic engineering may have caused an increase in the (already) allergenic potential of soya. We have learnt to be very cautious about what is being written in newspapers. Therefore, I phoned the York Nutritional Laboratory this morning about the article.

    John Graham, the spokesman of York Nutritional Laboratory, told me they had released the findings in order to promote their pin-prick testing kits. He also told me it had been put in the context of genetic engineering by the journalist.He sent me their own press release, which starts to mention the growing concern about the safety of foods. In this context, they point to the present debates about genetically modified foods and the call for more informative food labelling…..The findings of York Nutritional Laboratory are insufficient proof to state that genetic engineering has increased the allergenicity potential of soya…….

  2. #2 Liege
    January 11, 2009

    “Gould also suggests the CSIRO abandoned research into the creation of dairy cattle capable of producing non-allergenic milk for lactose-intolerant infants…Both ideas are under serious scientific study by research groups around the world.”

    Lactose intolerance isn’t an allergic reaction, it’s a problem of indigestion. Your average person on the street probably knows this.

  3. #3 James Haughton
    January 11, 2009

    great comment over at Quiggin: “the right are currently a lemming in search of a cliff”.

  4. #4 z
    January 11, 2009

    “gm soya
    the destroyer”
    -the kinks

    a little esoteric

  5. #5 Paul Murray
    January 11, 2009

    The Wilson “hoax” lacks the first essential element of a hoax. She demonstrates, once again, that chicks just aren’t funny.

  6. #6 Ben
    January 12, 2009

    Actually, it is misogyny that isn’t funny.

  7. #7 Chris O'Neill
    January 14, 2009

    Paul Murray:

    The Wilson “hoax” lacks the first essential element of a hoax. She demonstrates, once again, that chicks just aren’t funny.

    Yeah, bomb hoaxes are really funny.

  8. #8 Julian
    January 15, 2009

    I know a little about these sorts of subjects and the article reads like something from a hack “science studies” person who doesn’t really have anything interesting to say and who doesn’t really understand the science.

    I seriously doubt – despite the claim above – that the average person knows the basis of lactose intolerance.

    If it’s a hoax, it’s incredibly limp and unfunny.

  9. #9 Chris O'Neill
    January 16, 2009

    I know a little about these sorts of subjects and the article reads like something from a hack “science studies” person who doesn’t really have anything interesting to say and who doesn’t really understand the science.

    Yep, that’s Tim Curtin.

  10. #10 Karl Haro von Mogel
    August 31, 2010

    Here is an updated link to the Irish Times piece above, for those linked to this page looking for the article:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20001117174500/www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/1999/0319/hom16.htm