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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Peer review review part three



Weird Science cartoons above. One reason I do what I do is to get people to think and not just accept the pablum held out on a spoon for them to swallow. I think the first cartoon is indicative of how easy it is for a YEC to get his research peer-reviewed by the Great Orthodoxy. For now.

The second is illustrative of how many teachers want their students. Just unthinking, believing, not questioning. Lemmings running blindly towards the cliff. Sad.

~~~

Here is the "rest of the story" concerning Earth Science Ireland and the attendant fuss posted on last...I have copied straight from CMI, much to the chagrin of some of you. But it illustrates that as YEC or ID proponents continue to fight prejudice and censorship we sometimes win small victories. A victory for free expression of scientific thought is a victory for science. Small minds like Richard Dawkins (small in focus not necessarily capacity) cannot bring themselves to face facts - they are not the High Priests of Information appointed to rule over all of humanity and censor scientists and their research and results!
Next post will be an answer to Taxandrian concerning evolution and information...

Earth Science Ireland chastised over anti-Christian, anti-creationist attitude

An open letter geologist to geologist

by Angus Kennedy

Published: 9 September 2008(GMT+10)

Three articles appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of the magazine Earth Science Ireland1 that heaped ridicule and scorn on creationists. Angus Kennedy, a geologist who works in Northern Ireland, was so concerned that he wrote an open letter to the editor protesting the ill-informed and hostile attitude expressed in the articles. Angus had previously met the editor among a group of geologists whom he had conducted on a guided tour of two of the quarries where he works. In his letter, which is reproduced below, Angus concludes that it is only fair that the Editor now include the other side of debate in his earth science publication.


Angus Kennedy
Co. Down
Northern Ireland
16th July 2008

Dr Tony Bazley
Editor, Earth Science Ireland
Co. Down
Northern Ireland

Dear Dr Bazley,

Cover

Ironically, the offending issue of Earth Science Ireland included an article about the ‘Waterford peperites’. Peperites point to large-scale, watery catastrophe but geologists are trained to discount any thought of Noah’s Flood.

May I reintroduce myself–a few years ago you spoke to me regarding the possibility of writing an article for your publication. I also met you last year in May–I am the geologist who conducted the guided walk around two of the quarries operated by the company I work for.

Though I do not subscribe to your Earth Science Ireland publication, I came across a copy of the Spring 2008, No. 3 Issue. I was much taken aback by the very anti-Christian and anti-creationist tone of three articles that appeared in it.

In talking with you previously, I said that I was a Christian and a creationist. I became a Christian before I went to Glasgow University where I studied geology for four years (1975–79). I recall my first palaeontology lecture given by Dr James Lawson. His opening statement was to tell us that ‘though we knew the Bible said that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, well, it didn’t happen like that!’ This upset me somewhat, but I accepted what was being taught, as at that time I didn’t know science based creation apologetics existed. Surprisingly, at the end of my studies I had not lost my faith, but I had rationalised the concept of long ages and evolution with the Genesis account by reasoning that God must have used evolution as a means of creation. This was the situation until I came across a copy of Whitcomb and Morris’s ‘The Genesis Flood’ five years later. I found their arguments in favour of a young-earth creation compelling. Since then, I have followed the subject with great interest.

I found their arguments in favour of a young-earth creation compelling.

Within the issue in question, Paul Lyle’s comment in his Chairman’s remarks ‘Just when we think that things cannot possibly get worse, along comes news that there is an active lobby putting forward a creationist view of the origin of the Causeway lavas–and wanting equal status with the scientific explanation in any future Visitor’s centre. Elsewhere in this issue you will read what we think about this!’ set the partisan tone against creationism which was greatly amplified in the two other articles.

In the Stratigraphic Commission’s article, the openly hostile comment, ‘The young-Earth creationists’ view of Earth history is quite simply wrong. It is a manifest untruth.’ belies their sop, ‘It is no attack on Christianity … to say that the Earth and its rocks stretch back to ages far greater than those claimed by the young-Earth creationists.’

Their view that had Archbishop Ussher ‘lived today and had access to the wealth of contemporary scientific knowledge, he would have seen the Biblical texts in a very different light.’ could just as easily be said of Darwin–had he lived today and had access to the wealth of contemporary scientific knowledge (e.g., still no (undisputed) missing links, nor any sign of finely graduated series of fossils linking phyla; so-called living fossils showing no change over the assumed millions of years hiatus between their fossil occurrence and the present; and developments in microbiology which show the sheer complexity of the cell), he too would almost certainly have seen his theory in a different light!

Cover

Some geologists want to suppress the creationist view for the origin of the Causeway lavas.

Has the Commission no thought for taxpayers such as me when they opine, ‘We do not question the right of creationists to hold or expound their views. We do, however, profoundly disagree with any suggestion that creationist views should be given significant space in publicly funded museums, visitor centres, school science lessons or science textbooks.’ Is it not somewhat ironic that Christian taxpayers find themselves in the position of funding atheistic evolutionary propaganda, whilst at the same time being denied any opportunity of publically putting forward their views–is this not censorship in another guise?

Tom Mason’s opinion piece, written to counter his perceived ‘local shift towards irrationality.’ descends rapidly to the level of a diatribe. I am surprised that such an ill-thought-out article could come from a man in his position and be printed. His statement ‘There remains, however, in the spectrum of both Christianity and Islam, fundamentalist minorities seeking the conversion of everyone to their belief systems, sometimes still advocating alarming violence to do so (the Inquisition and Jihad). I see this as a scary consequence of irrationality, and a stubborn lack of acceptance that others are equally entitled to hold diametrically opposing views to theirs’ unjustifiably conflates creationists with the Inquisition and Jihad, and appears to impugn creationists by implying that they would use force against those of opposing views. Is Mr Mason’s polemic not an indication that he too holds a stubborn lack of acceptance of others?

In expressing his view that science is ‘reason versus irrationality’, and belittling creationists as being both irrational and ignorant, and who are also deluded by a ‘god-given belief that [creationists] know better than others’, he appears to arrogate to himself an unassailable ├╝ber-knowledge which he denies to the Christians’ omniscient Creator God (whom he also denigrates as ‘a god of ignorance’). That his knowledge is not certain nor unassailable is given away by his comments regarding scientific knowledge–it ‘changes on a daily basis’, and, ‘we place before our audiences’ [sic] scientific facts and try to explain them as best we can’. He frequently cites the need to infer and interpret the facts (i.e., trust me, I’m a scientist).

The putative evolution of the eye is more involved than suggested by Mason, with no clear path from simple to complex. Amongst evolutionists, the matter is so murky and involved that some suggest that eyes independently evolved at least 40 and as many as 65 times! The biochemistry of even the simplest conceivable ‘light-sensitive spot’ is going to be already horrendously (and probably irreducibly) complex, and no-one has come close to suggesting a credible biochemical pathway for its alleged evolution.

Mason rounds off his bald assertions regarding eye evolution with the non-sequitur that creationists can be easily countered as they know nothing about the topic! I beg to disagree. Creation science articles that I read have been written by bona-fide scientists, many with multiple degrees, and in many disciplines–e.g., biology, biochemistry, astronomy, mathematics, physics, geology etc.–and yes, ophthalmic science in the case of the eye’s alleged evolution. They do know what they are talking about.

It is a travesty for Mason to try to impugn creationists with his offensive assertion that ‘The god-given belief that you know better than others leads not only to intellectually impoverished intelligent designers but also to the aberrant psychology of jihadists and suicide bombers. They are two faces of the same coin …’

I wish to keep this letter as brief as possible, so I have avoided lengthy treatments of the scientific evidences against evolution and for creation. Creationist arguments are certainly cogent and not as misrepresented in the articles in question. An open-minded look at the creationist position on the web would confirm this. I can recommend CreationOnTheWeb.com and a browse through their FAQs section.

I will mention that in the years since I left university, a number of things that I was taught as axiomatic appear to have been overturned, for example:

  • ‘High-grade’ metamorphic minerals have been found forming within hydrothermal piles on the ocean floor–not scores of kilometres down in the crust.
  • Large-grained plutonic bodies can cool quickly–grain size is not dependent on cooling time, but on other factors, such as number of crystal nucleation centres and volatiles.
  • Fine sediments and clay laminae can be laid down rapidly from flowing water–mudstone and shale do not require still waters and long periods to accumulate.
  • Graptolites are not extinct!
  • I have read the late Professor Derek Ager’s book ‘The New Catastrophism’–he recognised that sediments world-wide were laid down rapidly in catastrophic events, not in the uniformitarian slow and steady way postulated by Hutton and Lyell. All well and good from a creationist world-wide Noachian deluge point of view, as he had to grudgingly admit, but he couldn’t let go of millions of years and was thus reduced to positing that the time not seen in the actual rock layers was represented by untold periods of quiescence between layers. Layers that appeared for all intents and purposes to have been laid down contiguously.

Having studied both uniformitarian evolutionary geology and creation science apologetics, I am satisfied that the geological facts fit the young-earth creation model best. I consider that the eye-witness account given by the God of the Christian Bible (‘the only true God’, and his incarnate Son Jesus Christ–who is ‘the way, the truth and the life’) gives a more logical basis for the order we see in creation and purpose to our lives. We may look at the same facts–the rocks and fossils–but our underlying presuppositions are different, therefore our interpretations are different. For evolutionists to insist that they have science on their side is for them to ignore the difference between operational science–dealing with measuring tangible things in the here and now (how the world works if you like) and historical science–trying to find out what happened in times past when none of us were present. The first employs fundamental principles and repeatable measurements and experiments and has led to the breadth of modern technology we see today. The second relies on extrapolation of measurements (no matter how exact these measurements are), constructs (like the geological column), assumptions, and interpretation (no matter how scanty the evidence). Evolutionists would say I have faith in some imaginary being I can not see, ditto the evolutionist–he has faith in his interpretation of the remains of material things he did not witness at first hand–how they were formed, how they lived, how they died, how they were preserved, or the time-frame involved.

May I suggest that rather than reinforce an exclusive and singularly evolutionary point of view, why not open up your publication to debate with creationist scientists and test their mettle?

Finally, in defence of myself against evolutionists, I am not ignorant, violently threatening, peddling untruths, not a naked ape, nor evolved.

Yours sincerely,

Angus Kennedy


Update 10 September 2008:

The editor of ESI Magazine, Dr Tony Bazley, advised Angus Kennedy today that his letter will be in the next issue, which is currently at the printer and so should be out within 3 weeks. The letter has been edited to fit within the space limitations of the magazine but the sense is not expected to have been changed.

Message from Dr Tony Bazley, 10 September 2008:

Earth Science Ireland would never publish anything that is anti-Christian. There the author is quite wrong. It does like robust debate. The original articles can be found on: www.habitas.org.uk/es2k . Do read them. And 'Rescuing Genesis' in the issue to go online shortly, with Mr Kennedy's letter.

Some readers’ comments on Angus Kennedy’s letter:

Kathy W, Australia.

Brilliant! Thanks from the bottom of my heart for an excellent, gentle but firm rebuttal of evolutionary bigotry. "… not a naked ape"… what wonderful words.

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Fendall H, New Zealand

Angus, excellent letter. It’s always hard to make all the key statements and keep such a letter suitably abridged, but you have done well. I look forward to hearing of any response.

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Scott G, United States

I just read Angus Kennedy’s letter to the editor, and my bottom jaw is left dangling open. I think his tactics and boldness were blended into a compelling argument. I pray that 1) the recipients might take a moment of thought to reconsider their paradigm, and 2) that we might eventually learn to use the information we receive from CMI in a similar, effective manner.

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Luke, Canada.

Touchdown Angus!!!

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David C, Australia

Excellent article Angus; rational, non-aggressive, and it addresses the pertinent points within the constraints of length for an article such as this.

I’m so tired of hearing the science versus faith argument for origins (that evolution is science and creationism is faith). It’s encouraging to read another article that boils it down to what it really is: matching the facts with the most plausible explanation, and admission that the main contenders (evolutionary science and creation science) require faith. It’s simply a matter of where we place that faith; in God or the ever-changing theories of man.

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R.F., Canada

Bravo on your letter and Well done! Greetings from an American friend in Canada working on his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the age of 56. Cheering and praying for you guys—to the glory of God!

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Carlton Rader, United States

His comments were direct and right on point! Well done. The dogmatic faith these evolutionist have in ‘long ages’ amazes me. When they have a ‘calculated age’ how can they possibly know they've got it right? How does one calibrate a method that gives millions of years anyway? What do you check it against?

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Jennifer T, Australia

I am truly thankful to men like you with such understanding and knowledge to answer this kind of article as you did; and I really enjoyed reading it.

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Katrina M, Australia

It’s still so refreshing and empowering to read someone who is so articulate and informed about creation, speaking up. And YEAH why as a taxpayer DO I put up with no representation! Go get ‘em, Angus (means strength by the way).

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Andrew M, South Africa

I read the offending articles. It is interesting how they are preaching to their own converted. The trouble is, it is not so easy to explain the superiority of evolution to someone who does not already believe in it.

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David H, Australia

The power of this letter is quite refreshing.

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Richard P, Australia

What a great response! Scientists like these like to assume that they are rational thinkers, with a balanced mentality, until their "beliefs" are challenged. Far from adopting a response that you would expect from such distinguished professionals, like an unprejudiced, systematic, phsical, test of different theories to their own,(especially creation science) they are invariably reduced to a diatribe of childish name-calling and nonsensical argument. Their emotion displays their real "faith"...For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh...Matt 12:34

Keep up the good work Brother.

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Daiv F, United States

At the time I read your letter, it appears that ESI has already agreed to publish your letter. I do hope that Dr. Bazley is not ostricized or even forced out of his position for making this fateful decision. As was brilliantly illustrated in the movie "Expelled", there are serious consequences for any evolutionist who gives nod towards a creationist for any reason. Time will tell.

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Ed N, Canada

A thoughtful and considerate letter. I too get frustrated by the confidence of people who believe in evolution when in truth it is far more accurate to call it another faith—and a faith in SPITE of a plethora of contradicting evidence. I am a professor of chemistry (organic) and I just wish I could get my reactions to spontaneously form new compounds like evolution purports. But no, I have to carefully control solvents, atmosphere, molarities, time etc to maybe get an overall 75% average yield. Then all the purifications etc. Oh yes, the chemicals making up life just happened AND THEN reacted to create more complex molecules which THEN self assembled to create a viable cell. Not from my experience and understanding of the molecular world! Evolution doesn't even have evidence for step 1. But the real question? Is anybody listening?

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Frank M, Ireland

Just to let you know Angus, your comment has touched base here in your own country too. Well done.

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Roger S, New Zealand

Thankyou Angus,and congratulations on your bold, knowledgeable reproof of Dr Bazley's bigotted comments. It is good to see a convinced Christian academic prepared to stand up and present the evidence and logicality of the creation model.

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John H, Australia

The creationist-evolutionist debate is about light and darkness. Only when a person accepts the truth of the God of the Bible will that person ever emerge out of the darkness they hide in. Paul knew this when he wrote his letter to the Romans: For although they knew God they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. [1:21]

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Karen S, Australia

You encourage me to write to such editors. Although I am not well equipped to argue biology or physics, it is obvious that the evolutionist argument relies on attacking the character of anyone who disagrees with them, rather than presenting evidence for their theory (no surprise there since they lack the substance of their faith). The creationist on the other hand finds that the evidence supports the Biblical account and in turn strengthens conviction in its truth. It is also marvelous that evolutionists don't seem to realise that they are guilty of the crimes and attitudes that they project onto others. If as claimed abberant psychology manifests in offensive behaviour I can only conclude that these same evolutionists need to be investigated much like the unfaithful husband who accuses his innocent wife of adultery.

Thank you Angus for the provocation to love and do good works and I will take every opportunity to follow through on it.

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Peter R, New Zealand

I enjoyed the mature, respectful yet direct and collegial tone of Angus Kennedy's letter.

Yet, my main praise goes to Dr. Bazley for his scientific integrity in publishing the other side of the argument.

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Otto I, Australia

Great article, Angus. I believe we need to emphasise it's Evolutionary Faith we are dealing with and not evolutionary science. The Dewey classification puts Creation/Creationism under faith and religion while Evolution (or dare I say Evolutionism?) goes under Science. Isn't it time for honest classification? University students and others cannot find many creation textbooks in the science section of their libraries as they are under a different classification! Evolution faith should be the title of this religion and shown up for what it is!



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12 comments:

anuradha said...

Nice blog...here is a site to read bible online
http://www.mallutalk.com/bbible/display.jsp

Anonymous said...

Way to go off topic, Radar. Earth Science Ireland is not even a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

So some scientist guys voiced their opinion in a scientific newsletter that YEC is not scientific and should not be presented to the public as such, any more than the legend that Finn MacCool created the Giants' Causeway. And a creationist guy gets in a huff about that and voices his opinion. (And a bunch of people cheer him on in comments, all of which you somehow deemed important enough to cut and past here.) And the creationist guy's response is going to be posted in the next issue. Wow, that's some victory.

As a conclusion to your peer review diatribe, putting up a simple difference of opinion and dialogue in a regional newsletter is remarkably weak.


There's a nice paragraph in one of the articles in the magazine (which can be found here, incidentally, the relevant articles and mentions are on pages 11 and 20-22):

"It must be added that most of the early scientists belonged to a faith and had little trouble reconciling it with the evidence they saw before them. Indeed, in an increasingly troubled world the moral lessons to be gained from the books of faith are difficult to deny. In 1615, Galileo wrote to the Grand Duchess Christina that the Bible teaches one how to go to Heaven, not how the Heavens go."

Isn't Galileo one of those guys you like to compare yourself favorably to, the voice of reason against outdated orthodoxy?

-- creeper

highboy said...

I'm confused as to how any group of like-minded scientists sitting in judgment of any article that would seek to refute their scientific findings are suppose to appear objective? Be they YEC guys or evolutionists.

Anonymous said...

That's a good point, Highboy. For what it's worth, I think you've been providing a more level-headed voice to Radar's blog for some time (the straight man, if you will - and I mean that as a compliment, even though I don't think Radar is setting out to be funny). I want to thank you for that - and just so you know, your humorous interjections haven't gone unnoticed either.

Your question is very reasonable: how can anyone be objective if what comes over the transom is a refutal of what one believes? But that in itself holds the key to a propaganda coup for the YEC guys...

Other commenters here (IAMB?) will most likely be more familiar with the peer review process, but it seems to me that once a paper is submitted for peer review, a reviewer has to provide reasons for either rejecting a paper or wishing it to be amended.

My feeling on YECers and IDers has for some time been that they wish to jump a certain hurdle in terms of demonstrability and testability, which is why my eyes often glaze over when the "system" is blamed (in the context of peer review etc.).

But looking at this from the YEC side, how about this course of action:

1. Submit a paper with a testable and confirmed prediction based no observable evidence that does confirm a YEC stance while denying an Old Earth/Theory Of Evolution stance. Submit it to the most reputable scientific journal in the relevant field. (If the facts are in favor of YEC - and therefore "good science" is in favor of YEC - then this should be relatively easy to conjure up.)

2. Have it either be rejected or accepted on the condition that certain amendments are made. The only other alternative would be that the paper is accepted, and in that case it's game over anyway.

3. Once it's rejected, cause a huge stink. Publicize the outrageousness of that scientific journal rejecting a testable and confirmed prediction based on observable evidence that does confirm a YEC stance while denying an Old Earth/Theory Of Evolution stance. It would be a propaganda coup like you wouldn't believe!

I don't know what happens in these peer review procedures either, but if such a testable and confirmed prediction could be presented to the public, accompanied by evidence of the scientific establishment rejecting it, I think it would go a long way to giving YEC some credibility.

What do you think?

-- creeper

highboy said...

"What do you think?"

Are you asking me? Because I have no idea how these procedures work at all. Your idea seems reasonable enough to me though. But my question is in regards to this:

"1. Submit a paper with a testable and confirmed prediction based no observable evidence that does confirm a YEC stance while denying an Old Earth/Theory Of Evolution stance. Submit it to the most reputable scientific journal in the relevant field."

How can we be sure that the most reputable is the most objective? That's what I don't get about the process. I'm not nit-picking or simply implying that scientists would automatically be dishonest in their analysis, I'm just saying for something to be considered established fact you'd want the most objective analysis possible of any research paper right? Of course than there's the "make a stink" tactic as well. It just doesn't seem possible to me to prove old earth vs. young earth or vice versa with any degree of absoluteness. It seems to all come down to credibility. If I'm missing something obvious it won't surprise me.

Anonymous said...

"How can we be sure that the most reputable is the most objective?"

I guess in this strategy, a scientific journal with a reputation for being objective would be the most suitable one.

"It just doesn't seem possible to me to prove old earth vs. young earth or vice versa with any degree of absoluteness."

In science, things are rarely absolute - instead they are narrowed down with testable predictions. And if the facts are on the YEC side, then the testable predictions would definitely sway to their side - and quickly disprove an Old Earth as well as the theory of evolution.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"If I'm missing something obvious it won't surprise me."

"I guess in this strategy, a scientific journal with a reputation for being objective would be the most suitable one."

Told ya.

Anonymous said...

I hope you didn't miss the other potential flaw in this strategy...

There may well be a reason the YECs have not pursued this path.

-- creeper

radar said...

Creeper,

Dr. Henry Morris, famous Hydrologist, found back in the 1970's that his papers regarding YEC related findings were being rejected out of hand and that he also found colleagues throughout the scientific community that had encountered similar problems. He founded the organization that became the Institute for Creation Research and provided a clearinghouse for technical articles and journal entries that were not politically correct because they were not of the atheistic orthodox viewpoint.

ICR is now one of many. I don't wish to offend my Catholic friends, but in truth the situation is similar to the religious community of the 1400's/Middle Ages. Galileo was politically incorrect, as was Copernicus. But so was Martin Luther and Gutenberg!

Protestant churches came about because the Catholic Church leadership back in those days wished to stifle unorthodox teachings both scientific and Biblical in nature.

The Lutheran Church was formed in much the same way and for many of the same reasons fast-forwarded to the 20th Century as was ICR and AIG and CMI and so on. Now the Catholic Church is in agreement with most of the theses Martin Luther nailed up on the church door and someday orthodox science is likely to agree with most of the YEC premises once they agree to even consider them.

Taxandrian said...

Radar,

Creeper already hit the nail right on the head: what exactly does this article have to do with peer-review censorship?
If all you can come up with to prove that creationists are censored out of scientific or any other debate is some ridicule and disagreement in a magazine that isn't even peer-reviewed, then indeed your argument is very weak. And besides: doesn't the fact that the creationist's reply will be published in the next edition of ESI render your objections moot?

The simple fact is that creationists don't have a monopoly on being ridiculed, attacked, or criticized. Do you think Richard Dawkins is always treated friendly? And what about the Discovery Institute's articles on Judge Jones after the Dove Trial?

But to address peer-review. Yes, it is sometimes hard to get a paper accepted for peer-review. But then again, it mustn't be too easy, since the objective of peer-review is to weed out the rubbish. And make no mistake: even 'evolutionist' scientists can have a hard time getting their papers accepted. I think I've linked to this before, but here it is again:

Challenging Science:

No one denies it is difficult to get a new scientific idea accepted, but that isn’t the same as claiming that the doors of science are slammed shut to those who challenge the status quo. When scientists question facets of existing theories or propose new ones, they present the best evidence available and make the strongest arguments they can to their colleagues. Colleagues in turn challenge that evidence and reasoning. The rigor of this process is what makes science such a powerful tool. Because scientists have to fight hard to get their ideas accepted, good ideas win out – when they are proven to be sound. Intelligent design advocates, in contrast, have no research and no evidence, and have repeatedly shown themselves unwilling to formulate testable hypotheses; yet they complain about an imagined exclusion, even after having flunked the basics.

Lynn Margulis:
Lynn Margulis wrote a paper, “The Origin of Mitosing Eukaryotic Cells,” which argued that eukaryotic cells – those with a true nucleus – arose when cells with no nucleus symbiotically incorporated other such cells to make new cells that could perform more functions. The paper was rejected by many journals, and when eventually published by The Journal of Theoretical Biology it was highly criticized. Margulis spent decades defending her work, but scientists now accept her suggested mechanism through which organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts evolved.
(emphasis mine)

Stanley Prusiner:
Because no one had heard of a protein replicating without a nucleic acid like DNA or RNA, many virologists and scrapie researchers reacted to the article with incredulity. When the media picked up the story, “the personal attacks of the naysayers at times became very vicious,” according to Prusiner. However, his critics failed to find the nucleic acid they were sure existed, and less than two years later, Prusiner’s lab had isolated the protein.


You see Radar, that's the difference between real scientists and creationist/ID scientists: true scientists don't go whining, or making movies or crying about being censored; they just go back to the drawing board to experiment more and to collect more evidence. After all, if what you claim is true, you will eventually find the evidence to back it up. And that's exactly what these people did.

So, why don't the creationists do this? Well, let's take a look at what they say themselves:

Here's Paul Nelson, fellow at the Discovery Institute, in Touchstone Magazine 7/8 (2004): pp 64 – 65:

"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design."

And here's creationist scientist Kurt Wise in an article about how creationists should understand transitional fossils:

Substantial supporting evidence of macroevolutionary theory can be found in the fossil record of stratomorphic intermediates. Additionally, the creation model is not well enough developed at present to properly evaluate this evidence or to develop an adequate alternative scenario or explanation. However, in the light of the creation model's incomplete development, it's non-inconsiderable success at explaining that record is exciting and promising indeed. There is little doubt in this author's mind that with the maturity of the creation model will come an explanation of stratomorphic intermediates superior of macroevolutionary theory."

So there you have it: both an ID-er as a creationist admit that they do not have a decent scientifically sound alternative theory for the theory of evolution, thereby indeed proving that ID/Creationism are scientifically vacuous. All they have are hopes and expectations, but that's simply not enough to attack a well-established and well-proven scientific theory like evolution.
So, you would expect, being the true scientists they claim to be, the creationists would work hard to collect evidence and develop a decent alternative theory that will withstand scientific scrutiny.
But what do they do? They spend loads of money on creation museums and propaganda movies with game show hosts. How many scientific research could have been funded with all those millions?
It speaks volumes that creationists rather use negative arguments by trying to discredit the theory of evolution by trying to link it to Nazism. Guilt by association is a tactic commonly used by those who are out of decent arguments.

But since you're raving on about censorship, let's look at a few things:

For instance: the Instructions to Authors from Answers in Genesis' Answers Research Journal

Glenn Morton's story

Answers in Genesis, the Discovery Institute and Creation Science Evangelism have repeatedly tried to shut down a YouTube channel that critically dissected their videos by filing false DMCA claims.

So as you can see, Radar, I can easily prove that it is in fact the creationists who try to silence those who do not agree with them. Yet, without any proof even as strong as the one I provide here, you claim that it's those creationists who are being censored.
What's your opinion in this? Is censorship only bad when it's directed against creationists?

I have copied straight from CMI, much to the chagrin of some of you.

In case you missed it, I did a few suggestions right here. There might be some good reasons for the 'chagrin'.;)

Also, here's something else:
Australia is suffering a record-breaking heat wave, causing danger to people's health, power outages and buckling rail lines. Global cooling, my kangaroo's pouch!

Anonymous said...

Radar,

"Dr. Henry Morris, famous Hydrologist, found back in the 1970's that his papers regarding YEC related findings were being rejected out of hand and that he also found colleagues throughout the scientific community that had encountered similar problems. He founded the organization that became the Institute for Creation Research and provided a clearinghouse for technical articles and journal entries that were not politically correct because they were not of the atheistic orthodox viewpoint."

Like I mentioned earlier, I suspect that creationists/IDers want to skip a certain part of the hard work of science, the "show your work" bit. So when peer review proves to be too difficult a hill to climb, why not lower the bar (or get rid of the bar altogether) by opening your own "clearinghouse"?

What if the allegedly submitted papers were indeed fundamentally flawed in their science? It's easy to then turn around and whine about "censorship" and claim that they "were not politically correct because they were not of the atheistic orthodox viewpoint". Not only is the submitter then cleared of any inadequacy with regard to his scientific work, but hey, he/she gets to make him- or herself look like a bit of a hero facing down the evil orthodox establishment.

See, just because you disagree with a lot of people doesn't make you Galileo or Copernicus. There's also a distinct possibility that you're just plain wrong.

And I don't think it counts as censorship if your work sucks to begin with.

So here are some questions:

1. What were the papers submitted by Dr. Henry Morris, and what journals did he submit them to?

2. Is it possible to see the various papers by Dr. Morris and/or the others, along with the reasons cited by the journals' representatives for rejecting them?

3. Did the papers contain testable and confirmed predictions based on observable evidence that confirm a YEC stance while denying an Old Earth/Theory Of Evolution stance?

"someday orthodox science is likely to agree with most of the YEC premises once they agree to even consider them"

If the facts are in favor of YEC, then sure. But if the facts were in favor of YEC, then the testable predictions I specified above would be extremely easy to make and verify.

And yet that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, creationists are having a difficult time coming up with a coherent alternative theory and conducting the research required to verify their predictions and hypotheses.

Glenn Morton's story (linked to by Taxandrian in the preceding comment) provides an interesting look into the YEC's difficulty in matching what they are taught and what they can observe for themselves: YECers live in a self-congratulating echo chamber - similar to what you accuse mainstream science of being - yet when they go out into the real world and try to reconcile what they were taught with observable fact, they find that the two are not compatible, and that the foundation they have been provided with is practically useless - unlike mainstream scientists.

So who are they going to believe, an outfit like ICR... or their stinkin' eyes?

-- creeper

scohen said...

Add to the above list of game-changing scientific discoveries the solar neutrino experiments done by Ray Davis and predictions made by John Bachall from the 60s to the 90s. They fundamentally changed the standard model's conception of a neutrino. Davis worked diligently for decades on his experiments which consistently showed only a third of the amount of neutrinos that we'd expect from the sun.

All this time, creationists used the discrepancy as proof of the sun's 'young age' --that it was not fueled by fusion but by gravitational collapse. They did this despite the fact that gravitational collapse doesn't fit our observations, but heck there were only 1/3 the neutrinos. One would expect that creation "scientists" would have discovered the answer to the neutrino mystery, since it featured so heavily in their apologetics, but this was not the case. The neutrino deficiency is still visible on creationist sites, but with mealy-mouthed disclaimers that it is no longer pushed as "proof" of the sun's young age.

One might ask the question: "Was it ever proof of a young sun?"

No, it was a gap in our knowledge that was filled with hard work.