Author Topic: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.  (Read 6252 times)

Kai

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Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« on: February 04, 2012, 06:38:22 pm »
I really can't summarize it any better than other people have.

Overview by Greg Fish

More in depth look by PZ Myers

Another investigation and summary over at Ars Technica

Quote from: From the Ars Technica link
The theory in question springs from the brain of one Erik Andrulis, a CWRU faculty member who has a number of earlier papers on fairly standard biochemistry. The new paper was accepted by an open access journal called Life, meaning that you can freely download a copy of its 105 pages if you're so inclined. Apparently, the journal is peer-reviewed, which is a bit of a surprise; even accepting that the paper makes a purely theoretical proposal, it is nothing like science as I've ever seen it practiced.

The basic idea is that everything, from subatomic particles to living systems, is based on helical systems the author calls "gyres," which transform matter, energy, and information. These transformations then determine the properties of various natural systems, living and otherwise. What are these gyres? It's really hard to say; even Andrulis admits that they're just "a straightforward and non-mathematical core model" (although he seems to think that's a good thing). Just about everything can be derived from this core model; the author cites "major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations."

He's serious about the "not limited to" part; one of the sections describes how gyres could cause the Moon to form.

Is this a viable theory of everything? The word "boson," the particle that carries forces, isn't in the text at all. "Quark" appears once—in the title of one of the 800 references. The only subatomic particle Andrulis describes is the electron; he skips from there straight up to oxygen. Enormous gaps exist everywhere one looks.

The theory is supposed to be testable, but the word "test" only shows up in the text twice. In both cases, Andrulis simply claims his theory is testable in specific areas of study. He does not indicate what those tests might be, nor what results would be predicted based on his gyres.

ETA: You can download the full text here: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/1/ I'm not going to start reading it till I've had something to eat, and then I will dive in. Expect an investigation like the AIDS paper.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 06:40:16 pm by ZL 'Kai' Burington, M.S. »
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Kai

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 07:56:56 pm »
ANNND, let's start.

The introduction begins well enough. The author lays out the current models for the origin of life: Panspermia (the from outer space hypothesis), hydrothermal vents, and RNA world. And it is true that there is no consensus model, though most people lean towards RNA world these days.

That's when he introduces the concept of a gyre out of the blue. A gyre is a spiral formation.

Quote
The central idea of this theory is that all physical reality, stretching from the so-called inanimate into the animate realm and from micro- to meso- to macrocosmic scales, can be interpreted and modeled as manifestations of a single geometric entity, the gyre.

Okay, that is some pretty outlandish stuff, but as a good reviewer the idea isn't to reject controversy, but rather, bad methods. If the universe is a manifestation of spiral formations, then he should provide evidence of that.

He lists a great deal of terms which I am not going to try to understand at this point, since I can't put them in context yet. Then, examples.

Quote
Throughout history, scholars have used the gyre in their models. For example, in ancient Greece, Democritus posited vortex motion to be a law of nature. In the 16th century, Copernicus modeled planets gyrating around a stellar singularity and Descartes proposed his vortex theory for planetary
motion in the 17th century. The 19th century found Helmholtz rediscovering the Democritean law and Lord Kelvin and Maxwell using the gyre as the basis of different electromagnetic theories. In the early 20th century, Bostick used the gyre in his spiraling helicon fiber model and Thomson proposed that atoms were vortex rings. Many others have promulgated the gyre as core model of nature. Perhaps one reason for their theoretical appeal is that gyres are detectable throughout the cosmic and tellurian realms. Astronomically, galaxies, solar systems, comets, and lunar bodies gyrate. Atmospherically, tornadoes, hurricanes, eddies, and vortex streets are all gyres. Oceanographically, there are seven major gyres. Molecularly, numerous nucleic acid and protein structures—DNA double helix, RNA hairpins, pseudoknots, α-helices, coiled coils, and β-propellers—all gyrate. Cellularly and organismally, shells, horns, antennae, flagellae, and the cochlea all carry a spiral imprint. Given its theoretical pedigree, empirical ubiquity, and dynamic character, the gyre appears, a posteriori, to be a prime candidate for a core model of natural systems.

Right now, I'm thinking ad hoc ergo propter hoc, but I still haven't seen the rest. I know already from the links in the OP that there is no mathematics in this article, so I'm expecting the explaination to be using the terms he defined in the introduction.
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Jasper

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 09:01:31 pm »
Wait hold the fucking phone.  He's proposing that life comes from spiral power?

Who the hell does he think he is?

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 09:49:57 pm »
If I ever start a cult Im plagiarizing large sections of this.

Quote
Evolutionary emergence. The Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection does not address
how novelty emerges in the universe [784,785]. As modeled here and as observable in the natural
world, gyres expand and develop as a consequence of continual IEM flow, rearrangement, and
coalescence. When the maximum carrying capacity of a gyrosystem is reached, it extrudes IEM due to
spatiotemporal constraints imparted by sub- and supragyrosystems; this models self-organized
criticality [786]. Gyrosystem collapse thus converts the accumulated, unsustainable, potential IEM
into kinetic IEM, eliciting the emergence of an a priori unpredictable organization that is more
thermodynamically stable. Written another way, theory shows that the disassembled gyrosystem
provides the architectural basis and thermodynamic driving force for evolutionary complexification.
This theory supports what Gould and Eldredge implied in their theory of punctuated equilibrium [787]:
evolutionary emergence occurs by a true quantal leap. I conclude that my theory is a comprehensive
and scientifically accurate alternative to natural selection.

Gyroists: 1
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Kai

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 12:06:01 am »
I'm starting to think it may be more work than it's worth to understand the entire article, much less read it. Especially with all the neologisms.

But what it seems to me, so far, is that it's an interesting narrative, but one that doesn't have any basis in reality. Its a Law of Fives: The more I look for gyres, the more apparent they are everywhere.
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Rumckle

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 01:27:19 am »


Right now, I'm thinking ad hoc ergo propter hoc, but I still haven't seen the rest. I know already from the links in the OP that there is no mathematics in this article, so I'm expecting the explaination to be using the terms he defined in the introduction.

After having a quick look at those links this is troubling. I mean, I can't really see how you could even start to discuss some of the things he claims to explain without maths. I hope this isn't the tone that this new journal is setting itself, but either way they just screwed up big time.
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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 01:59:22 am »
SPIRAL POWER!!!  :lulz:



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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 04:04:47 pm »
So the thesis, distilled for the layman, is something like:

"Everything is like, spirals, man. Seriously. No shit; it's spirals all the way down."
         /
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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 05:03:58 pm »


Both male and female strippers gyrate, so there's your evidence.


Actually, it seems to me that it's a combination of "people used to think it back in the day, so there must be something to it" and Golden Ratio stuff, just based off of the quotes (not sure if I can bring myself to read the thing). But I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about with these gyres. Are they particles or what? How do they create things, and what about things that don't have spirals or gyrate, like my desk? Is this another subset of string theory or something? Was this written in green ink when it was submitted? (Actually that gives me an idea).

Did Rupert Murdoch take over the academic journal gig, too?
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Kai

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 05:51:49 pm »

Both male and female strippers gyrate, so there's your evidence.


Actually, it seems to me that it's a combination of "people used to think it back in the day, so there must be something to it" and Golden Ratio stuff, just based off of the quotes (not sure if I can bring myself to read the thing). But I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about with these gyres. Are they particles or what? How do they create things, and what about things that don't have spirals or gyrate, like my desk? Is this another subset of string theory or something? Was this written in green ink when it was submitted? (Actually that gives me an idea).

Did Rupert Murdoch take over the academic journal gig, too?

It's an open access journal, so I wouldn't expect so.

It's just so wacky. Like a well written version of that "cube" website that pops up occassionally. Seriously sounds like a new age religion.
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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 06:18:02 pm »

Both male and female strippers gyrate, so there's your evidence.


Actually, it seems to me that it's a combination of "people used to think it back in the day, so there must be something to it" and Golden Ratio stuff, just based off of the quotes (not sure if I can bring myself to read the thing). But I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about with these gyres. Are they particles or what? How do they create things, and what about things that don't have spirals or gyrate, like my desk? Is this another subset of string theory or something? Was this written in green ink when it was submitted? (Actually that gives me an idea).

Did Rupert Murdoch take over the academic journal gig, too?

It's an open access journal, so I wouldn't expect so.

It's just so wacky. Like a well written version of that "cube" website that pops up occassionally. Seriously sounds like a new age religion.

Right? It sounds like something that you'd see on The History Channel.
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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 08:34:59 pm »

Both male and female strippers gyrate, so there's your evidence.


Actually, it seems to me that it's a combination of "people used to think it back in the day, so there must be something to it" and Golden Ratio stuff, just based off of the quotes (not sure if I can bring myself to read the thing). But I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about with these gyres. Are they particles or what? How do they create things, and what about things that don't have spirals or gyrate, like my desk? Is this another subset of string theory or something? Was this written in green ink when it was submitted? (Actually that gives me an idea).

Did Rupert Murdoch take over the academic journal gig, too?

It's an open access journal, so I wouldn't expect so.

It's just so wacky. Like a well written version of that "cube" website that pops up occassionally. Seriously sounds like a new age religion.

Right? It sounds like something that you'd see on The History Channel.

Did Ancient Spirals build the pyramids? Tonight at 11...
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Cramulus

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 03:33:22 pm »

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 04:11:37 pm »
So, is this "gyre," as in, "gyre and gimble in the wabe"?

Jasper

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Re: Hey, yet ANOTHER peer review fail.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 04:50:50 pm »
I would only believe this guy if he had a giant robot powered by fighting spirit.