Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Otto Rössler has been crazy for years

A reader points to an amazing Spiegel article about Otto Rössler from August 29, 2001. Original German or Google's English translation.

The reader makes these comments:

In 1990 he refused to lecture for chemistry sophomores. The chemistry professor Rössler said that he does not know anything in chemistry himself. He decided to lecture anyway, telling the students he can not teach anything relevant for exams, so he was thrown out of the lecture hall by the police and another professor had to lecture. Rössler decided to hold his "speech" publicly before the lecture room, with no students...

The science minister of Baden Würtemberg wanted to check if Rössler has a psychological disorder. Rössler escaped from that, but he sprayed a colored graffiti on the main hall of the university.

The commenter above writes that Rössler is said to have done some serious work. Unfortunately, having looked at his old papers, I do not see this.

Yes, Rössler has found his Rössler attractor. But nothing else that could be relevant beyond that. Even Rössler's earlier papers are of doubtful quality.

In a follow-up comment the reader was a tiny bit more generous in his assessment:

He's had a few serious papers on chaos in the 1970s. I guess now it is clear that he's beyond pale and has been maybe even for the entirety of the last 2 decades.

He went on to say

Sentences like "For the inhabitants of an MDS universe, therefore a radically new option is available: world change technology." in Z. Naturforsch. 52 a, 593-599 (1997) are from 1997.

Articles like Time Reversibility and the Logical Structure of the Universe, Z. Naturforsch. 51a, 960-962 (1996) are from 1996.

Of course, Rössler's papers got even weirder in time, with things like Superluminality Paradox in Special Relativity Phys. Essays 16, 254 (2003) (5 pages); doi: 10.4006/1.3025580 in 2003.

And the reader points to comment 14.07.2010, 00:02 by Galileo2609 on this RelativKritisch Forum Alpha Centauri thread. Rössler is quoted as saying

Eine deduktive theoretische Biologie des Gehirns ist möglich im Rahmen des physikalischchemischen Darwinismus, d.h. der Fern-vom-Gleichgewicht-Physik Teilhard de Chardins. Obwohl das Ziel der Evolution – Teilhards Punkt Omega – als Attraktor nur asymptotisch (in unendlicher Zeit) erreichbar ist, kann der Personattraktor epigenetisch entstehen. Er erreicht das Ziel der Evolution im Sprung. Eine „Wissenschaft von der Erfahrung des Wohlwollens“ wird möglich. In ihr steht überraschend das Kleinstkind im Zentrum.
(23. Mai 2006)

which goes beyond ordinary crackpottery into the territory of new-age woo-woo, almost reminiscent of Frank van den Bovenkamp & Dan Winter.

Posts about Otto E. Rössler:

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1 comment:

  1. I think that journal editors should be sane persons since their job is to check submitted papers for their correctnes, which can only be done if you are sane.
    Certainly, an editor can be somewhat crazy in other fields while being an expert in his special area. Yet this is not the case with rössler, since he published only crackpot papers in the last years. Since Rössler slipps his crackpot articles in the journals via his editorial positions, a master list for him is absolutely needed. With persons like Rössler, the field of nonlinear dynamics only gets damaged.