Committee on Publication EthicsPosted: April 15, 2013
Posted on LinkedIn COPE group:
I’m trying to get the American Journal of Physics to retract an absurd article titled, “Entropy and evolution.” The article uses a fake equation to prove that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. The truth is that the second law does not apply to the evolution of stars or biological evolution. I pointed out the error to the editor. Instead of giving my comments to the author, who a conscience and a reputation to protect, the editor suggested that I submit my own article. I did so, and an anonymous reviewer said I was wrong. In this way, the AJP is avoiding responsibility. I explain why the equation is wrong at
My correspondence with physicists about this issue is at
I submitted a post exposing unethical conduct by the editors and publishers of the American Journal of Physics (Code 1.8) in failing to correct an error in a peer-reviewed article. Why hasn’t it been posted? I could not find the FAQ you referred to. Am I following the wrong procedure? Are you deliberately helping the AJP to cover up its mistake in publishing the article? Are you assuming a peer-reviewed physics article can’t be absurd? I told the editor of the AJP (David Jackson) about the error. Instead of referring the matter to the author (Daniel Styer), he suggested I submit my own article. I did so, and an anonymous reviewer said I was wrong. In this way, the AJP is avoiding taking responsibility for the article. I also complained to the publishers of the AJP. Give me a call at 347-417-4703, if that is the easiest way for you to respond.
Very truly yours, David Roemer
Thank you for your email via our LinkedIn account. Having checked our membership I am afraid that the American Journal of Physics is not a member of COPE. Therefore we are unable to consider a complaint against them (see the terms & conditions for complaints on our website here: http://publicationethics.org/contact-us ).
I am sorry that we cannot be of any assistance.
Kind regards, Natalie
Why don’t you publish my submitted post on your LinkedIn site? Lisa McLaughlin, Marc Cassar, John H., and Daniel K. are members of the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society, which are affiliated with the publishers of the American Journal of Physics, the American Association of Physics Teachers. They are all members of your LinkedIn group. They should know about this matter.
By not publishing my post, you are helping the American Journal of Physics perpetrate a hoax about biological evolution and religion that victimizes many people. The absurdity of the AJP article is the culmination of four pseudoscientific ideas about evolution:
- Natural selection acting upon innovations explains common descent. This is untrue. It only explains adaptation. Evolutionary biologists always speak of “adaptive evolution.” Atheists, creationists, and advocates of intelligent design are responsible for disseminating this misinformation.
- Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. This is an error because the second law does not apply to the evolution of stars or biological evolution.
- Evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics because of the sun. This idea is unintelligible.
- You can perform a thermodynamic calculation to prove # 3. This is what Eq. 4b in the AJP article does. The equation is incorrect for reasons explained in a number of publications.
Very truly yours, David Roemer
The COPE LinkedIn site is for members who are interested in publication ethics in scholarly journals to disseminate information and discuss items of interest, it is not intended to be used as a medium to discuss specific cases. COPE does have a formal procedure for reviewing complaints against member journals if they have not abided by COPE’s Code of Conduct for Journal Editors (all journals agree to abide by this when they join COPE, see: http://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct ). However, as the American Journal of Physics is not a member of COPE we are not able to follow this procedure. Even if the AJP was a member we would not use LinkedIn to discuss the case but would look at it formally via our complaints procedure.
I am sorry that we cannot be of any further assistance.
What you could do is expel Lisa McLaughlin from your LinkedIn group because she is possibly following unethical orders from her bosses. The email I sent is the discussion you are refusing to post. This is the letter I wrote to her boss with a certificate of mailing:
Mr. John Haynes
2 Huntington Quadrangle
Melville, NY 11747
Dear Mr. Haynes,
I am writing to ask for an appointment to discuss a conversation I had yesterday over the telephone with Lisa McLaughlin. I called to see if Ms. McLaughlin got the email I sent her arguing that the article “Entropy and evolution” (Am. J. Phys., Vol. 76, No. 11, November 2008) is a hoax analogous to the infamous Piltdown Man hoax. Ms. McLaughlin admitted getting the email, but said, “I cannot comment about this matter. Thank you.” I did not get the opportunity to ask why the AIP’s Director of Publication Operations and a member of the Committee of Publication Ethics LinkedIn group can’t comment on an accusation of fraud against a member organization.
At our meeting I’ll attempt to explain to you why the AJP article should be retracted. I made a similar request to Beth Cunningham of the American Association of Physics Teachers, but it was ignored.
Very truly yours, David Roemer
I have removed your recent post from the COPE Facebook site as, as I have explained before, The AJP is not a member of COPE and this is the not the correct forum for allegations such as this. It is not appropriate for our site to be used in this way.
There is no question that the article “Entropy and evolution” is fraudulent. It is like the Piltdown Man hoax because it promotes the atheistic error that human beings evolved from apes, not just their bodies. In the case of the Piltdown man, an amateur paleontologist used human and ape bones. In the case of the two AJP articles, the authors used the Boltzmann/Plank physics equation to prove evolution does not violate the laws of physics.
You are behaving just as badly as the editors and publishers of the AJP and causing just as much harm. That the articles are not retracted sheds light on how the Nazis could kill so many civilians during WWII. No one was ever forced to kill anyone. However, there were severe penalties for telling about the murders. Collaboration took the form of censorship and keeping quiet.
Very truly yours,