CLAIM: The Creator of the Internet was a black man, Philip Emeagwali
EVIDENCE: A detailed investigation by the rested NEXT newspaper in December 2010 proved that the biggest achievement of Philip Emeagwali was his winning of the $1,000 Gordon Bell Prize in 1989. All other claims made by Emeagwali were debunked by the newspaper
A blog has raised dust again about a black man who is the creator of the internet. The particular claim was also made by the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo in his 2018 Independence Day speech and has been a cloud of continuous dust, raised over and over again.
The blog claimed Google confirms the statement of Philip Emeagwali, Nigerian American-based computer scientist, as being the father of the internet and also quoted interviews of CNN and TIMES to support the claim.
BUT THAT’S NOT TRUE!
A quick search on google led to Philip Emeagwali’s Wikipedia page which never had anything associated with the invention of the internet. However, he was well rounded up in the supercomputing applications and in 1989, he won the $1000 Gordon Bell Prize. Likewise, the history of the internet highlighted by Wikipedia does not also move in the direction of Emegwali as one of the fathers of the internet.
In the 2-part Investigation on the claims of Philip Emeagwali titled The Lies of Philip Emegwali and ExxonMobil, others disown Emeagwali published by the rested NEXT newspaper in December 2010, the newspaper contacted leading American Scientists knowledgeable about Computing and Internet as well as Nigerians in the Cyberspace Technology
Among them was Gordon Bell, a pioneer in high-performance and parallel computing for whom the prize won by Mr Emeagwali is named after and he said the entry that earned the Nigerian scientist the award had nothing to do with the Internet.
“Apart from the prize itself, there is no evidence that Emeagwali’s work was ever accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, nor that it had any other lasting impact on the field of high-performance-computing or the development of the Internet. Neither does he hold any recognised patents for his results,” Gordon Bell said.
Alan Karp, one of the Judges that selected the Philip Emegwali’s work for the Gordon Bell Prize said –
“To the best of my knowledge, the work he submitted for the Gordon Bell Prize had no influence on the Internet. The material he submitted for the Gordon Bell Prize did not address adjustments to Newton’s Laws.
“Many people programmed the Connection Machines, both the CM-1 and the CM-2 that Mr Emeagwali programmed. To claim that sending emails programmed is misleading. The work Mr Emeagwali submitted for the Gordon Bell Prize did not set a world record. In fact, another team produced better performance and better price performance that same year and was awarded the Gordon Bell Prize for performance.”
Aside from the Gordon’s prize, Mr Emeagwali is not known for any other breakthrough and the investigation also revealed that PhD was never part of Mr Emeagwali’s Academic degree because the University of Michigan did not find his dissertation good enough and never won a Nobel prize in computing.
Emeagwali’s interview with CNN and TIMES were part of the self-promotion and branding he did after winning the Gordon Bell’s prize.
The internet was never created by a black man even though one person, in particular, cannot be pinpointed as the father of the internet because many scientists worked on a different part. Emeagwali’s work was never related to the internet. It was all self-promotion and branding.