Journal Tries to Bend the Knee to the Inquisition and Ends up Hurting the Cause!

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Three months ago, I blogged about an excellent article which used statistical methods to demonstrate that the fine-tuning seen in biology is even more extreme than what is seen in the properties of the universe as a whole. It was very much supportive of intelligent design and referenced many works from the intelligent design community. The article, which was published in a secular, peer-reviewed journal, finally caught the notice of the Inquisition. As a result, the High Priests of Science demanded penance from the editors of the journal. Their penance has come in the form of a disclaimer that appears in the journal. Here is what the disclaimer says:

The Journal of Theoretical Biology and its co-Chief Editors do not endorse in any way the ideology of nor reasoning behind the concept of intelligent design. Since the publication of the paper it has now become evident that the authors are connected to a creationist group (although their addresses are given on the paper as departments in bona fide universities). We were unaware of this fact while the paper was being reviewed. Moreover, the keywords “intelligent design” were added by the authors after the review process during the proofing stage and we were unaware of this action by the authors. We have removed these from the online version of this paper. We believe that intelligent design is not in any way a suitable topic for the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

I laughed out loud when I read this, because it shows how ignorant the journal editors are when it comes to the issue of origins. As a bonus, it also shows how wrong the High Priests of Science are about intelligent design and creationism.

First, the disclaimer makes it clear that the journal editors know nothing about intelligent design. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of intelligent design and the work that has been done in the area would immediately recognize that this paper strongly supports intelligent design. Yet the journal editors didn’t seem to notice at all! Thus, this very disclaimer is admitting that the journal editors are against something they know virtually nothing about!

Second, the disclaimer shows how strong the science in the article is. After all, the journal is predisposed to dislike any science that points to intelligent design. Nevertheless, this article points to intelligent design, even if the editors are too ignorant to realize that. Thus, the evidence it presents is so strong that even some scientists who are predisposed to be against its conclusions consider it worthy of publication!

Third, they note that while the authors “are connected to a creationist group,” their addresses are from “bona fide universities.” Why? Because creationists and intelligent design scientists are real scholars. “Bona fide universities” would not hire non-scholars! So even though the High Priests of science dogmatically say that those who support intelligent design aren’t real scholars, this very disclaimer admits that they are!

The disclaimer shows the untenable situation in which science finds itself today. The High Priests of Science proclaim from their exalted places of power that intelligent design and creationism aren’t science. Nevertheless, their actions demonstrate the exact opposite. This untenable situation cannot last, and when it finally does collapse entirely, science will be much better off.

11 thoughts on “Journal Tries to Bend the Knee to the Inquisition and Ends up Hurting the Cause!”

  1. Have you ever heard of the Creation Museum that is in Glen Rose, TX? It is relatively small but they have some very interesting artifacts. They have a human footprint intersected by a dinosaur footprint. Richard Dawkins visited, but said what he saw was impossible.

      1. Thank you for that article link – that is a very helpful in understanding why it could be dismissed by the science community.

  2. The editors also make the mistake of equating ID with Creationism. Some ID proponents might be but others like Behe are old earth non-Darwinian evolutionists.

  3. Dr. Jay, I don’t about you, but I was expecting something like that to happen with the study!

    For me was like expecting the Sun to rise at 5:00 A.M.

    God Enlighten you!

  4. I believe it would be much better and honest that, instead of they say what they said in the Disclaimer, they could had written something like: “Although we, the journal as a whole do not believe the Conclusion of said scholars are correct, we still allowed the study to be published because we think the methodology does not possess, in general, major flaws.”

    As a bonus, I will link a study that, although personally I think its flawed because of its implication for validate an Animist world view(past lifes, and reincarnation), I still respect the study; because it was published in a secular, peer review magazine. [1](I don’t know if the study was retracted, or other(s) study(ies) already refuted or gave validation to its conclusions)


    God Enlighten you all!

    1. Not a very even-handed treatment of the issue. They quote Lachance as saying that irreducibility has been “repeatedly debunked,” which is false. The most laughable statement they quote is, “neither fine-tuning nor intelligent design is required when sample spaces are viewed through the lens of evolutionary dynamics.” In other words, “Replace the almighty Designer with almighty evolution.”

      I did like the backstory on the intelligent design keyword. You would think a keyword of “design” would alert the editors, but as I say in my article, the editors are clearly quite ignorant on what is going on in origins-related science.

  5. When you say things like “Inquisition” and “High Priests of Science” I get that those are apt metaphors for a strong bias within the general scientific community, but do you have any specific details on who or what organisation may have put pressure on these editors to write that apology? Or are they just apologizing from a general fear of being ostracized by their peers?

    1. In this particular case, someone had to bring it to the editors’ attenion, since they seem utterly ignorant about origin science. However, I don’t know who it was. Sometimes, however, the leaders of the Inquisition do reveal themselves. For example, Grand Inquisitor Jerry Coyne forced Ball State University to stop a class that Dr. Eric Hedin had been teaching for six years. Other times, the Inquisition is a group of people, like the administrators of California State University, who excomunnicated talented microscopist Mark Armitage for having the aduacity to isolate soft cells from a Triceratops fossil. Other times, the Inquisition is a formal organization, like the German Research Foundation, which excommunicated world-renowned paleontologist Dr. G√ľnter Bechly for the heresey of coming to a different scientific conclusion from what the High Priests of Science allow. The Inquisition takes many forms and, as Monty Python aptly explains, has many weapons at its disposal.

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