Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Fierce Exchange

Sokal be damned. We can talk about science. 

Hi ****--I modified that citation, thanks to your kind input (was it you? a while back anyway). 

Sadly you appear to have absorbed the knee jerk "It must be nonsense unless I am saying it" ideology of the worst kind of eliminative materialist biology and psychology--but thankfully there are other scientific disciplines. 

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Morton
Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English



On Jun 13, 2013, at 1:13 AM, **** wrote:

Dear Professor Morton

Google Scholar alerted me to the fact that you had quoted our work on olfaction in Drosophila and supplied me with a pdf of your article. At first I thought it was a spoof but then I remembered that the defining feature of your field is the impossibility of distinguishing parody from the real thing. As far as I can tell, your article hovers comfortably at the level of Not Even Wrong throughout. I come with good news, however: at one point—when you quote our work— it hoists itself to the level of Plain Wrong: there is no entanglement in the quantum mechanism we propose for smell.

best wishes

****
Addendum: the author of the email might want to take it up with Nature news, since that is where I first heard of the (mis)interpretation of his or her work. 

2 comments:

Liam Heneghan said...

Oh, this is great! All the border patrols are in place....

cmichaelkeys.com said...

My response (I have to disagree with you on this one.)

http://cmichaelkeys.com/2013/06/19/timothy-morton-on-embodied-ethical-resonance/

Quantum tunnelling as a mechanism of olfaction is a very separate claim from quantum entanglement between the subject of olfaction and the object smelled -- which is what I take your point to be.