Consider the following article: Writing Descartes: I Am, and I Can Think, Therefore ... by one Professor Paul Grobstein, Harvard grad, Harvard PhD, and impressive academic record in the field of biology. The man is clearly an intelligent fellow, and thus possibly the last person you'd expect to produce the following pearl of wisdom as an argument against Cartesian Skepticism (emphasis mine):
Your phrase "I think, therefore I am" needs some correcting. I think I understand what you had in mind: the need to find a solid footing for ongoing inquiry. And I very much admire your posture of profound skepticism, with its associated reluctance to take not only "revealed truth" and authority but also logic and sense data as an assured starting point. It does seem to me though that you (or, more likely, others since you) took a good idea too far (as happened with your mind/body distinction, see Descartes' Error). Or, maybe, it wasn't taken far enough.
Here's the thing. Trees are. And they don't "think". So you can't have meant to say that things in general have to think in order to be. That would be contradicted by trees and other things (rocks, desks, etc) that you certainly knew about.
He then goes on to make some potentially interesting comments about scepticism, which unfortunately here stem from this initial assumption that 'Descartes got it wrong' (I don't argue that he didn't, but certainly not on these grounds). And while these comments are not necessarily without merit or value (were they to be made independently of talk about what Professor Grobstein thinks is Descartes' position), his initial critique of Descartes' cogito is horrendously wrong.
Consider the general form of a syllogism:
Premise 1: If P, then Q
Premise 2: P
Now here's basically what Professor Grobstein believes Descartes' cogito to entail (and what he criticises):
Premise 1: If P, then Q
Premise 2: Not P
Conclusion: Not Q
Now, any ol' undergraduate having done a very basic introduction to logic will tell you that the logical statement 'P therefore Q' is false if and only if P is true while Q is false. This is to say that 'P therefore Q' is perfectly true if P is false, but Q is true. Professor Grobstein is thus committing a basic non-sequitur in claiming that 'P therefore Q' entails '(Not P) therefore (Not Q)'. It would be a valid entailment if Descartes had said something mapping to the logical statement 'P if and only if Q', but as Descartes did not in any way say "I think if and only if I am" (or vice-versa... it doesn't really matter), Professor Grobstein doesn't really have a leg to stand on for his argument.
It just goes to show: when shopping around for academic wisdom, caveat emptor.
Of course, this isn't exactly a published paper, just an open letter on his website. Still, it does not excuse the need for a bit of peer-review (I'm sure he could have nabbed a first year computer scientist, or a philosophy student), so as to avoid slightly embarrassing, simple mistakes such as this one.
To conclude, I do not wish to give the impression that I claim non-philosophers (and specifically scientists) should stay away from philosophy. If anything, one should encourage them to practise it. Nonetheless, if you're going to go up against a central, well-known position of philosophy (and by all means, please do!), at least make sure your argument doesn't fall apart because of some trivial misunderstanding of logic.