Oberon Chairperson Tom Hunter, PhD, commented online today on Michael Shermer's pro-Stratfordian essay in the August 2009 Scientific American at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=skeptics-take-on-the-life&page=2&posted=1#comments
Mr. Shermer gets it wrong about Oxfordians.
Justice Steven’s decision for Oxford as the true Shakespeare beyond a reasonable doubt was not the granting of some baseless wish. It was the inevitable discovery, by someone who could not be ignored, a justice of the United States Supreme Court, about where the considerable evidence for Oxford reasonably leads us. Justice Scalia has come to the same conclusion. Two Supreme Court justices. It is fine for Mr Shermer to dissent. We welcome dissent. But we need stronger dissent than the well-worn uninformed, erroneous, blustery reasons he gives, such as that there is zero evidence that Edward de Vere wrote under a pseudonym. Shermer needs to do his reading. He needs to read The Art of English Poesy, 1589:
. . . some courtiers write well but suppress it & or else suffered it to be published without their won names to it, as it were a discredit for a gentleman to seem, learned and to show himself amorous of any good art. And some noble-men have written excellently well, as it would appear if their doings could be found out and made public with the rest, of which number is first that noble gentleman Edward, Earl of Oxford.
In all, the Scientific American – that revered journal which in 1940 gave us Charles Wisner Barrell’s brilliant analysis of so-called Shakespeare portraits at the Folger – can do much better. Oh, yes. Barrell was an Oxfordian. His work has been updated recently by Oxfordians such as Barbara Burris, as covered by The New York Times. But anyone who would know Oxfordian research well enough to criticize it would know that.