I think that demonstrated proof trumps appeal to authority.
Denis was showing that stress relief heat treating cannot cause hard spots to form. He wasn't addressing retained stresses, which are the reason for (reasonably) slow cooling after heat treatment.
I am glad somebody gets it.
And, Mark, you have something to look forward to. I am told that once you become, at least in your own mind, an absolute authority, life gets easier. That's because you can just sit back and
1) Pontificate without real concern for whether what you are saying is factual or whether you can cite anything besides your own authority to back it up.
2) Ignore anything contrary to your pontification.
3) Fortify your authoritatrian position by saying you have been associated with or even worked along side other impressive authorites.
4) And, best of all, never retract or apologize for erroneous pontification. That's because "erroneous" and you simply don't compute.
5) Never worry about muddying up the already murky enough waters by making incorrect assertions. Just bring up some unrelated notion to deflect attention. Let peons figure it out eventually, maybe.
As attractive as the state of authority sounds, you may ask when it occurs. I am told (on considerable authority) it is magic, really. You just wake up one morning and you have somehow emerged into that bright and shiny world. I am certain that will never happen for me, sadly. Oh, well.