Joshua P. Schroeder (Joshua Tan)

,

Notes

  • 28 July 2011: Due to legal threats from an anonymous individual, claiming unspecified privacy and defamatory issues, this page was removed.
  • Oct 2018: Due to legal threats being (a) unsubstantiated and uncorroborated (b) all material presented being referenced from public sources, this page has been reinstated.

”’Josh Schroeder”’ (b. 1981) (AKA ScienceApologist on Wikipedia, currently editing under the username: ජපස)[1]Zvika/Interview/ScienceApologist“, 18 March 2008 on Wikipedia[2]Change of username from “Joshuaschroeder” to “ScienceApologist”, 24 November 2005 on Wikipedia[3]Presentation by Joshua Schroeder” as ScienceApologist at New York Meet-up, January 13, 2008 on Wikipedia[4]Usnername change request 5 March 2011 is an astrophysicist that is critical of Immanuel Velikovsky, and of individuals and scientists who do accept the mainstream consensus. Schroeder has an A.B. in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University (2003),[5]List of Astro Majors 1928-current, Princeton University an M.S. in Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2005),[6]LinkedIn and was a graduate student at Columbian University.[7]Joshua Schroeder at Columbia His research interests include cosmology, the epoch of reionization, binary stars, and spectroscopy.[8]365 Days of Astronomy?, “June 17th: The Big Bang!

On Velikovsky

Schroeder describes Velikovsky as:

  • “an outright charlatan who was taken to task rather forcefully and effectively by Carl Sagan[9]Joshua Schroeder, “A review of The Electric Universe“, August 4, 2007 at Amazon.com
  • “.. describing fringe claims and pseudoscience. Examples include .. Immanuel Velikovsky..”[10]Ibid. josh18may2008″
  • “The reasons that Velikovskian fantasies are ludicrous is not because Sagan says so, though Sagan is right in the matter and Velikovskian idiots are wrong”.[11]User:scienceapologist “Talk:Immanuel Velikovsky”, Revision as of 22:52, 14 June 2007

On scientists with non-mainstream views

Schroeder has been critical of many researchers who do not share the mainstream consensus:

  • Describes retired assistant professor Paul Marmet (1932-2005)[12]Marmet was a retired assistant professor at the Physics Department of the University of Ottawa, and a former Senior Researcher at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics of the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. See: Louis Marmet, “Obituary: “Paul Marmet, Ph. D. (1932-2005)”. Marmet published more than 100 papers in the field of Electron Spectroscopy, including peer-reviewed papers on cosmology and non-Doppler redshifts. See also, Paul Marmet: “Index of Papers, Books and relevant links“. Personal website, as “a well-known woo-woo”.[13]Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Talk:Redshift”, Revision as of 22:36, 21 December 2005 on Wikipedia
  • Describes the views of astronomer Halton Arp (Ph.D 1953)[14]Halton Arp is an award-winning American astronomer, Halton Arp and a senior research scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik. Halton Arp at Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik as “pathological skepticism”.[15]Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Talk:Redshift”, Revision as of 07:55, 9 December 2005, on Wikipedia
  • Describes astronomer Tom Van Flandern (1940-2009, Ph.D 1969, Yale)[16]Tom Van Flandern on Wikipedia as “out-and-out insane”[17]Joshua Schroeder, “Talk:Big Bang”, Revision as of 05:37, 18 November 2005
  • On plasma researcher, and professional writer, Eric Lerner (B.A. physics),[18]Eric Lerner on Wikipedia removed his writing awards from Wikipedia article.[19]Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Eric Lerner” Revision as of 18:28, 19 July 2006 and replaced positive reviews with negative ones.[20]Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Eric Lerner” Revision as of 19:31, 19 July 2006 Henry H. Bauer, Emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies notes that:

    “ScienceApologist was so assiduous in his harassment of Eric Lerner over concepts about an “Electric Universe”, leading even to Lerner being barred from contributing to Wikipedia on subjects on which he is expert”[21]Henry Bauer, “The Fairy-Tale Cult of Wikipedia“, on January 4, 2010

  • On physicist Dr László Körtvélyessy, removed his academic credentials that he is a “physicist who is candidate of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences” from a Wikipedia article.[22]Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, in Wikipedia article (now removed) (article copy)
  • Tried to get a plasma physicist fired from his position as guest editor of the journal IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.[23]Joshua Schroeder as VanishedUser314159, responding to user Phaedrus7 on 30 December 2008[24]Joshua P. Schroeder is Wikipedia user VanishedUser314159

Writing as ScienceApologist, Schroeder says of himself, and minority views:

  • “I am ScienceApologist. People generally hate me because I am fairly uncompromising when it comes to describing academic science and oppositional pseudoscience. In fact, I’m more strident in writing the encyclopedia than in real life because I believe that an encyclopedia is meant to be first-stops and so general as to be blandly pedantic: a style of writing which does not lend itself to nuance but is rather offensively dismissive of the minority opinions in and outside of academia.”[25]User:ScienceApologist“, 26 October 2007.

Criticisms by Joshua Schroeder

Contempt of Wikipedia

Editing under the username ScienceApologist, editors have acknowledged that Schroeder has been given “leeway” over his incivility,[26]User: Proabivouac, “Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement: User:ScienceApologist 2“, 29 May 2007 while other editors have claimed that he has “utter contempt for the Wikipedia community”[27]User MaxPont, “MaxPont/ArbComEvidence: The ScienceApologist Scandal“, 1 December 2008 since he describes Wikipedia being run, as:

  • “Laughable, considering the utter incompetence of many of the people responsible for the “decisions” .. I don’t care if Wikipedia survives or not, and usually hope that it fails a miserable death”[28]Joshua Schroeder, “Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion: Statement by ScienceApologist“, 14 November 2008 on Wikipedia

Childish naivety

Henry H. Bauer, Emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies, and critic of Velikovsky, notes that (Schroeder):

  • “ScienceApologist gives a self-description that raises the suspicion that he, she, or they is or are in reality a Trojan Horse designed to discredit all who claim to defend science. I could not reach a conclusion as to whether or not this self-description was written satirically, because it is so perfect a send-up of the most extreme scientism — “scientism” being the quasi-religious belief that contemporary science is the place to get true answers to everything.” [..]
  • “ScienceApologist’s self-portrait contains a number of references to Wikipedia “principles” .. these Wikipedia policies and guidelines can be seen as some combination of wishful thinking, childish naivety, megalomania, and the like — divorce from reality.”[29]Ibid. bauer2010″

Pretending to be a professor

Schroeder has acknowledged that he misrepresented to other editors, that he was a professor:

  • “I responded that I was a professor at a community college. Technically, this is something of an overstatement: I am an instructor at a community college: the rank of professor is attained after jumping through a couple of hoops. However, in a practical sense, my duties are identical to that of any other full-time faculty member at the community college and many students call me “professor” all the same. It’s a technical distinction without a difference.”[30]Joshua Schroeder (as ScienceApologist), “Thanks for weighing in“, 7 March 2007 on WikipediaEditors continued to perpetuate the pretence,[31]User Proabivouac, “Hello“, May 19, 2007 on Wikipedia, and even though he was active on Wikipedia at the time,[32]User contributions: ScienceApologist Schroeder felt it was not necessary to correct the “overstatement”. Blogger gfellow writes:
  • “It would be a shame if we were to let these forces plunge us into a new dark age where knowledge is censored by a few elite like Joshua Schroeder who have taken it upon themselves to don a false cloak of authority.”[33]gfellow, “You’d Prefer an Astronaut“, May 9, 2009

Hateful things

Blogger Steven Krivit writes:

  • “ScienceApologist has said some extremely hateful things on Wikipedia. I’d hate for the wrong person to get blamed for it.”[34]Steven Krivit, “You’d Prefer an Astronaut“, January 2, 2009

Misleading book “reviews”

Schroeder has contributed negative reviews of books that he had not read, including ”ad hominem” attacks, and inaccurate information.

Joshua Schroeder's admission
Joshua Schroeder’s admission, July 31, 2007
Schroeder's review
Schroeder’s review, July 10, 2007

On July 10, 2007, Schroeder contributed a review to Amazon.com, on Don Scott’s book, ”The Electric Sky”, about which he comments that:

electric-sky-book-page
A page of calculations from Don Scott’s book
  • “This book is basically full of attempts to dispute standard science… Scott really has no understanding of anything in physics beyond Maxwell’s Equations and electrodynamics.. He does this not through physical arguments or calculations, but through pointing out superficial similarities between structures..”[35]Amazon.com: Joshua Schroeder’s review of The Electric Sky” posted July 10, 2007 On July 31, 2007 (three weeks later) on the Thunderbolts forum, Schroeder (using his pseudonym, ScienceApologist) writes:
  • “Don Scott can do what he pleases. I should have his book tomorrow so I can see how “informed” he actually is”[36]”EU and Criticism”, Thuderbolts forum, posted Jul 31, 2007 (no longer online)On his understanding of physics, Don Scott writes that he:
  • “.. earned a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a member of the faculty of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst from 1959 until his retirement in 1998. During that time he was the recipient of several good-teaching awards. He was, at various times, Assistant Department Head, Director of the undergraduate program, Graduate admissions coordinator, and Director of the College of Engineering’s Video Instructional Program.”[37]Don Scott, ”The Electric Sky” “About the Author” (page vii)

Discrediting researchers

Independent researcher and award-winning writer Eric Lerner,[38]Eric Lerner on Wikipedia writes of Schroeder (editing under his Wikipedia username, ScienceApologist (SA) ):

  • “SA’s edits of my page have systematically aimed to create the false impression that no one in the community takes my work seriously, that I should be grouped with someone like, say, Velikovsky. For that reason he has eliminated references to my peer-reviewed publications, to leading academic institutions where I have been invited to present my work and to my stay at ESO as a Visiting Astronomer. [..]
  • “SA and his colleague BKramer have pursued this campaign against me and everyone else they see as minority thinkers. This has led to ludicrous stunts such as questioning my (BA!) degree from Columbia as “unsourced”. I would like to see anyone’s degree which is publicly sourced to anyone except themselves. University records are not generally on-line!”[39]Eric Lerner, “Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience” posted 2 October 2006

Pseudoskeptic

Schroeder has been described as a pseudoskeptic, (a term that describes skepticism that deviates from objectivity):

  • “Joshua — aka ScienceApologist at Wikipedia — is a pseudo-skeptic, that Amazon had to pull reviews due to him not even reading the books he was criticizing…”[40]SandyK, Amazon.com review, “Big Bang Blasted”, Feb. 27, 2008

In turn, Schroeder describes pseudoskepticism as:

  • “.. an epithet used to deride those attempting to neutrally describe subjects relating to pseudoscience”[41]User:ScienceApologist “Pseudoskepticism” on Wikipedia

Wikipedia issues

Schroeder has been the subject of numerous Wikipedia arbitration cases, and received several blocks:

Subject of Wikipedia arbitration cases

  • 1 December 2005 Reddi 2 (as user:Joshuaschroeder)
  • In which other editors lent their support to Schroeder.[42]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Reddi 2, “Statement by Pjacobi, 25 November 2005″
  • 23 November 2006 ScienceApologist
  • It was concluded that “ScienceApologist is counseled to be more patient and diplomatic with users who may edit their own article or advance original research. Many users err, but eventually become valued contributors.”[43]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/ScienceApologist, “ScienceApologist counseled“, 8 December 2006
  • 12 October 2006 Pseudoscience
  • It was found that “ScienceApologist is uncivil” and has “has deprecated a number of persons and their theories”[44]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience, “Findings of Fact: ScienceApologist is uncivil“, 3 December 2006
  • 15 October 2007 Martinphi-ScienceApologist
  • It was found that “ScienceApologist has engaged in incivility, assumptions of bad faith, and personal attacks, as well as abusive sockpuppetry.”[45]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist, Findings of Fact: ScienceApologist, 19 November 2007[46]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist/Workshop: “ScienceApologist misuses sock-puppets” (Nov 2007)
  • 14 November 2008 Cold fusion
  • 29 December 2008 Fringe science
  • It was found that “ScienceApologist has acted against consensus, removed sourced statements appropriate to articles, and generally edited aggressively above and beyond what would be necessary and justified by a neutral point of view.”[47]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science, “Findings of fact: ScienceApologist“, 25 February 2009 resulting in the remedy that “ScienceApologist is banned from Wikipedia for three months for disruption, gaming and wikilawyering.”[48]Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science, “Further motions following Request for Clarification: Motion to sanction ScienceApologist“, 25 February 2009
  • 14 January 2011 Joshua P. Schroeder for:
  • “.. disruption of Wikipedia to make a point. .. edit-warring .. The principles of Wikipedia etiquette require that editors assume good faith, work towards agreement, argue facts and not personalities, and be civil. In the incidents described above Joshua P. Schroeder did not do so. Thereby, and by edit-warring, he has failed to adhere to expected standards of behavior when editing in the area of pseudoscience ..”[49]Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive81 (15 Jan 2011)

Wikipedia blocks

Schroeder has been blocked from Wikipedia several times.[50]Block log: User:VanishedUser314159 Reasons include:

  • 15 January 2013 blocked indefinitely due to block evasion.
  • 21 January 2011 blocked indefinitely, self-declared intent to circumvent topic ban and other arbitration restrictions (subsequently reduced to one year)
  • 15 January 2011 blocked for 3 days, Ignoring psuedoscience topic-ban at RHETI
  • 12 March 2009 blocked for 3 months (ref)
  • 1 December 2008 blocked for 48 hours, editing WP:FRINGE in violation of Pseudoscience page ban
  • 11 July 2008 blocked for 12 hours, violation of “incivility and bad faith” restrictions
  • 5 July 2008 blocked for 24 hours, edit warring
  • 2 July 2008 blocked for 48 hours, edit warring
  • 23 June 2008 blocked for 24 hours, deletion of talk page comments
  • 24 February 2008 blocked for 12 hours
  • 14 February 2008 blocked for 42 hours, Arbitration enforcement: (ref)
  • 6 February 2008 blocked for 24 hours, edit warring
  • January 2008 blocked for 24 hours,‎ arbcom restriction violation, see (ref)
  • 14 January 2008 blocked for 72 hours, edit warring
  • 30 December 2007 blocked for 72 hours , re: arbcom restriction violation, see (ref)
  • 19 June 2007 blocked for 24 hours, three-revert rule violation
  • 28 April 2005 blocked for 24 hours,‎ 3 revert rule (as user:joshuaschroeder),(ref

Sockpuppetry

On Wikipedia, Schroeder had been found to be using his username accounts (“sock puppets“) inappropriately. In Nov 2007, it was found that Schroeder had used sockpuppets abusively.”[51]Ibid. sockabuse His sockpuppets have included the usernames:

Schroeder has also acknowledged using a number of different Wikipedia usernames:[53]User:ජපස/Previous Account Names

  1. joshuaschroeder
  2. ScienceApologist
  3. Joshua P. Schroder
  4. Vanished User 314159
  5. Previously ScienceApologist
  6. QTxVi4bEMRbrNqOorWBV
  7. I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc
  8. WoKrKmFK3lwz8BKvaB94
  9. 9SGjOSfyHJaQVsEmy9NS
  10. ජපස

Bibliography

External links

References   [ + ]

1. Zvika/Interview/ScienceApologist“, 18 March 2008 on Wikipedia
2. Change of username from “Joshuaschroeder” to “ScienceApologist”, 24 November 2005 on Wikipedia
3. Presentation by Joshua Schroeder” as ScienceApologist at New York Meet-up, January 13, 2008 on Wikipedia
4. Usnername change request 5 March 2011
5. List of Astro Majors 1928-current, Princeton University
6. LinkedIn
7. Joshua Schroeder at Columbia
8. 365 Days of Astronomy?, “June 17th: The Big Bang!
9. Joshua Schroeder, “A review of The Electric Universe“, August 4, 2007 at Amazon.com
10. Ibid. josh18may2008″
11. User:scienceapologist “Talk:Immanuel Velikovsky”, Revision as of 22:52, 14 June 2007
12. Marmet was a retired assistant professor at the Physics Department of the University of Ottawa, and a former Senior Researcher at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics of the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. See: Louis Marmet, “Obituary: “Paul Marmet, Ph. D. (1932-2005)”. Marmet published more than 100 papers in the field of Electron Spectroscopy, including peer-reviewed papers on cosmology and non-Doppler redshifts. See also, Paul Marmet: “Index of Papers, Books and relevant links“. Personal website
13. Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Talk:Redshift”, Revision as of 22:36, 21 December 2005 on Wikipedia
14. Halton Arp is an award-winning American astronomer, Halton Arp and a senior research scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik. Halton Arp at Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik
15. Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Talk:Redshift”, Revision as of 07:55, 9 December 2005, on Wikipedia
16. Tom Van Flandern on Wikipedia
17. Joshua Schroeder, “Talk:Big Bang”, Revision as of 05:37, 18 November 2005
18. Eric Lerner on Wikipedia
19. Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Eric Lerner” Revision as of 18:28, 19 July 2006
20. Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, “Eric Lerner” Revision as of 19:31, 19 July 2006
21. Henry Bauer, “The Fairy-Tale Cult of Wikipedia“, on January 4, 2010
22. Joshua Schroeder as ScienceApologist, in Wikipedia article (now removed) (article copy)
23. Joshua Schroeder as VanishedUser314159, responding to user Phaedrus7 on 30 December 2008
24. Joshua P. Schroeder is Wikipedia user VanishedUser314159
25. User:ScienceApologist“, 26 October 2007.
26. User: Proabivouac, “Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement: User:ScienceApologist 2“, 29 May 2007
27. User MaxPont, “MaxPont/ArbComEvidence: The ScienceApologist Scandal“, 1 December 2008
28. Joshua Schroeder, “Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion: Statement by ScienceApologist“, 14 November 2008 on Wikipedia
29. Ibid. bauer2010″
30. Joshua Schroeder (as ScienceApologist), “Thanks for weighing in“, 7 March 2007 on Wikipedia
31. User Proabivouac, “Hello“, May 19, 2007 on Wikipedia
32. User contributions: ScienceApologist
33. gfellow, “You’d Prefer an Astronaut“, May 9, 2009
34. Steven Krivit, “You’d Prefer an Astronaut“, January 2, 2009
35. Amazon.com: Joshua Schroeder’s review of The Electric Sky” posted July 10, 2007
36. ”EU and Criticism”, Thuderbolts forum, posted Jul 31, 2007 (no longer online)
37. Don Scott, ”The Electric Sky” “About the Author” (page vii)
38. Eric Lerner on Wikipedia
39. Eric Lerner, “Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience” posted 2 October 2006
40. SandyK, Amazon.com review, “Big Bang Blasted”, Feb. 27, 2008
41. User:ScienceApologist “Pseudoskepticism” on Wikipedia
42. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Reddi 2, “Statement by Pjacobi, 25 November 2005″
43. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/ScienceApologist, “ScienceApologist counseled“, 8 December 2006
44. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience, “Findings of Fact: ScienceApologist is uncivil“, 3 December 2006
45. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist, Findings of Fact: ScienceApologist, 19 November 2007
46. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist/Workshop: “ScienceApologist misuses sock-puppets” (Nov 2007)
47. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science, “Findings of fact: ScienceApologist“, 25 February 2009
48. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science, “Further motions following Request for Clarification: Motion to sanction ScienceApologist“, 25 February 2009
49. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive81 (15 Jan 2011)
50. Block log: User:VanishedUser314159
51. Ibid. sockabuse
52. User talk:ජපස “WP:GAB-compliant request”, Revision as of 15:11, 15 January 2013
53. User:ජපස/Previous Account Names