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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Intelligent design and popular culture: Plagiarism

A friend points me to this ad, noting "If an ID-proponent won one of these, that would be embarrassing."

"Does your school/university check your homeworks/theses for plagiarism? Nowadays, probably Yes, but are they doing it properly? Little is known about plagiarism detection accuracy, which is why we conduct a competition on plagiarism detection, sponsored by Yahoo! We have set up a corpus of artificial plagiarism which contains plagiarism with varying degrees of obfuscation, and translation plagiarism from Spanish or German source documents. A random plagiarist was employed who attempts to obfuscate his plagiarism with random sequences of text operations, e.g., shuffling, deleting, inserting, or replacing a word. Translated plagiarism is created using machine translation."
In my experience, the surest guide to plagiarism is the lack of any original ideas. The sense of "been there, done that, got the tee. So why are we back here now? Did we discover that we had left a passenger behind when I was asleep?"

A person who has original ideas - , good, bad, or merely confused or misinformed - disdains plagiarism on principle.

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