WorldNetDaily continues to push crank analysis of the President’s birth certificate. I wrote in my article “Miscalculating the odds” about Christopher “Lord” Monkton’s silly foray into probability theory, where he calculates the probability that President Obama’s birth certificate is legitimate at 0.0000000000000000000016. The analysis is so totally goofy that I largely dismissed it after pointing out the basic mathematical fallacies.
I was terribly disappointed today to find out that the Associate Chair of Mathematics for Instruction at Louisiana State University, Dr. Charles N. Delzell, backs Monckton’s analysis in an affidavit. Despite four and a half pages of text, praising and validating that one irrelevant thing after another in Monckton’s paper is right, I was hard pressed to find anything saying that what Monckton concluded is either correct or valid in approach. The best I could find is this from paragraph 8:
It seems very unlikely that any of the irregularities specified in Monckton’s list of probabilities could possibly have occurred by inadvertence as often as this.
and this in paragraph 9:
For these reasons, and subject only to the fact that I have not verified the forensic investigators’ results, Monckton’s conclusion, based on those results, that the relevant documentation is nearly-certainly forged necessarily follows, mathematically speaking.
I just sent the following letter to Robert Perlis, Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Louisiana State University.
An affidavit signed by Prof. Charles Delzell came to my attention today. In this affidavit, Prof. Delzell examines a statistical analysis done by an English eccentric, Lord Monckton, that purports to prove that the birth certificate released by the President of the United States is a fake.
I hold a Masters Degree in Mathematics, earned under some distinguished graduates of LSU, and I can say without a doubt that the analysis and statements in the affidavit are total and complete junk as far as probability theory goes.
I would suggest that to prevent the University from becoming a laughing stock, that you refer these papers to someone qualified in probability theory to verify that they are junk, and then take the appropriate damage control action.
I received an email reply from Dr. Perlis at LSU. I generally treat the emails that I receive as private and so I will only repeat what I am confident that he would want said and that is that Delzell was writing as a private individual and that the Mathematics Department at LSU is not involved.