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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Escultura Still at It

Once again, Professor Edgar Escultura is prowling around in the comments section of the blog. Dr. E's style of "debate" is to keep spewing out copious quantities of nonsense until others tire. He then claims "victory" by virtue of getting The Last Word.

In this round he is continuing his claims that he was "robbed" of the Nobel Prize in Physics. In support of this, he provides this link to an online article from last December ("recent") in an Indian newspaper. The author, one B. M. Hegde, is apparently a buddy of Dr. E., based on the article itself and on the fact that Hegde (or someone purporting to be him/her) just posted the same link in another comment thread.

The Hegde article points out that past Nobel Prize committees have mads mistakes. A quick look as past recipients of the Peace Prize makes that abundantly clear. At any rate, here's the portion that Dr. Escultura really wants to call to your attention:
Most recent is the case of Professor Eddie Escultura, from the Philippines, a great mathematical brain who contributed something novel in the field of quantum physics. He was considered for the Nobel this year by the committee only to be rejected in favour of Professor Glauber. But the developments following this would reveal the sickness that has afflicted the Nobel committee. Professor Gerholms, an eminent physicist on the Nobel committee resigned from the committee to protest the dropping of Eddie. He goes one step further. In a personal letter to Prof. Escultura, Prof Gerholms wrote as to what went on inside the committee room and named two prominent members of the committee lobbying for their candidates. Gerholms in his resignation letter wrote to the committee that lobbying is highly objectionable inside the Nobel committee. Bold man indeed! [Emphasis added]
We can deduce a several things from this. First of all "Eddie" and B. M. Hegde are friends. Secondly, Dr. Escultura himself is the source for the Hegde's story of how Eddie was "unfairly" denied the Nobel Prize. Thirdly, Escultura learned of the story in a "personal letter."

Those who have been following this story will recognize the pattern. (Just use the Google box on the right sidebar to search for "Escultura" on this blog, if you want a refresher.) The "personal letter" is a code phrase for an anonymous entry on Dr. Escultura's web site guest book. This guest book is full of trollish comments from people baiting Dr. E. and signing whatever name they please to their posts. Dr. Escultura takes them all seriously and at face value, or at least he acts like he does.

So even if there is a real Prof. Gerholms out there somewhere, and even if he had some role in selecting the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, this story is not credible. For one thing the Nobel nominations are secret. Only the winners are revealed. Not even the other nominees themselves know they were nominated. It is not credible that someone on the selection committee would be so unprofessional as to violate a confidentiality agreement by revealing the names of any other nominees.

And what does Hegde/Escultura/"Gerholms" mean by "members of the committee lobbying for their candidates?" Are the committee members not supposed to decide who they think should get the award and assert their viewpoints? How is this different from "Gerholms" "lobbying" for Escultura in this non-existent debate?

We stand by our previous claims that we are just as close to getting the Nobel Prize in Chemistry as Dr. Escultura is to getting the Physics Prize. We're not going to spend that prize money just yet, at least not until we know that Hell has frozen over.

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