Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics - On the Fringe!

A credible scientific journal?

"Not even close. The International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics is a fringe publication of the featherweight Wessex Institute of Technology. Oh, and guess what? McIntosh is on their Editorial Board. One of its editors is Stuart Burgess, another notorious YEC."

A pox on all of them, then -- including the guy from Fringe institute M.I.T., which should be re-named M.I.F.!

The late Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry

FRINGE EDITORS (with special responsibility for Design & Nature)
S.C. Burgess - University of Bristol, UK
J.A. Bryant - University of Exeter, UK
M. Atherton - Brunel University, UK
A. Bejan - Duke University, USA

D. Pasini -  McGill University, Canada

FRINGE EDITORS (with special responsibility for Ecodynamics)
E. Tiezzi - University of Siena, Italy
S.E. Jorgensen - University of Pharmaceutical Science, Denmark
T. Chon - Pusan National University, Korea
B. Patten - Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
R. Ulanowicz, University of Maryland, USA

C.A. Brebbia - Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

Fringe Editorial Board
A. Abbott, Clemson University, USA
M. Anand, Laurentian University, Ontario, CANADA
I. Antoniou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE
G. Asrar, NASA, Washington, USA
M. Baez, Carleton University, Canada
J. Baish, Bucknell University, USA
G.S. Barozzi, Universita Degli Sudi Di Modena E Reggio Emilia, ITALY
F. Batzias, University of Pireaus, GREECE
D. Bogunovich, UNITEC Institute of Technology, NEW ZEALAND
F. Botrè, University of Rome, ITALY
E.A. Brabec, University of Michigan, USA
A. Carpi, University of Pisa, Italy
J.L.R. Chandler, Krasnow Uni of Advanced Study, USA
M.W. Collins, Brunel University, UK
J. Connor, MIT, USA
J-L Deneubourg, Université Libre de Bruxelles, BELGIUM
A. Ebel, University of Koln, GERMANY
A. Farina, University of Urbino, ITALY
B.D. Fath, Towson University, USA
J. Fernandez, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, USA
D. Gattie, University of Georgia, USA
D. Ghista, Parkway Academy, SINGAPORE
F. Gomez, Polytechnic University of Valencia, SPAIN
S. Gorb, MPI of Metals Research, GERMANY
W. Grassi, University of Pisa, ITALY
M. Hartnett, University of Ireland, IRELAND
H. Hendrickx, Free University of Brussels, BELGUIM
C. Jenkins, Montana State University, USA
H. Kawashima, Tokyo University, JAPAN
B.A. Kazimee, Washington State University, USA
D. Kirkland, David Kirkland and Associates, UK
T. Kitahara, Chiba University, JAPAN
G. Kukla, Columbia University, USA
R. Lefever, Université Libre de Bruxelles, BELGIUM
D. Lewis, Mississippi State University, USA
R. Liebe, SIEMENS Power Generation, GERMANY
G. Lorenzini, University of Bologna, ITALY
V. Lysenko, Belarussian Nat Technical University, BELARUS
R. Magin, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
N. Marchettini, University of Siena, ITALY
J.C. Marques, University of Coimbra, PORTUGAL
F.A. Martins, University of Algarve, PORTUGAL
M.A. Martins-Loucao, University of Lisboa, PORTUGAL
A. McIntosh, University of Leeds, UK
J. Mikielewicz, Polish Academy of Sciences, POLAND
J. Pauk, Bialystok Technical University, POLAND
M. Platzer, USA
G. Prance, UK
M. Pulselli, University of Siena, ITALY
A. Rey, McGill University, Canada
M. Rustici, University of Sassari, ITALY
M. Ruth, University of Maryland, USA
T. Speck, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, GERMANY
L. Serra, University of Zaragoza, SPAIN
J. Stasiek, Gdansk University of Technology, POLAND
F. Stevenson, Oxford Brookes University, UK
W. Timmermans, Alterra, NETHERLANDS
J.F. Vincent, University of Bath, UK
S. Xu, Fudan University, CHINA
K. Yoshizato, Hiroshima University, JAPAN


xn--hrfn-woa said...

'Thinks the Earth "is around 6000 years old"' = FRINGE The scientific community has known that this is provably WRONG for a couple of centuries.

I checked up "J. Fernandez" on MIT's directory. Nobody of that name has a teaching position there (though there is an admin assistant with that name and initial -- Magdalena Fernandez).

I'd also previously checked up on the journal and WIT -- no indication that either has any scientific stature whatsoever.

P@J said...

Actually, Ball, You make a good point. Not all “published” science is accurate. Not all “refereed” journals are worthy of respect.

So how do we evaluate a scientific paper? I have my ideas, but in the interest of being less “troll-like”, and trying to engage in meaningful discussion, I will first ask: what methodology to You use to evaluate the validity of the science represented in a scientific journal or paper?

RkBall said...

xn-etc. I'm willing to concede on your information that the venerable doctor and the periodical are on the fringes, i.e., not mainstream.

RkBall said...

PJ. I'm not a trained scientist. So, I simply use heuristics. E.g., factual adequacy, logical coherence, explanatory power and, importantly the principle of belief conservation. When someone asserts something that is inconsistent with something that I already know to be true, I am skeptical.

P@J said...

Being a trained scientist: I would have to provide two answers to my own question.

If the paper is in a subject with which I have sufficient training and knowledge, then I evaluate whether the question is a valid one; whether the analysis addresses the question; whether the methodologies are likely to provide the analysis required; whether the assumptions are identified and consistent with good science; whether the conclusions are supported by the analysis.

If the paper is in a subject to which I have little training, then I must rely more on the peer review process. I may still have enough base knowledge to evaluate one or two of the points above (ie, I may know if the question is valid, or I may understand the analytical technique applied), but for the most part, I would trust that the peer reviewers have done adequate evaluation. I may even pop into some of the cited references to see if the idea used is supported by the paper cited. At this point, however, one is less evaluating the paper than evaluating the Journal. There is no system to this, but anyone with science training knows a “good” journal from a pointless one. Part of it is longevity (has the journal established a reputation). Part is the quality of the Editorial board (levels of relevant education, publishing history, diversity of training and ideas). Part is the publishing institution. Part is the quality of publications coming out of it (for example, if you cite the Journal of Endocrinology a lot, if that is your “go to” for gland papers, you have already learned that it is a “trusted source”). It is a bit of brand loyalty, but brand loyalty based on past performance, not advertising. Part of it is prestige: is MY paper good enough to pitch to the Journal of Geophysical Research, or should I just try for the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences?

Rest assured, the one-year old International Journal of Design & Nature, self-published by a technical school in Wessex, with an editorial board comprising Mechanical and Chemical Engineers, fails on pretty much all those fronts when it comes to evolutionary theory.

That said, I will read a few of the papers that are closer to my training, and see what they have to say.

RkBall said...

Sounds good.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

According to WorldCat, not a single library in the UK, US or Australia has IJDNE (and that the nearest libraries to Australia holding it are 2 in the Netherlands). Truly a widely-read and influential publication.

RkBall said...

Of course, this says nothing of the truth/falsity of the actual article.

RkBall said...

Is there even a single actual scientist among the lot? A pox on them all, and on all the countries represented! May they, like Atlantis, slide into the sea!

xn--hrfn-woa said...

It certainly reflects how much attention and credibility the academic community (i.e. the experts) place upon this journal -- i.e. none at all.

RkBall said...

"A transdiciplinary journal..." It would help if their web homepage spelled transdisciplinary correctly.

P@J said...

I tried. I have access to the academic press through several academic institutions on the west coast. None carries the IJDNE, and none offer on-line access to it (generally a bad sign). I’m afraid my interest in responding to your blog does not extend to paying $30 out of pocket to download papers from them. I am also reluctant to give my credit card information to such a sketchy organization. I assume (by your bold recital of the thesis) that you have read the papers and can provide me with copies?

Failing that, let us look at the abstract:

“ The theory of evolution postulates that random mutations and natural selection can increase genetic information over successive generations.” Actually, this aspect of evolutionary biology is way past postulation, it has been demonstrated conclusively in the laboratory. See Blount et. al. 2008, (amongst others).

“crystals like snowflakes have zero free energy as the phase transition occurs” – huh? Now, my thermodynamic training ended years ago, but my memory of “Delta-Gee naught” is pretty solid. Gibbs Free Energy is minimized at formation, certainly not zero, otherwise the phase transition cannot occur- there is no driving force. If Delta-Gee is zero, there will be no crystal formation, no phase transition. That is actually the definition of Gibbs free energy. This statement is not consistent with general thermodynamic theory. Here, try this:

“The functional machinery of biological systems such as DNA, RNA and proteins requires that precise, non-spontaneous raised free energies be formed in the molecular bonds which are maintained in a far from equilibrium state.” –wrong. The net free energy of the system must be at equilibrium, not every bond. Surely the author recognizes this…the author might just be arguing that crystals of more thnn two differing elements are impossible. OK with my water and my salt, not so good for my methylene chloride…

“This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces.” – I missed the part where there was a hypothesis tested…instead I found a conclusion hypothesized.

Massive fail. No surprise it wasn’t published in the Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, or even Nature…

RkBall said...

$30 is too much for me. It makes you wonder about the "peer review" part of it.

Robert Carnegie rja.carnegie@excite.com said...

"the one-year old International Journal of Design & Nature, self-published by a technical school in Wessex, with an editorial board comprising Mechanical and Chemical Engineers"

Wessex as a place basically hasn't existed since AD 1066.

A fictionalised modern "Wessex" is the setting of very depressing novels by Victorian authos Thomas Hardy.

A European Parliament constituency had that name between 1979-1984.

RkBall said...

Thanks for the info, Robert.

Wessex Institute of Technology
Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton SO40 7AA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)238 029 3223 Fax: +44 (0)238 029 2853 Email: wit@wessex.ac.uk

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"