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It is with great sorrow that Talk Reason announces the death of TR co-founder and major contributor Mark Perakh on May 7, 2013, following a brief illness. He was 88 years old.
Mark Perakh was a professor emeritus of mathematics and statistical mechanics at California State University in Fullerton, CA. Perakh taught physics and wrote some 300 scientific papers. His work in physics focused on superconductivity and his book on thin films was translated into eight languages. He also wrote and published the novel Man in a Wire Cage.
Perakh's fame particularly comes from writing about science and religion on Talk Reason (a website he helped found) and from his regular contributions to the blog The Panda's Thumb. He also wrote a book critical of pseudo-science, Unintelligent Design.
His death is a great loss to the scientific blogging community.
- Critique of Intelligent Design contains articles critical of the modern incarnation of creationism referred to as Intelligent Design (ID) theory. These articles concentrate on philosophical, mathematical, and physical arguments and on general notions propagandized by the ID advocates. The critique of ID specifically in relation to evolution theory is found in the section "Evolution vs. Creationism".
- Evolution vs. Creationism comprises articles devoted to the elucidation of fallacies, errors, and distortions of evolution theory which are the staple of the anti-evolutionist literature of all kinds, from the older (young-earth creationism) type to the neo-creationism type masquerading as science and using arguments based on such concepts as irreducible complexity of biological structures and related notions.
- The Art of ID Stuntmen This section contains articles that discuss the tactics ID advocates use in their attempts to achieve their goals (including how they conduct disputes and discussions), as well as the quality of their research methodology, their adherence to facts, and the level of reliability of their argumentation, quotations, and references As to the essence of the ID conceptual system, it is critically discussed in the Critique of Intelligent Design and Evolution vs. Creationism sections.
- Faith vs Reason contains articles critically analyzing books by religious writers which purport to prove the compatibility of the biblical story with science.
- Anthropic Principle comprises articles discussing the so-called anthropic coincidences, also referred to as the anthropic principle, and sometimes as the "fine-tuning" of the physical constants for the existence of life in our universe. These articles, although approaching the question of anthropic coincidences from various standpoints and using various sets of arguments, all agree that there is no basis for the interpretation of anthropic coincidences as a result of a creation act by a supernatural agent ("designer", God, or gods, and the like).
- Autopsy of the Bible code This section contains articles analyzing the popular fad according to which in the Hebrew Bible there is a "code" in the form of so called ELSs (Equidistant Letter Sequences). The authors of these essays demonstrate that a "code," identical in all of its features with that allegedly contained in the Bible, can be easily found in every sufficiently long text in every language. The phony Bible code is analyzed here in detail from linguistic, mathematical-statistical, historical, and other angles, leaving no doubt that the Bible code exists only in the imagination of its proponents.
- Science and Religion This section contains articles analyzing in general terms the often strenuous relationship between science and religion and attempting to understand the differences between the approaches inherent in the foundations of scientific and religious ways of penetration into the intrinsic features of the reality.
- Historical Notes This section is reserved to critically discuss questions related to the history of the science vs. religion or faith vs reason relationships, apologetics, exegesis, and historical narratives relevant to the topics argued on this site.
- Counter-Apologetics This section comprises articles wherein the religious apologetics, including but not limited to Christian, Jewish, and Islamic, in all of its forms and guises, as well as related topics, are critically analyzed.
- Serious Notions With a Smile This section is for articles which relate to the serious questions of the obscurantism vs. science competition in a humorous tenor. Readers will find here parodies of the inconsistencies and plainly absurd notions propagandized by the ID advocates, satirical reflections on the concepts that are the mainstay of the ID advocates' ouput, as well as articles referring to some other material which may invoke smiles while discussing serious questions.
- Miscellaneous is designed for articles which do not directly fit any of the other categories but which discuss matters related in some way to the topics covered on this site.
- Mark Perakh's Web Site This page is a gate to several sections of Mark Perakh's web site: Faith vs Science, Texts, short stories in Russian and English, Jokes Under the Covers, and poems.
- Letters is open to brief messages from readers who may wish to express their views, either positive or negative, regarding the material posted on this site.
- Links lists the URLs of other websites covering similar topics from positions of reason and respect for genuine science.
- About Us explains the rules for submission of articles and letters as well as the general policies of this site.
- On the Frontline In this section announcements on recent events related to the ongoing struggle between genuine science and creationism in all its incarnations are posted.
Welcome and enjoy!