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Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims - page 27 / 64

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The various aspects of Plimer’s misrepresentation can be summarised (in order of increas- ing seriousness) as:

  • using older data when newer analyses have shown these data to be flawed;

  • using such data when his own cited references (the Keller paper cited in footnotes 1910, 1918) point out the errors;

  • misrepresenting the Keller paper that he cited to claim that it supports the absence of a trend when in fact it says the opposite (see items 76, 77).

Plagiarism

The definition and significance of plagiarism depends a lot on the context. In some cases there may be a clear breach of copyright. Universities expect originality from their students as proof of learning. In scientific publications, acknowledging sources is both an issue of ensuring proper credit for good work by the original workers and also for making it possible to back-track along a chain of references to find the original source when doubts arise.33

Plimer has been accused of plagiarising a whole chapter of elling Lies for God. In Heaven + Earth a large number of the graphics have been taken from other sources with- out attribution. In the various examples where Heaven + Earth uses text from others without attribution, there has usually been some effort to tweak the words to make it look a little differ- ent.

Item 159 notes the unattributed source of the ‘Graham Bank’ story as: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/geoscientist/media/page571.html

Item 160 identifies the source for comparisons to ‘Collegium Romanum’ as: http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=291379,

Tim Lambert’s blog discusses plagiarism in Heaven + Earth concerning analysis of Mauna Loa data at: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/plimer the plagiarist.php

Other cases in Heaven + Earth are:

134. p. 115 and p. 120: from:

preprint by O. Manuel, S.

. Kamat and M. Mozina is available

http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0609509.

Two sentences from the abstract are used exactly on pages 115 and 120 and others are reproduced in a modified form.

Plimer has a footnote (516) citing: Manual [sic] . . . strophysics, 654: 650–664. The

paper by Manuel et al. actually appeared in a Russian journal Phys. 1856, 200634.

tom. Nucl. 69,1847-

33Thus, the recent (Jan 2010) discovery of unsubstantiated claims about Himalayan glaciers in an IPCC report, was possible precisely because the IPCC reports do document the sources and so the claim about glaciers could be tracked back to a speculative article.

34This item is edited from an account provided by Prof. Michael shley, UNSW.

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