[WikiEN-l] No references in the "end product?"

geni geniice at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 11:57:02 UTC 2006

On 10/2/06, Daniel P. B. Smith <wikipedia2006 at dpbsmith.com> wrote:
> Oh? Take a look at the article on "Radioactivity" in the Encyclopedia
> Britannica, 11th edition.
> It contains fifty-four inline references. It also mentions five
> "general treatises."
> And the stuff in between is credited to a known individual, "E. Ru."
> with the Encyclopedia Britannica editors implicitly vouching both for
> his identity and his competence. However, if I want to check his
> competence for yourself, I flip to the front of volume 22, p. vii and
> look up E. Ru. who happens to be some guy named "Ernest Rutherford,
> F. R. S., D. Sc. LL. D., Ph. D., Langworthy Professor of Physics,
> University of Manchester, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1908, Author of
> Radio-Activity; Radio-Activity Transformations; etc."

That is an exceptional example most were written by somewhat lesser individuals

>   For all I know,, _may_ be a Nobel Laureate, but...
> should I trust the unreferenced material in this article as much as I
> trust the unreferenced material in the Britannica article credited to
> E. Ru.?

Depends. Given at the point he must have writen it Rutherford would
either have been just pre his atomic model or just post it. Since his
model of the atom doesn't really work and at that point he hadn't
considered neutrons I might go for something a bit more up to date.


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