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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A New Bogdanoff Affair?

In a paper on the ArXiv today, A Comment on "On Some Contradictory Computations in Multi-dimensional Mathematics", we read that a serious journal Nonlinear Analysis has allowed to be published an article full of nonsense. Apparently, Carvalho, L. A. V., On Some Contradictory Computations in Multi-Dimensional Mathematics, Nonlinear Analysis 63, 725-734 (2005), claims among other things that "multi-variable mathematics is inconsistent with arithmetic (1 = 0) and also auto-contradictory as calculus is part of this theory".

So, hoax or incompetence? Is this another Bogdanoff affair, also know as Reverse Sokal? The slightly odd thing is that the authors of the debunking give references for previous debunkings. But one of these, reference [2], has authors Carvalho, A. L. Trovon and Rodrigues, W. A., Jr.. I wonder how common the surname 'Carvalho' is.

Update: I think my suspicions were wrong, and that they are different Carvalhos. LAV Carvalho has 23 papers listed on MathSciNet. In the paper concerned, it has an ominous "There will be no review of this item." A. L. Trovon de Carvalho has clashed swords with Myron Evans.


Fabien Besnard said...

Thank you for pointing out this paper, Carvalho's claims are really funny, that made my day. However, I think you're not nice with the Bogdanoffs : at least in their academic papers they were quite efficient in hiding nonsense behind buzzwords. Anyway, it really seems there is a serious problem with peer reviewing these days.

March 28, 2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Carvalho is a quite common name in Brazil. While I don't personally know Trovon (people always call him this way here in Brazil), I know he's a very serious guy. He would never write such nonsense, so this LAV Carvalho is another person. Waldyr Rodrigues was Trovon supervisor, I think (if not, somebody else of the mathematical physics group in the Math Institute at the State University of Campinas).


March 28, 2006 11:19 PM  
Fabien Besnard said...

"so this LAV Carvalho is another person"

...or Trovon Carvalho has made a good joke. LAV Carvalho's claims are so crazy that I can't help thinking all this is a good joke. April 1st is aproaching after all...

March 29, 2006 6:34 AM  
Anonymous said...

Is Nonlinear Analysis actually a "serious journal"? I'm not at all in the right field to judge that for myself, so I'm just speculating here. However, it's worth noting that I've only heard of two papers from this journal: this one and Elin Oxenhielm's bogus work on Hilbert's 16th problem (well, it was accepted but the paper was never published after the controversy arose). That's a shockingly bad track record, since I'd regard as incompetent any editor who would accept such a paper. (I read Oxenhielm's paper, and it makes glaring errors that any undergraduate math major should be able to catch, even given a casual reading.)

So my best guess is that this is just more evidence that publication in Nonlinear Analysis means nothing.

April 04, 2006 4:45 AM  

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