From the peer-reviewed pages of Springer Nature…a theory more bonkers than a conference of Flat Earthers.

“Wow. Just wow. What the f**k?!?!”

That was the opening line of my e-mail reply to Ivan Oransky, MD, and co-founder of Retraction Watch, when I’d picked myself up off the floor after reading the paper he sent me earlier this week. Ivan wanted my reaction to…deep breath…”Development of a safe antiparasitic against scuticociliates (Miamiensis avidus) in olive flounders: new approach to reduce the toxicity of mebendazole by material remediation technology using full-overlapped gravitational field energy”, Parasitology Research (2019). 

That paper has now been retracted for reasons that will become very clear, very soon.

The more puzzling question is how the hell it got accepted in the first place.

Scroll down to page 5 of the paper (linked above) and find the section headed “Production of material remediated MBZ using full-overlapped gravitational field energy“. Actually, I’ll save you the bother. The section is reproduced in all its glory below. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…


…wait, there’s more…


And in case that didn’t make sense, there’s a helpful figure to explain everything:


I haven’t read anything quite as superbly crackpot as this since Jordan Peterson’s “Maps Of Meaning”.

As Ivan discusses over at the Retraction Watch blog, this, um, seminal example of truly innovative scientific reasoning was submitted on March 18. The editors and reviewers then took four months to consider the paper. And subsequently accepted it for publication.

Peer review. The gold standard on which all of science stands or falls.

Author: Philip Moriarty

Physicist. Metal fan. Father of three. Step-dad to be. Substantially worse half to my fiancée Lori, whose patience with my Spinal Tap obsession goes to far beyond 11...

3 thoughts on “From the peer-reviewed pages of Springer Nature…a theory more bonkers than a conference of Flat Earthers.”

  1. Outstanding! But wtf did the reviews say about it, who actually reviewed the manuscript? If it was a couple of kooks* who were on the same [ahem] wavelength as the authors, I guess that would explain it. But then what the hell were the editors doing here? Some editors seem to see their role as purely honorary, an addition to their CVs that reflects their status, rather than doing any f**king work. We had a manuscript rejected recently after 45 days in the system, with the comment that the English needed to be looked at by a native speaker!

    *Cue Bowie song….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My friend and fellow (surface) physicist, Tony Cafolla (Dublin City University), let me know about the poem below, which seems rather relevant to the post above…

    God The Silkworm – Poem by Delilah Miller

    Since it is all relative…
    The universe is silk,
    woven with threads of light.
    Cosmic silk worms twist in cocoons,
    spinning strings of energy
    that reverberate into the darkness,
    each strand wiggling to the first violin’s tune.

    The strings stretch into the black abysses
    we have not yet photographed, touched.
    They are woven into tight balls, planets and stars, all in the dark.
    Only the ancient methodology is working to spin
    The small strings into elements,
    the smaller strings into atoms
    smallest strings into electrons,
    then quarks.

    Stars draw the fabric into a seam,
    and pin the pieces of cosmos together.
    Each celestial body placed like a piece in chess.

    The planets sink into the soft black,
    creating waves and orbits to spin upon,
    we call the folds gravity and string theory lines up the cosmic mess.

    But I think God must be a giant silkworm,
    who spins the threads of energy
    and He is the voice that whisper light into being
    as the galaxies are forever forming,
    to quench our thirst for new frontiers.
    The planets’ dye seeps from colors in His palms.
    And He must be the tailor who sew the universe;
    He is the violinist playing a new melody to each string to float on
    and rolls us around the sun as the stars call us into seeing.
    Delilah Miller


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