Pharyngula

Author opens mouth, exposes wackiness

James Randerson scrapes a little more info on the Han and Warda paper. The editor, Michael Dunn, sounds uncommunicative, but I can’t blame him for wanting to proceed cautiously…I just hope that eventually we get a better accounting.

The interesting revelation is a letter from one of the authors, Warda. I think we’ve found the source of the weird fantasies in the text.

The problem is that we described in very clear and definite way the disciplined nature that takes part inside our cells. We supported our meaning with define proteomics evidences that cry in front of scientists that the mitochondria is not evolved from other prokaryotes. They want to destroy us because we say the truth; only the truth.

Yes, the paper does describe the complexity in mitochondria. However, the paper does not back up their claim to have “disproven” the endosymbiotic hypothesis for the origin of mitochondria at all, nor does it provide any evidence for an alternative…and postulating a “mighty creator” is not a scientific alternative hypothesis. Complexity is not an argument against evolution!

Nobody was interested in destroying them. They wrote some foolish things in a science paper that were completely unwarranted, and people are discussing the sloppy and inappropriate content. There is no fatwa here.

He also denies plagiarizing anything. Sorry, guy, the evidence is there, and stonewalling is not a credible option right now. It just makes me want to reject everything you say, since the smoking gun is right there in your hand, where everyone can see it.


Mr Warda revealed his agenda yet further in comments to the the Times Higher Education supplement:

Co-author Mr Warda told Times Higher Education that to criticise Western science was “taboo”. He said: “It is clear that the fingerprint of (the) mighty creator (is) inside everyone in this Universe.”

After initially claiming that evolution was a “useless, evidence-less” theory, he said the process did take place, but under the control of “complete, disciplined wisdom” and not in a chaotic way. “Even one amino acid, when mutated in any of millions of tiny different cell receptors in their body, can kill or ruin life,” he added. “Is this chaos?”

So I think we can now safely say how the goofiness got into the paper: one of the authors simply and unashamedly put it there. Now the puzzle is to figure out how such blatant garbage got past peer review.

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    February 13, 2008

    There goes the chance it was an honest mistake. . . .

  2. #2 Quintana
    February 13, 2008

    Kudos for exposing this fraud.

  3. #3 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2008

    It just makes me want to reject everything you say, since the smoking gun is right there in your hand

    Ah, is that what that is?

  4. #4 Glen Davidson
    February 13, 2008

    Any time they speak of “truth” in that way, you know it’s a load of codswallop they’re propounding.

    Facts, evidence is what we want, not your “we say the truth.” A miscarriage of justice always comes through your methods, you anti-empirical jackasses.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  5. #5 Sastra
    February 13, 2008

    If their paper really wanted to “cry in front of scientists that the mitochondria is not evolved from other prokaryotes,” they would have advanced and explored an alternate mechanism for its formation — presumably a paranormal one.

    You can study and test the paranormal. Of course, it is unlikely you’ll get a positive outcome; just an honest one.

  6. #6 kid bitzer
    February 13, 2008

    ah. now we are starting to unravel the mystery.

    sounds like it was warda, in the prayer-room, with the crescent.

    with this new clue in place, it looks possible that han was a mere dupe in the crime, an unwitting accessory.

    of course, maybe not, too–we’ll see as time goes by.

  7. #7 Nick
    February 13, 2008

    Bloody hell, thats a lot of plagurism..
    I could be thrown out of my uni (Leeds, England) for copying a single sentance…

  8. #8 aporeticus
    February 13, 2008

    Aha. I totally called it. Warda is the crackpot. Han was taken for a ride, and, in desperate need to publish, stamped his name on a paper for which he neither contributed nor read.

    However, I still don’t have a hypothesis for how it got through review. :)

  9. #9 MAJeff
    February 13, 2008

    Cripes, the plagiarism thing is galling. At least act like the students I’ve caught and say “I didn’t know it was wrong” or “I had help” or something. For crying out loud. These guys’ careers should be over because of this…but there’s always the Disco Inst.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    February 13, 2008

    They must be destroyed.

  11. #11 sparc
    February 13, 2008

    To learn about the newest weirdness of the peer review system have a look at Reportergene .

  12. #12 False Prophet
    February 13, 2008

    Off-topic, here in Ontario, our provincial premier McSquinty might actually be making some progress:

    Lord’s Prayer review ordered

    He might just be changing the traditional opening of the legislature with the Lord’s Prayer to a rotation of other religions’ incantations, but at least he slipped “agnostic” in there. Didn’t have the balls to mention atheists, of course.

  13. #13 vhutchison
    February 13, 2008

    That this absurdity reached an audience is due to an unexcusable editorial review process and the lack of due vigilence by the editor(s).

  14. #14 gingerbeard
    February 13, 2008

    sounds like these gents will soon be joining Guillermo Gonzalez in crying foul “those evil atheists have kept me from being published”.

    Actually sounds like a great strategy for obtaining fellowship with DI.

  15. #15 Larry
    February 13, 2008

    … a single common fingerprint initiated by a mighty creator …

    ah-ooo-gah! Oh, so sorry but we can’t accept that answer since it’s’, well, ridiculous and unscientific. Thanks for playing however and we’ll have some some great parting gifts for you on your way out the door.

  16. #16 Jason B
    February 13, 2008

    Considering that science is a field that is based on studying empirical evidence, doing one’s own research, and having one’s hypotheses subjected to rigorous and methodical–even brutal–testing for consistency and falsifiability, exactly where do these people get off on calling it an “attack” when their work doesn’t fit any of these standards?

    The peer review issue wasn’t the only bad part of this train wreck, and (though still embarrassing) it doesn’t take the heat off of these “scienticians” who apparently haven’t done any honest work on the subject. If they’re so hot on the idea of getting a research paper out that proves a creator, I’m all for that–provided that they do their own research and actually prove that the creator exists AND that these phenomena can only be explained by such a creator. But they ain’t done that, so I ain’t buying it.

    No, they deserve every bit of flaming they get. Maybe their careers aren’t ruined over this; the Discovery Institute may take them in. They _might_ be qualified to work in the gift shop in one of their museums.

  17. #17 PalMD
    February 13, 2008

    “They want to destroy us because we say the truth; only the truth.”

    Wow. I mean, wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a legitimate investigator write anything like that. Hmmm…

    It also presupposes that there is a vast conspiracy network that gives a shit about people who doubt the endosymbiotic hypothesis.

  18. #18 decius
    February 13, 2008

    So, PZ, this Warda would be the cockeyed, flaming kook, who writes while wearing his unburied dead mother’s dress, if I remember correctly.
    No one could have come out with a better description.

  19. #19 Dan
    February 13, 2008

    I really do love the Truth&trade spouting crazies!

  20. #20 Moses
    February 13, 2008

    These guys are toast. I guess they’ll join Guillermo Gonzalez on the martyr train.

  21. #21 Miles
    February 13, 2008

    Did they mention what evidence they had for either the human soul or the mighy creator. Or did they attempt to even define either in their paper?

    if they can prove a mighty creator exists, or even that a human soul exists, the rest of the paper (sans the plagarism) might make more sense.

    Anyhow…Take out the plagarism and you’ve got a Korean version of Mike Behe!

  22. #22 Reginald Selkirk
    February 13, 2008

    Yes, the paper does describe the complexity in mitochondria. However, the paper does not back up their claim to have “disproven” the endosymbiotic hypothesis for the origin of mitochondria at all

    Ha, you must have missed that part, it’s right there on page 8. They say that even though mitochondrial genes cluster with different prokaryotic sources than do nuclear genes, those prokaryotic sources do not have the TOM and TIM machinery for importing proteins manufactured outside the mitochondria. Therefore: God did it. Now, you might notice that free-living prokaryotes do not need machinery to import proteins from other organelles, and hypothesize that the TOM and TIM factors developed after the initial endosymbiotic event, but clearly that begs the question: why do you hate the baby Jesus?

  23. #23 fragilex
    February 13, 2008

    The egregious plagiarism alone discredits these people as honest scientists. That was simply beyond belief. It’s interesting to note how often creationists, in whatever guise they use, are associated with deceitfulness and dishonesty.

    Well done exposing this fraud.

  24. #24 MAJeff
    February 13, 2008

    Wiley’s press release announcing the pulling of the article is also a piece of crap, particularly this section:

    The article has been retracted due to some overlap of passages with several previously published articles. The article will be withdrawn shortly from Wiley InterScience EarlyView; it will not appear in print.

    Some overlap of passages?! Are you fucking kidding me?! I mean, diplomatic language is one thing, but this is ridiculous.

  25. #25 Ric
    February 13, 2008

    They want to destroy us because we say the truth; only the truth.

    Persecution complex? Creationist alert, creationist alert!

  26. #26 MH
    February 13, 2008

    Warda: “They want to destroy us because we say the truth; only the truth.”

    Paranoia? Check. Persecution complex? Check. Dishonest? Check. Doesn’t know how to practice science? Check.

    Y’know, if it wasn’t for the outrageous plagiarism, Warda would be a shoe-in for the Disco institute. As it stands though, I don’t think even they would want to be associated with him.

    So the only remaining question is this: do they have any job openings in Burger King Pharaoh?

  27. #27 Owlmirror
    February 13, 2008

    He also denies plagiarizing anything.

    Hey, maybe he didn’t. His hobbyhorse is obviously biological teleology. It was noted that there was the odd disconnect between the real science and the creationist drivel.

    So perhaps the other author, Han, is the plagiarist who composed the sciency parts, and Warda is the theologian who put in the the parts that say “…and therefore, God did it”.

    To paraphrase Johnson (or somebody), this manuscript is both sane and original, but the part that is sane is plagiarized and the part that is not plagiarized is not sane.

  28. #28 Owlmirror
    February 13, 2008

    Y’know, if it wasn’t for the outrageous plagiarism, Warda would be a shoe-in for the Disco institute. As it stands though, I don’t think even they would want to be associated with him.

    You might think so, but I bet you’re wrong. Warda’s rhetoric is exactly their own; the academic dishonesty is minor compared to their shared battle for the greater glory of God.

    If Creationists cared about honesty, they wouldn’t keep repeating the same silly lies over and over again in the face of repeated refutation. Oh, Darwin was a racist; the fact that Darwin didn’t know modern science or came up with a hypothesis which sounds silly proves that all of “Darwinism” wrong; Darwin was a racist; the immune system can’t have evolved; bacterial flagella can’t have evolved; “specified complexity” is real and meaningful; blah blah blah.

    No, I suspect that the only reason Warda might not be acceptable to the DI is because he’s a Muslim (and I could be wrong about that; he might be a Coptic Christian). But Harun Yahya might be glad pull him in.

  29. #29 Bunk
    February 13, 2008

    I hate to be repetitive as Fragilex just said the same thing a few comments ago, but damn, that’s a lot of plagiarism.

  30. #30 Sastra
    February 13, 2008

    If Warda is a Muslim, I suspect that might make him even more acceptable to the Discovery Institute. They are still trying to put across the idea that they’re a diverse, ecumenical group with many different beliefs and “it’s really all about the science.” Thus, the few token ‘agnostic’ pomos who tend to be trotted out to the media.

    Of course, they’re also trying to put across the idea that we need to renew our culture by bringing people to Jesus Christ as Savior — but self-contradiction and cognitive dissonance have never been much of an impediment to People of Faith.

  31. #31 Randy Owens
    February 13, 2008

    Owlmirror: You might think so, but I bet you’re wrong. Warda’s rhetoric is exactly [the DI’s] own; the academic dishonesty is minor compared to their shared battle for the greater glory of God.

    Minor? Heck, that plagiarism ‘accusation’ (especially if it’s conveniently left hanging) is the battle scar that will assure him a place.

  32. #32 Charles
    February 13, 2008

    Come now, certainly the plagiarism won’t stop Warda from getting a job at the Disco ‘tute. Just look at Demski…we can’t all have already forgotten the stolen video?

  33. #33 Josh
    February 13, 2008

    Pharyngulites, you really must go read Randerson’s blog at the Guardian. The further excerpts from Warda’s letter to Randerson are just priceless:

    “Science is about to be in great danger!”

    “I not burrow any sentences from others.”

    “It is not the problem of burrowing sentences but rather the shock that obligate them to rethink in many scientific disciplined to be more realistic and more fruitful for the behalf of mankind and not like the current feverish race and debate to catch “How” without “Why”.”

    Ooooo nooezz! Teh Science in Danger is! Please not to let sentences burrowing. I sleep now.

  34. #34 silence
    February 13, 2008

    Josh: the misspellings are a result of the person not being a native speaker of English. You and I would probably make the same kinds of mistakes if we were trying to write in a language which we’re not very familiar with.

    Poor command of the English language is the one thing about the paper which does not reflect badly on Warda.

  35. #35 Reed A. Cartwright
    February 13, 2008

    This is getting some press on Korean sites since a visiting Korean scientist in our lab already knew about it when I was tell my PI.

  36. #36 Randy Owens
    February 13, 2008

    silence: But then, I wouldn’t be silly enough to try to get a paper published in another language, if my grasp of it were so poor as that. That might call for a certain level of self-awareness and knowing the limits of one’s knowledge that seems not to have blessed these authors with its presence, however.

    In short, yes, it does indeed reflect badly on Warda, in this case.

  37. #37 lithopithecus
    February 13, 2008

    wow.
    -a stunning display of plagiarism and douchebag crackpottery.

  38. #38 Josh
    February 13, 2008

    Silence, #34

    Yes, my friend, we would make those same mistakes if we were trying to write in a language not our own. And our mistakes would be just as funny, and I’d be the first person to laugh along with someone who pointed them out. Of course, they’re extra-super-funny in this context.

    Please to be lightening up.

  39. #39 MAJeff
    February 13, 2008

    silence: But then, I wouldn’t be silly enough to try to get a paper published in another language, if my grasp of it were so poor as that.

    Randy, I think you miss the dominance of the European languages, particularly English, in the scientific publishing world. When I checked out the Wiley page for Proteomics during all of this, they explicitly noted having people available to help Japanese speakers translate into English (I only saw Japanese).

    Now, that isn’t to say that if you’re trying to publish a paper in a language that isn’t your first language or in which you are a less than fluent you shouldn’t get some assistance. I served as that editorial assistance for a lab at Harvard Pub Health/Med for a year–most of the students being Taiwanese or Korean–and the papers were much improved because of it. I not only cleaned up edits, but included notes as to why, so that it wasn’t just editing but also simultaneous English “lessons.”

    It would help if such things were institutionalized, but I think a bit of awareness about the level of dominance that Western languages enjoy is helpful.

    I’m not going to criticize someone for less-than-stellar English, particularly since the structure of the languages varies so dramatically. However, I also believe that the onus is on authors to make their work comprehensible. I’d never publish in, say, German without having a native speaker read and comment on it first. (Hell, if I were to publish in German–with just my one year of college study–it would have to be translated, and I’d give the translator a bloody author slot.

    I had to go through something similar in requesting an unpublished paper from a Swiss scholar. About 2/3 of it was in English and 1/3 in French. I ended up using Babelfish to translate the French parts–just so I could make a bit of sense of them–but it didn’t allow me to really catch any nuances, at least in that 1/3 of the paper. Thankfully, though, I’m embedded enough in the literature (social movements and public discourse) that I can make a lot of sense out of the field anyway. However, knowing how much of the literature (particularly by the Dutch, German, Swiss, Italian, and Spanish, scholars that are the major actors in my field) is in English, I’m pretty glad I’m a native speaker.

    Language is tricky. But, odds are if you want to the right kinds of publications on your vita, you’re likely going to be publishing in a Western language at some point (and particularly English).

  40. #40 windy
    February 13, 2008

    It would help if such things were institutionalized, but I think a bit of awareness about the level of dominance that Western languages enjoy is helpful.

    It’s rather the opposite for me – being aware of the dominance of English in science makes it hard to imagine how someone could become a top dog in mitochondrial signaling while not picking up any more of the language. Probably because I’m mostly familiar with European research culture, where English is unavoidable. Looks like it’s different in Korea (I’m assuming that’s where Warda and Han did the “work” for this article)

  41. #41 MAJeff
    February 13, 2008

    windy, I do think that the relationships between languages matter. The European languages are closer to each other than they are to East Asian languages. This is one of those times when I think it’s worth pointing out that languages are systems of relationships. The grammatical structures differ, in terms of things like articles, verb tenses, etc. It’s not just a matter of certain signifiers differing, but complete systems.

  42. #42 MartinDH
    February 13, 2008

    I wonder if Warda is another “scientist” recruited by Moon’s Unification Church to help deliver the death blow to materialistic science.

  43. #43 MartinDH
    February 13, 2008

    I wonder if Warda is another “scientist” recruited by Moon’s Unification Church to help deliver the death blow to materialistic science.

  44. #44 John Scanlon, FCD
    February 13, 2008

    MAJeff said

    the onus is on authors to make their work comprehensible

    Quite agree. I worked for a while for an Australian company specialising in cleaning up language in manuscripts for non-native-English-speaking authors. I’m not sure what they paid the company per-thousand-words for the service, but I found it a useful supplement (if not enough to live on) when I had to be up all night anyway after my first child was born. We had a lot of business with Korea, and I often wondered if the text we got had been produced by translation software (this was about 10 years ago). Most of the mss I edited were pretty standard and forgettable technical contributions, but of course certain proportions were (regardless of language) stunningly good, illogical or obviously methodologically flawed, or wild and crazy. I would definitely have put Warda and Han in the ‘illogical / wild and crazy’ category if it crossed my Inbox. I felt obliged to point that sort of thing out to my boss but didn’t deal with authors directly.
    The point is, Han and Warda (having both now submitted samples of text) obviously have very poor written English and, even though much of the text was ripped off from elsewhere, somebody else must have actually re-composed the final ms text including the original and crazy bits. This would (or at least should) not have been the responsibility of the reviewer or staff editor. It’s now clear that the job was done poorly and unprofessionally, so there at least one more anonymous culprit apart from the authors and the journal.

  45. #45 Randy Owens
    February 13, 2008

    Remember too, we’re talking about Warda here, not Han, in the context of this letter. Guessing by his name and affiliation with the University of Cairo, his first language is Arabic, probably Egyptian Arabic. It’s an Afro-Asiatic language, not Indo-European, so it doesn’t have much at all in common with our Western tongues. But, while this is only a vague impression I have, I believe that their syntax and morphology makes it rather less hard to make the leap from Arabic to English than from Korean. So the Korean and Mandarin comparisons aren’t quite directly relevant.

    On the other hand, I am sympathetic to these issues. In one of the other posts on this subject, I pointed out a possible connection between “soul” and “respiration” which could (remotely, barely possibly) explain how the word “soul” might crop up in a review about mitochondria. Well, not so much now, in light of this letter.

    On the bright side, about a century ago, we probably would’ve been trying to figure out the meaning of all this German. And a couple of centuries before that, it would’ve been Latin. Lucky me, those happen to be my second and third languages. Too bad I’m a century late. ;-)

  46. #46 Guido
    February 13, 2008

    I am dubious about Han’s reply and its very broken English. Not being a native English speaker myself, I think that English level that you need to read and understand a paper in Enblish gives you enough knowledge of the language to avoid extremely broken English. You might not write correctly, the grammar certainly will be weird and the construction of phrases awkward, but you must know once you read what you just wrote that something does not work!.

    OK, Spanish is much closer to English than Korean and Venezuelan culture is not as alien as Korean (even if some American thigs like me!-me!-me! Libertarians that insist in paying more for avoiding healthcare for poor people are totally out of my reach) but I think that the level of English that must be had not only for reading a paper, but for writing it and asked to be a reviewer is way much higher than the broken Engrish we have seen here. I might not speak a good English, neither my colleagues in my lab, but I think that almost all of them could write more coherently than that. I think that Han is feigning in order to pretend ignorance and try to save his ass. Maybe he truly got caught by Warda, but this lame effort and his silence on the plagiarism issue (and the fact he allows that his name appears in a paper he never read) make him equalkly responsible. And if he is indeed as bad English writer as it seems, it is very intriguing how can he be elected as a reviewer for anything. You need a good prose for writing reviews.

  47. #47 Sastra
    February 13, 2008

    I’ll say it first, though — the problem with the paper is not the parts of it we don’t understand; it’s the parts of it we do understand…

  48. #48 Bob
    February 13, 2008

    You mean the nice editors of Proteomics don’t have an account at turnitin.com? For shame. A lot of career-limiting douchebaggery could’ve been quietly avoided.

  49. #49 windy
    February 13, 2008

    windy, I do think that the relationships between languages matter. The European languages are closer to each other than they are to East Asian languages. This is one of those times when I think it’s worth pointing out that languages are systems of relationships. The grammatical structures differ, in terms of things like articles, verb tenses, etc. It’s not just a matter of certain signifiers differing, but complete systems.

    Yes of course, but I still think here it’s the research culture that matters most, not the structural gap between the languages. For example, Finnish is an outlier to most European languages, but Finnish researchers don’t generally write worse English than Germans, Swedes etc.

  50. #50 Heleen
    February 13, 2008

    The weird English in the direct communications by Han and Warda makes it doubtfull they could actually write a scientific paper in reasonable English-sounding English at all. Lack of English easily leads to lifting of whole sentences: so, how much more in the article can directly be found elsewhere?

  51. #51 Kimpatsu
    February 13, 2008

    MAJeff:
    I think you miss the dominance of the European languages, particularly English, in the scientific publishing world.
    That’s why I’m here. I translate Japanese science papers into English for a living.

  52. #52 JakeS
    February 14, 2008

    In Stein’s comments, we quickly learn about a new branch of science:

    Robert Says:
    February 7th, 2008 at 8:19 am
    Zygote Theory or Surrogate Theory combines the fossil record, phylogenetics (use of DNA to find related species) and probability – or should I say the IMPROBABILITY of functional genes forming and being ordered by pure chance. Natural selection explains the SURVIVAL of good genes but not their ARRIVAL. Check it out:
    http://zygotetheory.wordpress.com/2007/09/02/zygote-theory/

    Apparenty part of Zygote Theory is that Adam was raised by Neanderthals and Eve was a partial clone of Adam. Haven’t laughed this hard in days.

  53. #53 Arcturus
    February 14, 2008

    Ouch, the plagiarism evidence is so obvious.

    They are f’cked! I wouldn’t wanna be them!

  54. #54 Stephen
    February 14, 2008

    I don’t buy the idea that Han was an innocent dupe. If he was, then his e-mail would have referred to material in the paper that was unfamiliar to him, or some such. He wouldn’t have come up with his feeble confusion of drafts.

    And it would have been appropriate not to ask the editor to retract the paper but to remove his name from it. Even if Han himself couldn’t think of that, he could surely have asked a senior colleague for advice.

    No, Han and Warda are in this together.

  55. #55 Marc Daniels
    February 14, 2008

    Slightly tangential, but has anybody picked up the Slate piece on a YEC “peer reviewed” journal?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2184384/entry/2184386/

  56. #56 tsig
    February 14, 2008

    I don’t spik teh language well is what all the TB’ers say when caught

    TB=True Believer

  57. #57 SEF
    February 14, 2008

    NB There’s no need to invoke the excuse of geographical cultural differences on the plagiarism issue, as per previous threads on this. It’s much better explained by religious cultural differences.

    Consider it from the creationist point of view:

    – Anything true can only be a revelation from god (because god not only didit but still does everything).

    – Humans can’t possibly be responsible for anything true (or good) on their own account.

    – Hence anything taken to be true (translation: stuff not actually understood but copyable) which isn’t a personally revealed truth (translation: stuff made up just for this purpose) came from god anyway.

    – Hence it would be wrong to alter god’s revealed words.

    – Hence plagiarism is not only not wrong but actively the absolutely right and god-ordained thing to do (and merely conveniently fits in with the other creationist tendencies of being lazy, ignorant, stupid and dishonest).

  58. #58 Ginger Yellow
    February 14, 2008

    Warda claims he didn’t plagiarise anything. Therefore the multiple passages of complex specified information must be chance, not design. A bit of a problem for the ID crowd.

  59. #59 DrFrank
    February 14, 2008

    Personally, I’d definitely give Han the benefit of the doubt on this until we hear his side. He may have contributed significantly to the paper, but not seen quite the final version.

    I know I’ve written papers with secondary authors who have contributed content and comments but not quite seen the submission version, and in such a circumstance they just had to trust that I didn’t insert some absolute batshit craziness in there at the last minute. I’m guessing quite a few of the academic commenters here could theoretically have had this happen to them multiple times in the past.

    If this is the case, then what Han needs to do is come out asap and strongly disavow knowledge of the plagiarism/crazy content.

  60. #60 Ed
    February 14, 2008

    But I wonder: Will the producers of “Expelled” and Ben Stein have the chance to add these guys to their movie as examples of good ID advocates unfairly hounded by smart people?

  61. #61 John Scanlon, FCD
    February 14, 2008

    Dr Frank #58, re

    Han … may have … not seen quite the final version

    Jin Han was the corresponding author. It’s possible I suppose that he passed on the final draft from Warda without looking at it, but that’s his fault.
    Actually I don’t ‘blame’ the authors at all, at this point. I don’t give a shit about manifestly incompetent, lying, corrupt academics (except that they have been competing for funding, opportunities and glory with conscientious researchers and those who haven’t been found out yet), but the situation at Proteomics is of much more concern. Or would be if that were my field.

  62. #62 truth machine
    February 14, 2008

    being aware of the dominance of English in science makes it hard to imagine how someone could become a top dog in mitochondrial signaling while not picking up any more of the language.

    Being able to understand written English does not at all imply being able to write good English. Warda and Han are presumably able to understand the English that they themselves write, and don’t recognize it as bad English (or, if they do, they don’t know how to correct it), so their receptivity is laxer than a native speaker’s, and thus doesn’t give them any guidance. Producing good English doesn’t just come from exposure, it depends on instruction.

  63. #63 windy
    February 14, 2008

    Being able to understand written English does not at all imply being able to write good English.

    No, but over here producing understandable English is more or less a job requirement in many fields: apparently that’s not the case in Korea.

  64. #64 Interrobang
    February 14, 2008

    No, but over here producing understandable English is more or less a job requirement in many fields: apparently that’s not the case in Korea.

    Given that I used to have a job translating Korean-to-English translations by native Korean speakers into standard English (and yes, it was basically a translation job, despite both versions nominally being in English), I’d say that’s likely. The stuff was atrocious, both in terms of grammar and syntax and in basic assumptions of how language works. I reckon that the state of basic English instruction in Korea is not quite all that and a bag of shrimp chips.

    Further, the errors are so distinctive, I can tell a body of uncorrected English text written by a native Korean speaker from that produced by speakers of other Asian languages.

    For one thing, you’re never going to see a construction like, “As a system administrator, I like peanut butter,” written by any other Asian-language speaker, but you will in a Korean speaker’s English. What that says about the way Korean speakers see relatedness between things may actually have some bearing on this case. For all we know, according to the “as a system administrator, I like peanut butter” view of logic, that paper may actually make sense.

  65. #65 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    I don’t buy the idea that Han was an innocent dupe. If he was, then his e-mail would have referred to material in the paper that was unfamiliar to him, or some such. He wouldn’t have come up with his feeble confusion of drafts.

    Does anyone here know Confucian politeness firsthand? (Kimpatsu?) I speculate that pointing that out would have been too impolite to Warda or too damaging to the reputation of his lab, not to mention his boss…

    Slightly tangential, but has anybody picked up the Slate piece on a YEC “peer reviewed” journal?

    Was on Pharyngula maybe a week or two ago.

    Hence it would be wrong to alter god’s revealed words.

    Oh no. They did change the word order in places, and things like that.

    Warda claims he didn’t plagiarise anything. Therefore the multiple passages of complex specified information must be chance, not design. A bit of a problem for the ID crowd.

    ROTFL!!!

    Good that I’ve practiced how to laugh voicelessly. :-D

  66. #66 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    I don’t buy the idea that Han was an innocent dupe. If he was, then his e-mail would have referred to material in the paper that was unfamiliar to him, or some such. He wouldn’t have come up with his feeble confusion of drafts.

    Does anyone here know Confucian politeness firsthand? (Kimpatsu?) I speculate that pointing that out would have been too impolite to Warda or too damaging to the reputation of his lab, not to mention his boss…

    Slightly tangential, but has anybody picked up the Slate piece on a YEC “peer reviewed” journal?

    Was on Pharyngula maybe a week or two ago.

    Hence it would be wrong to alter god’s revealed words.

    Oh no. They did change the word order in places, and things like that.

    Warda claims he didn’t plagiarise anything. Therefore the multiple passages of complex specified information must be chance, not design. A bit of a problem for the ID crowd.

    ROTFL!!!

    Good that I’ve practiced how to laugh voicelessly. :-D

  67. #67 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    “As a system administrator, I like peanut butter”

    People who make this kind of construction have simply not quite understood that, in English, this doesn’t just mean “I, a sysadmin, like peanut butter”. I really doubt there’s some philosophical thing about relatedness at work here.

    Korean is a topic-and-comment language, right? If so, I can try to reconstruct the original: “Sysadmin-TOPIC I-SUBJECT like peanut butter-ACCUSATIVE.”

  68. #68 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    “As a system administrator, I like peanut butter”

    People who make this kind of construction have simply not quite understood that, in English, this doesn’t just mean “I, a sysadmin, like peanut butter”. I really doubt there’s some philosophical thing about relatedness at work here.

    Korean is a topic-and-comment language, right? If so, I can try to reconstruct the original: “Sysadmin-TOPIC I-SUBJECT like peanut butter-ACCUSATIVE.”

  69. #69 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    In other words, it’s not the meaning of “is”, it’s the meaning of “as”. :-)

  70. #70 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    In other words, it’s not the meaning of “is”, it’s the meaning of “as”. :-)

  71. #71 windy
    February 14, 2008

    Does anyone here know Confucian politeness firsthand? (Kimpatsu?) I speculate that pointing that out would have been too impolite to Warda or too damaging to the reputation of his lab, not to mention his boss…

    If the author order in the publication list of his lab is any clue, he IS the boss.

  72. #72 Sigmund
    February 14, 2008

    Han and Warda are innocent! They didn’t plagiarize
    God did it!
    Can you prove he didn’t?

  73. #73 Guido
    February 14, 2008

    I do not agree with the fact that if you can understand English enough to red a paper, you cannot do better than that.

    If you know tht somebody is going to translate/edit the whole thing for you, you tend to be careless, or at least, not as careful as if you were writing the stuff for submitting it yourself. You may not write well, but you know tht you are not doing it! I think it is quite unlikely to read hundreds of papers (this guy is not a newbie!) and then not being able to see the crap you are actually writing when compared to real papers. I really do not buy it, no matter how different is the language.

  74. #74 Fred
    February 14, 2008

    Such nonsense coming from these authors. I’m glad it was caught and that people are pusuing the paper trail so that we can hold those accountable. It’s nothing short of disgrace to the reviews who passed this through.

  75. #75 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    If the author order in the publication list of his lab is any clue, he IS the boss.

    What about the people who made the decision to hire him? What about the president of the university…?

  76. #76 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 14, 2008

    If the author order in the publication list of his lab is any clue, he IS the boss.

    What about the people who made the decision to hire him? What about the president of the university…?

  77. #77 J
    February 14, 2008

    To take Sarah’s post from another thread, we ought to look into other instances of plagiarism in the meantime:

    Plagiarism may be common for these authors.
    Compare phrases of Warda M et al. 2007. Glycoconjugate Journal [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1007/s10719-007-9090-8 (Han is also an author)
    with phrases from: Chen C-P et al. 2007. Placenta 28: 97-106.
    Warda et al:
    “Detailed characterizations indicate the placental basement membrane tissue predominantly contains HS PGs, whereas CS/DS PGs are mainly located in the intervillous space of the ECM”
    Chen et al:
    “Detailed characterizations indicate the placental basement membrane tissue predominantly contains heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG), whereas chondroitin sulfate and/or dermatan sulfate proteoglycans (CS/DS PGs) are mainly located in the intervillous space of the ECM”

    or between the same paper and Tersariol ILS et al. 2002. Proteinase activity regulation by glycosaminoglycans. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 35: 135-144.
    Warda et al:
    “HS, the constituent of up to 50% of the total expressed GAG in endothelial cells, is unique among GAGs in the ability to bind a large number of different proteins with complex role in the extracellular matrix, regulating a wide variety of biological process, including hemostasis, inflammation, angiogenesis, growth factors, cell adhesion
    Tersariol et al:
    “Heparan sulfate and heparin are particularly important among glycosaminoglycans in their ability to bind a large number of different proteins. Heparin-like glycosaminoglycans play a complex role in the extracellular matrix, regulating a wide variety of biological processes, including hemostasis, inflammation, angiogenesis, growth factors, cell adhesion, and others”

  78. #78 truth machine
    February 15, 2008

    I do not agree with the fact that if you can understand English enough to red a paper, you cannot do better than that.

    a) It’s unwise to disagree with facts.
    b) That’s no fact, it’s a barely coherent strawman claim.

    You may not write well, but you know tht you are not doing it!

    Like I said, “Warda and Han are presumably able to understand the English that they themselves write, and don’t recognize it as bad English (or, if they do, they don’t know how to correct it)”.

    Here’s a question for you, Guido: do you know that there’s quite a bit of bad English in your post? And if you do, why didn’t you do better?

  79. #79 truth machine
    February 15, 2008

    Speaking of bad English, Guido, you really should fix your headline: “A praise to …”. Change that to, e.g., “Praise for …” or “A paean to …”.

  80. #80 truth machine
    February 15, 2008

    More bad English from Guido’s site:

    “I world I crave for.”

    “I pledge allegiance to Mankind, nor nations nor gods.”

    I won’t further belabor the point in re “You may not write well, but you know tht you are not doing it!” (which itself is rather bad English, with its clash of tenses).

  81. #81 windy
    February 15, 2008

    What about the people who made the decision to hire him? What about the president of the university…?

    I doubt that the president told him to submit a plagiarised article? The issue was that Han appears to be the boss re: the Proteomics paper affair. I don’t know if Confucian considerations explain his behaviour in that case, since it’s not clear if his obfuscation benefits anyone else.

  82. #82 windy
    February 15, 2008

    For one thing, you’re never going to see a construction like, “As a system administrator, I like peanut butter,” written by any other Asian-language speaker, but you will in a Korean speaker’s English.

    Isn’t that a minor logical mixup compared to constructions like:
    “As a car, I don’t like the looks of the new BMW”?
    I don’t think Koreans are the only ones who do that :)

  83. #83 Guido
    February 15, 2008

    Of course I know I am not writing in proper English.

    I am aware that my grammar is awkward (in the best of cases). But even I can see a lot of difference between my posts and the lame and broken English that Han’s letter to PZ shows. I do not think you can write that bad and at the same time being able to write a proper review. If you really think that my posts are as bad as Han’s letter, please let me know.

    I still think that Han is feigning that awful English.

    PS: And yes, I made a huge mistake saying I disagree with a fact that in fact, is not a fact. Thank you.

  84. #84 Attila Csordas
    February 15, 2008

    First Nature Publishing Group related coverage on the story:
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2008/02/peer_review_a_mighty_creator_a.html

  85. #85 mikebok
    February 15, 2008

    Does anyone have a link to the pdf of this paper? I cant seem to find it anywhere now that Proteomics has taken it down.

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