Though the majority of DR's research is outside of hoax-investigations, these have of course caused most of the attacks on his work & person. But all the wasted vitriol, fantastic excuses, and ad-hominems haven't changed the bottom line: despite a (very) occasional DR error on a small piece of a given evidential puzzle, every single one of the dozen scientific hoaxes he has investigated and exposed has lost ready acceptance in respectable scientific literature. All of which simply exacerbates the rage of those cults who live to glorify the untenable (and-or draw the support of those who do) — and stimulates them to ever more agile if unconvincing alibis, smears, and ever-shifting grounds of defense.
The last ploy's embarrassing transparency is (especially in the ex-controversy over Ptolemy's frauds) best spoofed the way we treated it back in DIO 1.2  §I9 [pp.132-133]:
Evolution in action (ibid n.72): on the [Ancient] Star Catalog, the original Muffia position #1 was denial (ibid n.66 [p.111], §I1 [p.127]) that plagiarism had occurred. Muffia-consensus-alibi #2 was that Ptolemy's fudgery was normal ancient science: see ScAm 1979/3. When this was disproved at Rawlins Amer J Physics 55:235-239 n.12 (& see DIO 1.1  ‡1 n.24 [p.10]), the new tack was amnesiac: forget position #2 (what position #2?), and ungrindingly shift gears to flow right into position #3 (ibid §I8 [p.132] — [& see DIO 11.3  ‡6 §B1 [p.73] for the ultimate in this connexion]): Ptolemy wasn't typical of ancients — he was better! The old vaudeville-comic's rape-defense (which DIO frequently adduces, since we keep encountering similar ploys by ethically-ineducable-archons):
 But I don't even know the girl.
 And I was nowhere near Judy that night.
 Anyway, she consented.
Given the long-established high scholarly quality
and reputation of Dennis Rawlins' journal, DIO:
the International Journal of Scientific History
— plus the DIO board's particularly high
— knowledgeable scholars are reacting
with shock&guffaw at the various attacks on DR & DIO
from a variety of businessmen and cults, gangs which are (understandably)
ever more nervous at the ghastly spectacle of an incorruptible
and competent investigative journal not merely surviving but thriving,
despite these missmen's decades of blusters, threats, lies, and smears
(detailed below and elsewhere on this site).
Human institutions' private ethic towards whistle-blowers (as immortally spoofed by Tony Randall in the 1961 film Lover Come Back) should be kept ever in mind:
DR's well-known four-decade career of scientific investigation and exposure of academic dishonesty has left in its wake a looooong train of enraged, even deranged controversy-losers. And few (if any) among them have proved gracious losers. As DIO's friend Brad Washburn (Boston Science Museum Director-Emeritus) notes, regarding the Doc-Cook cult: when a nut's case becomes a disaster evidentially, he'll resort to ad-hominem mud-slinging — even when (as is almost always the case) this is virtually irrelevant because the evidence has little or null dependence upon the slanderee's word. (So the abuse is evidently vindictive, diversionary, or an attempt to smear or intimidate a critic into obscurity or silence. See, e.g., below, or DIO 9.3  ‡6 §§M-N [pp.134-139].) DR has even encountered crudely overt threats — from archons who grossly misjudged DR's spine, e.g. (consult the links for details), the short-lived Randi-Paul Kurtz duo (1978/12/5) [Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), Michael Hoskin (1983/3/3) [Journal for the History of Astronomy Editor-for-Life], and Ken Jezek (2002/4/16 14:23EDT) [sometime head of the Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University] who shortly had to explain himself to the OSU campus police (Alex Rayner).
O What a Tangled Website:
Currently, several get-a-life polar-controversy bad-losers (like Peary grandson Ed Stafford) are frantically taking out their transparent frustrations by contributing to internet-filth. See, e.g., the deceitfully one-sided web-postings of the well-funded dirty-tricks-diversion fanatic Peary-Henson linkfarm (pearyhenson.org-matthewhenson.com-etc), which sneeringly and deliberately attempts to smother-bury-smear their “Enemies” (self-created in the case of Henson) by attempting to manipulate-trick Google and Yahoo into stacking (upon a designated quarry) upfront-consecutive rabid personal attacks ahead of balanced information.
[When one is the chief hate-object of families which got super-wealthy from the most successful exploring-lie robbery of all time, with one of the families headed by the richest, most-vindictive, least-fairplay-minded archon in the none-too-brilliant-anyway pop-science publishing world (the genetically-anointed Prince of the cowering Farces of Dorkness), well — elaborately-mounted smears just … happen. Note the linkfarm's connection to lawyer Doug Davies, generously paid National Geographic Society consultant. It has its entertaining side. (E.g., slimy pseudo-sadness at what “a shame” it is that Peary's N.Pole fable is now widely disbelieved due to DR's error on one document, when in truth a now virtually unbroken string of doubting literature is of course based upon a huge range of valid evidence, much of it DR-discovered.) But it's also disappointing for naïve admirers of NGS to watch a generally contributing organization lower itself to the level of letting demented cranks and unprincipled lawyers do dirt to those who merely dissent from wealthy-family religious-beliefs. The generously funded and mechanically-aided websites attacking Robert M. Bryce and DR look remarkably like hired-lawyer-output: utterly unprincipled, unalloyed-shyster tactics, diversions, half-truths — differing primarily in being too transparently hateful and sadistic, and in being inspired by archons so craven and truth-scoffing that they hide behind hirelings because (even with all their elephantine wealth, press connections, and hirable consultants) they fear facing a couple of tiny individual dissent-mice. (Finally: what would even Peary or Grosvenor-One — or Henson — think of a Peary-defense site relaying carelessly false attacks slung by the math-challenged lazy-hazy-brained head p.r. man of the Frederick A. Cook Society? See it happen at the cited sites.)]
DIO positively urges the reader to consult all such sites, in order to gauge the intellectual quality, balance (evidential & emotional), citation-fullness, integrity, and fairness of Peary-Henson-National Geographic loyalists, as they gush sub-amateurishly-trite ad-hominem insult-attacks (of which our present satire-reflections are hopefully exhibiting at least a minim of jocular verbal creativity), concocting oft-amusingly sputtering ejaculations. And with ever-more-intense spite and hot-rage, since (much due to DR) not even the most naïve scientific societies have taken their Sacred Causes seriously for years. Which presumably accounts for the nakedness of their tightly focussed hatred. As the Arctic Institute of North America said in its commending 1973 review of Rawlins' Peary … Fiction: the book will be read by Pearyites “on the verge of apoplexy”. And, for anyone who doubts that the Grosvenor-Peary klan has creatively contributed to science: was there ever previously an apoplectic fit lasting over a third of a century?!
[The spectacle of the world's richest allegedly scientific society not eschewing & condemning the repulsive tactics used by “others” to defend its hoaxes might seem mysteriously inappropriate. But the eyerolling scientific community has long since just gotten numbly accustomed to living in an environment that is occasionally fouled by National Geographic's petulant passion for its mythology — rather like one gets (sorta) used to infantile music blaring from passing cultural-dwarves' boom-boxes or automobile-speakers.]
[In case it represents a glimpse of a better future, we should happily note that the 2003 book by Peter Matthiessen End of the Earth realizes that Amundsen & Wisting were first to BOTH poles, DR's pioneering contention since his 1973 book — detailed in DIO 10 . Matthiessen p.197:
In May 1926, with his South Pole teammate Oscar Wisting and American flyer Lincoln Ellsworth, [Amundsen] dropped flags on the North Pole from the dirigible Norge [Norse for “Norway”] on a flight from Svalbard [Spitzbergen] to Alaska. Since both prior conquests had been discredited, this one was actually the first arrival; Amundsen and Wisting were discoverers not of one Pole but of both.
What is remarkable — and
(if non-accidental: the future will tell us) —
is that this book was published by National Geographic!
Further encouraging news on NGS' balance: in 2007, an NGS internet-site selling Peary's famous “North Pole” group photo (his five companions) describes it with a fair combination of accuracy and appropriate appreciation of Peary's stature and drive: “After several failed attempts, 23 years of effort, and a lifetime of obsession with the Arctic, Robert Peary in April 1909 led what was then believed to be the first successful expedition to the North Pole…. Later studies found that Peary was actually 30 to 60 miles (50 to 100 kilometers) short of the Pole. Photograph by Admiral Robert E. Peary.” At the very least, the gentle and noncommittal openmindedness here suggests that NGS' longtime internal awareness of the unsustainability of Peary's claim is no longer being suppressed. All to the good.]
Never for a moment do these sites note the sympathy and admiration DR has always felt for the great genuine accomplishments & credits of Byrd, NGS, Peary, and (when with Peary) Henson. (E.g., below, Peary Fiction  Chaps.3&5 [pp.33, 34, 35, 44, 46, 70, 71]; DIO 1.1  ‡4 §§A1, E8, & F [pp.22, 24, & 28]; DIO 10  pp.4-5, §A10 [p.13], §§B7&B8 [p.16], §P3 [p.66], n.221 [p.105]. And DIO shows similar generosity towards self-created Enemies in other areas.) Nor are those responsible for these intellectually dishonest sites emotionally capable of providing even the slightest hint that DR's long academic career might perhaps have created one or two worthwhile Contributions, or that the most eminent world experts of several disparate fields know so. Fortunately, such typically unsubtle imbalance easily allows an observer to gauge whether the sites are truly openminded-educational or are rather single-goal virtual-attack-animals — hitman-tools of those who still attempt to dominate public opinion by a classically Grosvenorian combination (DIO 10  e.g., §§M2&T3 [pp.57&77]) of wealth, communication-control, craven (ibid endnote 21 [p.105]) proxy-use (note veil-slippage at DIO 10  §T12 [p.78]), deception, censorship, and character-demeaning.
Why do cultist-websites' maintain such 100%-pure imbalance, plus ludicrous pretenses that their largely able and learned opponents and competitors (e.g., R.Bryce & DR — even Sir Ernest Shackleton!) are uniformly idiots, racists, no'counts, haters, and-or liars, etc?
The most cursory glance at their productions makes it obvious that the uniform, coherent gameplan is simply to persuade inquirers never even to LOOK at the other side. The pearyhenson site is quite explicit about it regarding Bryce and DR.
But the ironic patent implicit message amusingly backfires:
The very intensity and desperate skew of these frantic smearers reveal their fear that the opposition's arguments are fatally persuasive. (And, for once, they're right.)
[As for the ancient-astronomy historian-asylum: for the plainest measure of the insanity of the waning Ptolemy-worshipping “Muffia”, see DIO 4.2  p.56 Table 1; or DIO 5  Table 0 [p.7]; or DIO 16  ‡3 Tables 1-2 [pp.20-21] & Fig.1 [p.24], a spectacularly neat fit — also presented on this website — to a baker's dozen previously unsolved famous ancient Hipparchos-Strabo data induced by the immortal classicist Aubrey Diller (with minor DR contributions). In the decade since publication, the Muffia has still not accepted the ultra-obvious, even while since 1994 [never crediting DR's 1994 Table 1, of course] finally giving up on O.Neugebauer's long-orthodox competing theory, and even accepting the prime point at issue: Hipparchos' possession of sph trig. Indeed, despite several reminders, Muffiosi have not (in the decade & a half since publication) even cited this devastating table, which, again, the reader MUST consult, if he wishes to savour an as-good-bad-as-it-gets seemingly-incredible 75-year academic-biggie-pride saga of cemental-inertia: grown men exhibiting breastfed-infant-tight cling — to rigid non-admission of heretical outlanders' contributions. (Latest episode [in JHA] boldly alters the originally-long-agreed-to dozen-data-base solved by Diller's ingenuity! [Well … how-else evade DR's Table 1?!] Further details: DIO 11.1  p.26 n.1.)]
By revealing contrast:
[a] DIO consistently cites even the lowest opposition litterature frequently and in detail, encouraging DIO readers to investigate the other side of any controversy — additionally noting (e.g., DIO 1.2  §C1 [p.101]; see irony at DIO 11.2  ‡4 §F2 [p.40]) that one should be ever prepared to learn (as DR certainly has, in several non-trivial instances) from the best of the work of those with whom one totally disagrees, even those attempting to murder one's career.
[DIO has published articles openly attacking DIO, [a] adorned with headers drawing attention to each challenge, and [b] not taking advantage of the editorial privilege by adding anti-crimethought rejoinders. (See DIO 4.1  ‡1 [pp.4-13], and DIO 7.1  ‡ § [pp.16-17].) We have also — thus far unsuccessfully — offered written-debate space to critics (e.g., J.Portney, J.Britton), under a novel set of DIO rules, intended to ensure fairness — rules especially aimed at ameliorating the long-standing problem of the who-goes-last advantage.
DIO's attitude is best expressed in the following comment upon the since-withered oldboyperson power-clique we used to call the “Muffia”: “The Muffia's essential attitude is that [hate-objects Robert Newton] and DR are not ever right…. By contrast, [DIO's Journal for Hysterical Astronomy] will merely show that Muffiosi are not always right. I recommend careful attention to this distinction. (Though, admittedly, [DIO is] not denying the tenuous possibility that the inverse of these propositions is nearer the truth.)” (DIO 1.3  ‡10 [p.177].)]
[b] DIO praises and encourages opponents and their findings whenever possible. (E.g., DIO 1.2  n.16 [p.99] & n.174 [p.137], and §C1 [p.101]; DIO 9.3  ‡6 n.49 [p.134]; DIO 11.1  ‡1 §A8 [p.7], ‡2 [p.10] (“Gratitude to Opposites”), & ‡3 §§D3-D4 [p.23]; DIO 13.1  p.3 nn.1&2.)
The reaction of archons to such decently intended equity is consistent with their projectively assuming that any DIO praise comes not from ethics but is merely an attempt to try kissing up to them. Since for decades they themselves haven't operated according to any other priority, the mistake is understandable — but its staunch persistence for 1/3 of a century without perceptible diminution suggests we are dealing not with slow-learners but won't-learners.
Returning to the specific instance of the Peary controversy:
yes, the permanently-undead Peary-N.Pole myth naturally lingers-on
in the US' nationalist-culture mythology,
and will continue to sell indiscriminate publishers' pop books.
[It is also now gummed up in the dispute over who owns the polar basin's oil. Latest (wan) Peary-reassertion: Time 2007/10/1 p.30 photo-caption — as US super-patriotism tries to choose between two positions:  the US got the 1st flag there, so we own the Pole; or  Russia did, so — the 1st flag doesn't mean anything. (The Russian scientist quoted at idem seems less chauvinist.) Time's caption (presumably not the work of the article's writers) says that Peary “probably” succeeded but that his claim is “hotly” disputed — when in truth it's the desperate defenders (who know which side has won among professionals) that are the ranting party. Of course, the 1st flag on the N.Pole was neither the US' nor Russia's. It was Roald Amundsen's Norwegian flag (1926/5/12). But it was followed only seconds later by Lincoln Ellesworth's US flag, and Umberto Nobile's Italian flag. So let's call it a 3way-tie.]
Publicity-seeking adventurers (who don't mind doing convincing imitatations of leashed explorers or consultants) can be induced to “prove” — over today's melting Arctic Ocean ice — that Peary coulda-done-it by racing to the Pole today at similar mean speeds. Such diversions will go on just as long as money-infusions continue to prop up the now evidence-cornered defenders' desperate game-plan to spend whatever it takes to fake a continuing controversy where a serious one has not existed for years. (This thespian point especially applies to the Byrd 1926 North Pole claim, where there is not even an unserious controversy left, given, e.g., Byrd's long-secreted 1-arcsec over-precision slip-up.)
The occasional well-paid Peary-apologist explorer behaves so predictably:
[a] He concentrates attention upon comparisons of his average speed to Peary's, not upon the incredible discontinuity between Peary's speed when with navigator witnesses (1909/3/1-4/1, up to Bartlett Camp) vs those he claimed during the unverified marches (1909/4/2-4/9) north of Bartlett Camp.
[b] He gives away his programme and his mission by making Peary-promotional statements that go so far beyond what little he has (claimed to have) proven in one single narrow [speed] area (of the evidence) — regarding the credibility of Peary's entire multi-vulnerable tale — that the purpose for the stunt is obvious to all professionals, whose near-unanimous doubts of Peary's claim are, unsurprisingly, not satisfied by such regular (and always nationally-publicized) events.
[Such theatre has long been a fave ploy of Peary-rival F.Cook's Cook-Society backers, too — spoofed at DIO 7.3  p.92 n.35, regarding the CookSoccers' own leashed-explorers' coulda-mantra: “Like ‘Can Do’, Guys&Dolls' hymn to tout sheets and ‘a handicapper [who's] real sincere’.”]
The Prince of Dorkness and DeadHorse-Resurrection:
The Peary Myth will probably last as long as the equally attractive Geo.Washington-cherry-tree tale. But once-unanimous assent to it has withered to near-zero in the international scientific community. See sources cited at DIO 2.2  n.2; also DIO 2.3  p.101 n.11 (world's leading scientific journal's review, commenting — with kind-tolerant fatherly understanding — upon NGS' infantile religiosity): “the National Geographic Society … will always believe [Peary] reached the Pole.” (Nature 1990/4/26.) Possibly National Geographic's dim Prince of Dorkness or the Peary family's fanatical wing will take all this to-it-inexplicable rejection as just as another fiscal challenge. See DIO 10  p.6 on how academic-society chiefs define a “good institution”. (And see DIO 8  ‡5 §N [p.60] for an equally silly royal dream of equine miracle.)
“More hits on [Peary's N.Pole claim] will soon risk SPCA-wrath at deadhorse-abuse.” (DIO 7.1  p.24 n.21.)
Of course, the mob of frothing dears who keep (at a safe distance) throwing scientifically valueless verbal tomatoes at DR are accomplishing nothing beyond loudly telegraphing their understandable envy & fear (both of which may be related to this page's color-choices), which DR naturally accepts as a sort-of honor. (With inadvertent generosity, all these lashing-out forces greatly over-magnify DR's import at this temporal remove, repeatedly failing to see that doubts of the Peary myth are based upon evidence & logic that exist [and are now widely known] quite independently of their discoverer. Nonetheless, DR appreciates that the especially high rage against him is an additional honor, betraying the Peary klan's private seething awareness of which scholar was most responsible for starting the Peary N.Pole myth's long spiral down history's toilet. And the same bunch's equally-demented attacks upon Robert M. Bryce's invaluable 1997 book [Cook & Peary: the Polar Controversy Resolved] show how terrified loyalists are, at what Bryce found when he conducted the first genuinely thorough and independent search through the Peary Papers at the National Archives.)
The prime tarnish on the top-target-glorification of DR is the foundation-clay: all of the poor attacking creatures will be long forgotten a century hence, when this era's original contributors to science [many of them DIO friends, e.g., van der Waerden, Kowal, Standish, Bryce, Duke, Thurston] — as well as Robert Peary's and Richard Byrd's considerable genuine accomplishments (often substantially supported by NGS, let us note) — will be shining on in the human family's memory.
Evidently, the more unimaginative & repetitious the abuse, the more cathartic for the slinger. Rote-praying in church has the same soothing effect — though (as a rule) rather more poetically administered.
Those who engage in this sort of thing, while fleeing written-debate forums (such as DIO continuously offers any serious cause willing to engage in full mutual citation), see controversies as primarily a matter of propaganda & politics. One becomes a sycophantic soldier or cog in a team=cult, a social-political unit. Disagreements are wars against archonal majesty. Those who step out of (party) line will be shunned. Members of the “other side” are Enemies. As in all such gang-warfare, a fight with any sergeant is a fight with all his minions. Whatever can be contributed to winning the war merits goldstars etc from each cult's top gooroos=paymasters.
The symptoms of and strictures on such thinking are seldom subtle:
Admit as few mistakes as possible.
And absolutely NEVER acknowledge a mistake pointed out by The Enemy. (The greater the fear of being seen as fallible, the more transparent the inward insecurity. See DIO 11.3  p.88 n.53.) Shrubyan rigidity of this type arises from seeing controversies as propaganda-battles, and trying to win them in popular (e.g., press) arenas, where expertise (even the ability to evaluate expertise) is lacking. So attacks on truth are only superficially evidential; their core is merely a pose of WE-are-THE-experts. Said pose would of course be undone by [a] admission of error or [b] praise of opposition, so [a] or [b] (which are common among the best scholars) are obviously verboten. Such factors are common to virtually all of DR's detractors — as is a very low ranking in respect (if not outright contempt) towards them from genuine experts.
Attack the weakest opposition arguments.
E.g., those that are subject in some degree to interpretive ambiguity (implying that the isolated example is typical of all the opponent's reasoning), while ignoring the impregnable arguments. Few casual observers will notice.
Pretend that the littlest peripheral points in your side's favor are of an import equal to the biggest central points in the other side's favor.
(See DIO 9.3  ‡6 n.33 [p.129].)
Take care to attack only seemingly powerless heresies.
This grandly pleases archons, and thereby automatically relieves one of the bothersome requirements of being accurate, balanced, decent, or even moderately competent.
E.g., while demonstrating the subfreshman math skills of J.Hist.Astron Adv. Editor Noel Swerdlow, (University of Chicago Astronomy Dep't!) — who viciously (DIO 1.1  p.20) & with epochal ineptitude (ibid p.30, p.38 n.7, p.45 n.20, p.52 n.6) attacked the work of top physicist R.Newton — DR asked: “why bother being accurate, in a field where one can ascend anyway by catering to power and taking care to attack only the pet hates of the influential?” (DIO 1.1  p.52 n.6.) Miss-man Swerdlow (a MacArthur-certified “genius”) has lately been reinventing the laws of statistics by:
ADDING standard deviations. (We look forward to his doubtless-upcoming mathematical investigations of the 3-4-7 right triangle.)
[Barbara Rawlins jokes that whole careers appear to have been jump-started by thinking up new ways to butter-up the ever-vengeful JHA through defending Owen Gingerich's Ptolly-Folly and attacking evil DR & RN. (DR even semi-satirically laid out game-plans for this sort of thing at DIO 1.2  §H2[g] [p.125], and DIO 2.3  p.93 n.14. Perhaps followed in the paper which is the subject of DIO 16  ‡3 [pp.18-38], as noted at its n.55 [p.36]. See similarly at DIO 4.3  ‡15 §A [p.120], and [likewise setting forth a foolproof method for NGS to escape reckoning (for now)]: DIO 10  §T1 & Endnote 21 [pp.76&105].) Evans & Schaefer come readily to mind. (Evans can intermittently seem to be a case-in-progress, though he's probably hopeless: too mired in Muffia ethics. With the two top Editors, we at least have the benefit of no uncertainty whatever.) Between them, these two wasted over one hundred consistently prominent JHA pages attacking one half of a 15pp DR paper on the Ancient Star Catalog, which Gingerich's secret pseudo-solicitous slander had failed originally to suppress. (The full Gingerich referee report full text can be found at DIO 4.3  pp.133-134.) Note Pickering's comments at DIO 12  ‡1 n.4.]
Cite location of Enemy-output as seldom as possible. If at all.
Reading heretical literature might “confuse” noncultists. Such systematic censorship is yet another inadvertent honor, since it reveals defenders' (completely understandable) fear that the “wrong” side's arguments are somehow down-right frighteningly convincing…
to devalue credibility. (Prime tactic of, e.g., Harvard's
Owen Gingerich, himself a professed believer in an invisible deity.)
This, regardless (who'll even notice?) of whether the evidence or logic of the case has much dependence upon the the target's mentality. The defense of the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP: best pronounced “sick-cop”) against DR's 1981 sTARBABY has been essentially ad hominem, relying on CSICOP boardmember Phill Klass, the ultimate Odd Hominem. (See lawyeresque-Phill's “Crybaby” on the internet, noting
[A] the standard Klass-watcher-tickling pretense to neutrality;
[B] the ploy of having sTARBABY-minor-figure Klass signing the document; so the principals could hide for years from committing themselves to anything;
[C] how artfully and thus revealingly Klass' account (even while juggling factoids & fantasies to try portraying DR as a satanic combo of thief, liar, and psycho) ducked denying the central facts and numerous specific quotes from CSICOPers in “sTARBABY”, key data & words which mega-overkill-indict CSICOP for
[i] botching its #1 experiment (thus making a farce of its own middle name: “Scientific Investigation”), and then
[ii] using trick-statistics (post-hoc sample-micro-splitting), threats, and ejection to try keeping the public from learning of the disaster. (The captive US “science press” as usual helped out by simply ignoring the undeniable scandal.)
(on the record, including the refereeing arena)
that the quarry is right about ANYthing.
(DIO 9.3  ‡6 n.49 [p.134].) Or might possess even an occasional virtue, however trivial. Whatever private-face admissions of merit exist, all public-face comments on the enemy's character must be demerits. Keep the (public) merit cubby-hole ENTIRELY empty. (See DIO 2.3  ‡6 §F4 [p.95 — and don't miss n.18 there!], DIO 6  ‡3 §H [pp.42-43], and DIO 10  end-note 12 [p.95] & n.117 [p.55] for complete delineation of underlying realpolitik-logic.) Harvard's Owen Gingerich is a perfect-Janus-hole in this respect. (DIO 11.2  p.30. See also p.31: “Muffiosi ignore [non-cite] competing theories 'til denigration is ready-for-launch, even if years pass waiting.”) Such rigidly-blanket noncrediting of an opponent's worth in any academically contributory respect, is the most easily perceived giveaway-symptom of one who is a scholar 2nd and a politician 1st-and-totally. In DR's career, this is most durably exemplified by Gingerich's unremitting decades of attempts to attack & submerge DR in every possible fashion, including nearly a quarter-century (1977-2000) of slanderous anonymous referee reports (sample libels at DIO 4.3  pp.133-134, and DIO 11.3  p.75 n.23), plus in 2000-2002 directly causing (and to-this-day never retracting) a now-deliberate nationally-published falsehood, then immediately elevating the belatedly-half-regretful (DIO 11.1  p.2) falsehood-echoer (Brad Schaefer) onto OG's Journal for the History of Astronomy board of Advisory Editors (see inside-cover editors-list in very first JHA issue following the smear) — and so to join the oldboyperson-inner-circle of the Gang-Who-Couldn't-Shoot-Any-Straighter-Than-It-Could-Talk.
[Note that, no sooner had J.Wall launched his bungled attack on DR in Ancient Egypt 2007 Feb-Mar, than he is honored with his glorious JHA debut (May). Is anyone even trying to pretend there's no connexion?]
And one can positively count on the institutional-stenographer “science press” not to print a word about such scandals.
For every expert there's an equal & opposite expert.
Even if an establishment's precious quackery has been utterly disproved by ironclad evidence (as for the R.Byrd fake), it can always “persuade” a tractable pol with seemingly-solid credentials to act as a consultant or lawyer for its side. Believe it or no, the lapdog “science press” falls for this act EVERY time. (Very few science reporters know enough science to evaluate evidence themselves.)
[Some years ago an extremely well-known scientist, asking DR to check over a few specialized parts of an ms headed for publication in Scientific American, among the most eminent & “reputable” china-paper science magazines, warned DR that nobody at the magazine knew any science — a (very) slight exaggeration to make a point (we all know there have been bright lights, e.g., Michael Shermer & Paul Wallich) — which is why it would be up to him and DR to catch any technical problems.]
Politically wiser instead to steer by trusted guru-advisors — who of course are often the very establishment-pols whose prime academic rôle is to hobnob with pressfolk and (by ANY means) douse doubts of their own establishment's Verities.)
Litton's Joseph Portney (former head of the Institute of Navigation!) is a textbook case of the impressively-credentialed-but-even-more-impressively-leashable consultant. Like fellow DR-hit&runner James Pinafore Evans (who also avoids abusive language, while nonetheless taking classic-careerist-Schaeferian care to attack the hate-objects of political-centrists), Portney is author of a mostly intelligent, fun book. (Portney's Ponderables : definitely worth a look.) His 3 decades of NGS-chummy defenses of the R.Peary & R.Byrd N.Pole fakes (defenses which in 1996 he tried carrying-out in undercover mode, sneaking around strictly behind-the-scenes: astonishing details at DIO 10  §§R2-R6 [pp.69-70]) have come to involve hilarious fantasy-speculation (ibid Fig.11), elementary-arithmetic blunders (with pathetically clumsy coverup thereof: ibid Fig.12 vs Fig.13), & indiscriminate alibiing — all this while (email 1999/12/15) Portney behind-the-back runs down DR's expertise by citing DR's error on one Peary document, in lieu of coming to grips with DR's cascade of copper-fastened Byrd analyses — which figures, since Portney (in 11 years of trying) has yet to find any technical or documentary errors in them.
Portney systematically ducks dealing at all with both cases' completely unalibiable evidence, e.g., Peary's Crocker Land, as well as Byrd's impossible sextant hyperprecision and backwards calculating.
(DR requests of pressvolk to ask about such issues have naturally never led to anything.)
[Which raises a revealing contrast-question: if internet slanderers et ilk can attack DR's credibility for his 1989 Peary-document misinterpretion — the most serious flaw in which was overprecision in data wrongly taken as times [by (a) Peary's brother-in-law, (b) the American Geographic Soc's investigation, & (c) DR] — then why aren't NGS' “expert” 1926 Byrd-approval trio being flayed for exactly — repeat, EXACTLY — the same type of oversight, namely, not recognizing that Byrd's alleged “N.Pole-trip” sextant data were (DIO 10  §G6 n.79 [p.40]) impossibly overprecise?]
To an e-mailed debate-invitation from his former friend & correspondent, DIO Editor Keith Pickering, Portney has not even replied. (Similar Portney bravery: DIO 10  p.54 n.115.) More than any other consultant, debate-ducker Portney is responsible for lingering-if-indeed-waning-inevitably-to-nought acceptance (in some navigationally-innumerate quarters) of the unconscionable falsehood — which someone of Portney's former intelligence could not possibly take seriously [he's either lost his mind or found a sponsor] — that there is no significance at all to such glaring evidence as, e.g., the universally-undenied reality that the only sextant figures in Byrd's “North Pole” diary both put him over 100 miles south of where his official report has him at the given times. DIO has cited all Portney efforts on Byrd. But Portney cannot deal with or (by contrast even to the Rai Goerler website's the-controversy-continues pretense) so much as mention the existence of DIO 10  or the Cambridge University 2000 publication (Scott Institute Polar Record) of DR's 26pp report on Byrd, because anyone consulting these isn't ever again going to be fooled by Byrd-apologia's contrived fantasies.
Highlight strictly an enemy's errors,
not his valid contributions.
Or, in DR's case, the fact that he'll even large-point-spoof his own rare goofs, right on the cover (see DIO 11.2 ) of his journal (where he lauds by name the scholar who proved him wrong), actually offering critics $1000 per, for solutions superior to his own best posted ancient-astronomy solutions. ($2000 has already been won & paid), submissions to be judged by an eminent independent panel, every single one of whose members has already publicly challenged DR solutions (most of them successfully at least once). See DIO's B. L. van der Waerden Prize. All four judges & all eight challenges listed at: DIO 11.2  p.33.
Question: how does the fact of DR's sometime human fallibility answer — or indeed relate in any way to — the documentary fact that Peary saw no land at the spot&moment where&when he later claimed to have discovered Crocker Land? (Perhaps the northernmost land in the world. Had it been real.) How do ad-hominem portrayals of Byrd-critics as bumbling relative amateurs, by J.Portney (1999/12/15 email & DIO 10  p.69) & W.Molett (ibid p.50) undo the lethal fact that R.Byrd's diary and official report give hugely contradictory sextant solar altitudes for the very same key instant? (This time is identical — to the timesecond — in diary and report: 1926/5/9 7:07:10 GCT precisely.) I.e., the National Geographic tactic is simply: censorially-intended & vindictive (if irrelevant) denigration, attempting to divert observers from deadly evidential points by attacking critics in as surgically one-sided a fashion as possible. (JP, WM, NGS-NavFou, & DR have all made errors unworthy of their skills. Though only one has openly acknowledged all miscues — and regarded opponents' goofs as a secondary point, mentioning them purely in response to their evidently-inevitable I'm-the-only-real-expert poses.) In this connexion, DR couldn't help ribbing NGS' bigbucks chief-emeritus, genius Gilbert Grovenor 2 (DIO 10  p.79): “I look forward to National Geographic's publication of an article appropriate to GG2's grasp of science: ‘Isaac Newton Once Made a Mistake. Is the Law of Gravity Still Valid?’ ”
Never debate or seek adjudication
in any arena that doesn't look corruptible.
DR has repeatedly challenged his shy opponents to debate in academic forums. They all run away as hard as they can. (This is not an entirely figurative remark: several brave scholars have (literally darted out of rooms or paths, to avoid encounters with DR. These include David Hughes, Rob't Kargon, & Noel Swerdlow.)
The NavFou (“Navigation Foundation”: NGS' “navigation-expert” front organization, which even lived in NGS quarters throughout 1989) did appear at the U.S. Naval Institute 1991/4/19 debate, but tried mightily to avoid doing so, and ended up being represented by a lawyer not a scientist. After the debate, the NavFou kept repeating its standard fantasy-concoction-alibi: that Peary suddenly (without telling anybody else or his own diary) decided to navigate to the N.Pole in 1909 without his and other explorers' previously-customary written data for steering (longitude & compass observations: entirely lacking for the 1909 trip). This, in an attempt to salve the shame of NavFou's debate-loss, by the now-reflex NGS-comfort-mantra that the-controversy--will-continue. So DR challenged this sham in the Washington Post 1991/8/13 (emph added): eternal bloody controversy-warfare is “ ‘ Needless .… [NGS] should … have Admiral Peary's claim and the [1989-1990 NavFou Report] evaluated by the National Academy of Sciences, just as papers are routinely refereed every day in US science. I am willing to abide by the Academy's evaluation. Is National Geographic?’ Silence.… Finis.” (DIO 7.1  ‡4 n.21 [p.24].)
DR tries always to recognize the demerits of the more speculative of his theories. His cultist opponents try never to recognize the merits — believing this asymmetry demonstrates detractors' superiority.
Precious Comic-Opera Prelude to the End of the Ancient Star
(Based on DIO 2.3  ‡8 §§C27-30 [pp.112-113]. Consultation of full discussion recommended. Excerpt from its conclusion posted in HTML elsewhere here.)
Since 1987, the JHA, utterly captured now by the Muffia,
has published at least 7 pieces on the Ancient Star Catalog
(running over a hundred pages in all).
All seven have been from the pro-Ptolemy of the controversy.
So, now, the JHA publishes the capper to
this 5 year demonstration of its idea of equity, by suggesting
(NCS 1992 p.182) a “moratorium”.
(And one notes that neither of the 1992 JHA papers
cites DR's 1991 analysis at DIO 1.1
‡6 [pp.49-66], which provides yet more novel evidence,
positively attaching Hipparchos' solar work to the
Catalog's zodiacal longitude error curve, with an ordmag 1'-precision
match of amplitude.) I.e., now that the JHA has fired
its last (for-as-long-as-We-feel-like-it) pro-Ptolemy shot on the Catalog,
just in under its own welltimed moratorium wire,
the JHA decrees it would be best
to just end the Catalog controversy right here.
Megalomania rarely achieves such heights of unreality.
[Printed at the end of NCS 1992, we find the following: “Editorial Note: This article was received in June 1991, but was held over to permit publication of the Essay Review already commissioned from James Evans, which appeared in our February issue.” (Evans, too, defended Ptolemy — & failed to cite DIO 1.1 ‡6 [pp.49-66], though the paper is known to Hist.sci.
[Hist Sci Soc Newsletter p.35 1991 July — just after the NCS paper's prominently-claimed receipt-date at JHA].)
The timetable alleged (who asked?) pseudo-excuses noncitation of the very DIO 1.1 that triggered NCS 1992.]
Unrealer yet: NCS unreels a proposal for more “research”
— even while calling for his moratorium.
(It doesn't take a linguist to translate: [a] NCS wants a moratorium on
the chaos of conflicting Muffia claims — which he is
now himself so brilliantly augmenting! —
that has left the Muffia looking about as convincing as Ptolemy
[or Judy's vaudulent non-rapist].
But NCS wants no moratorium on Muffiosi continuing to
try to figure out new alibis for Ptolemy. [b] Given its tenuous hold
on reality, the JHA perhaps even imagines that DR will submit a
paper directly to the JHA in response; so, while it has left
open the possibility of publishing some more of its own incomparable Muffia
research on the Star Catalog, JHA's “moratorium”
is now in place, in print, as a pre-set official-excuse
for rejection of a [believe me, PURELY] hypothetical
direct DR submission.)
[However, the publisher's statement at the back of each DIO issue permits permissionless printing of DIO material by any journal that wishes to.]
Isn't the JHA a treasure?
After 5 years & dozens of pages of failed JHA attacks
on RN-DR's Star Catalog analyses, the JHA is now suddenly struck
— like St.Paul on the Damascus road — with a New Awareness of
The-Meaning-of-It-All. NCS 1992 (p.182):
“life is too short to waste
on questions that cannot be answered.”
Especially a silly nothing like:
did the Muffia's Greatest-Astronomer-of-Antiquity merely steal
Hipparchos' most precious heritage? So NCS 1992 concludes (p.182,
caps added) by downgrading the issue — via the most
original reasoning ever to grace a historical journal:
“Is it really such an important question?
[DR: NCS used to rate Ptolemy's
integrity a very high-order question: Amer Scholar 1979 p.525.]
The interest in the catalogue is now ALMOST ENTIRELY HISTORICAL.”
[E.g., since Muffiosi have been damning skeptics for decades as incompetents, one would expect pages of examples of the purported incompetencies to be forthcoming. Muffiosi's occasional efforts to expose alleged errors by skeptics have been so pathetically thin that it is by now all too clear that the Muffia klan has simply been bluffing in this regard. (Note the feebleness of Muffia attempts in this direction: DIO 1.3 n.252 [p.161].) See DIO 1.1 ‡5 n.6 [p.38] for Hist.sci (including Muffia) precedents for publishing lengthy error-lists to attack authors.]
Seldom has a party of “experts” been so utterly defeated
(and by scholars it exiled as fools)
— so bare of substantial, coherent retort —
that its ever-so-clever strategists got tangled up in such
almost-artistically disjunct babbling. Who but our peerless Muffia
jesters could even imagine proposing that a subject be
ruled out of a historical journal on the ground that
it is too historical?