Mark Perakh

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Mark Perakh (Russian: Марк Пэрах; born Mark Yakovlevich Popereka in 1924, Kiev, Ukraine, died 7 May 2013 in Escondido, California),[1] was a professor emeritus of Mathematics and statistical mechanics at California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, California.

Perakh taught physics, researched superconductivity, and wrote some 300 scientific papers, but his fame particularly comes from his 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.[2]

On August 28, 1958 Perakh (then Popereka), who at the time had been the head of a department in Kazakh Agricultural University in Almaty (then Alma-Ata) and K.S.Frusin (department assistant) were sentenced for "badmouthing" the Soviet government and for spreading leaflets calling to vote against candidates in the then forthcoming elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.[3] Some of Perakh's short stories were inspired by his stay in the gulag.

In 2003, Perakh published Unintelligent Design (Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-084-0), a book that is critical of Intelligent Design, and he is particularly skeptical of some of the arguments proposed by William Dembski, which he states are pseudomathematical. He has also written criticizing Old Earth creationist astronomer, Hugh Ross,[4][5] and has responded to claims by Jonathan Wells that the lack of published research by creationists contradicting the prevailing scientific consensus is due to a conspiracy he likens to Lysenkoism in the former USSR.[6][7]

Perakh was also interested in Bible codes, which he believed are ridiculous.[8]

Perakh's other published books include a technical volume on the subject of thin films, which has been translated into eight languages, and the novel Man in a Wire Cage (originally titled by the author "Train in a Wire Cage" but changed by the publisher) (1988, ISBN 1-55547-257-5). His website also has a section on Russian oral jokes (anekdoty) and short stories he has written in English and Russian.

Perakh died of leukemia on May 7, 2013 in his home in Hidden Meadows outside Escondido, California.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Matt. "Mark Perakh dies - The Panda's Thumb". Pandasthumb.org. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  2. ^ Fikes, Bradley J. (2006-02-25). "Mark Perakh, science defender". North County Times. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  3. ^ 58-10. Nadzornyje proizvodstva Prokuratury SSSR po delam ob antisovetskoj agitatsii i propagande. Mart 1953-1991. Annotirovannyj katalog, compiled by O.V.Edelman; Moscow, International Democracy Foundation, 1999, p.470. Also the source given in the book, namely: GARF (the State Archive of the Russian Federation), f.8131, op.31, d.83656. Also see Perakh's own reminiscences at http://www.talkreason.org/articles/eandp.cfm#per
  4. ^ Perakh, Mark (2002-05-09). "A Crusade of Arrogance". Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  5. ^ Perakh, Mark (2004-05-10). "Cooling of the universe: Pseudo-thermodynamics of Hugh Ross revisited". Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  6. ^ Elsberry, Wesley R.; Perakh, Mark (n.d.). "How Intelligent Design Advocates Turn the Sordid Lessons from Soviet and Nazi History Upside Down". Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  7. ^ Mark Perakh (n.d.). "Whose Head is Ugly? Jonathan Wells and Lysenkoism". Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  8. ^ Perakh, Mark (May 2000). "The Rise and Fall of the Bible Code". Kontinent, no. 103 (translation from Russian by the author). Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Mark Perakh dies". National Center for Science Education. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 

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