During the last 2 weeks, I have been engrossed with the Manila Times endorsement of Mr. Edgar Escultura's claim that he has refuted Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem. Now, I am not a mathematician so I could not criticize Mr. Escultura's theories directly but I tend to recognize bullshit when I see it and the title of the article itself "UP Math prof proves Princeton man wrong" actually raised an alarm with my bullshit meter. Because if the title is correct, then, the internet would have been full of stories about it, I did a search with google, and no trace of this story has surfaced except in the Manila Times.
So I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to convince the Manila Times to "verify" the veracity of their story. I do not know if they will. I hope they do so, but I doubt it.
As an excercise I am linking to some sites that give us, laymen, some guide on how to spot crackpot theories. i leave the reader (if there are any) to decide whether Mr. Escultura's theory fits their description.
Top 10 Ways To Spot A Crackpot
Crank Physics Detection Guide
Russell Turpin's "Characterization of Quack Theories"
The Crackpot Index