THE whole world is anxiously awaiting the publication of a scientific paper about which we wrote here: Creation Scientist Overthrows Einstein’s Relativity.
You will recall that Jason Lisle, Ph.D., a creationist astrophysicist employed by of Answers in Genesis (AIG), announced that he had a soon-to-be-completed solution to the Distant Starlight problem. The problem — for young-earth creationists — is that the light we see from distant sources required literally billions of years to reach earth, yet the creationist’s universe is only 6,000 years old.
Jason objected to our skepticism, informing us that: “I have already submitted the paper to the Answers Research Journal, and the senior editor has already sent it out to experts for peer-review.” If you’ve been following this saga, you already know that the Answers Research Journal, like the Creation Museum, is part of the creationism conglomerate run by Ken Ham.
In response, we posted Jason Lisle Defends His Unpublished Paper. That was a month ago. We’ve been hoping to read Jason’s paper, but it hasn’t yet appeared at the AIG website. While we’re all waiting, we thought it would be instructive to learn about the rigorous peer-review process which papers submitted to Ken Ham’s journal must undergo.
We found this Instructions to Authors Manual at the journal’s web page. It’s a 16-page pdf file, and it has some useful information for authors. We were particularly curious about the journal’s peer-review process, and this is what we found, with bold font added by us:
[Page 3:] The following items are required upon the submission of an author’s first draft of their paper:
A. Submitted to the Editor-in-Chief at His Email Address
1. Paper’s First Draft—Send copy of your first draft (formatted as per the instructions below) to the editor-in-chief as attached files to an email.
2. Reviewer List — Along with your first draft send to the editor-in-chief a completed Suggested Reviewers Form. List at least three (3) names of experts in the field of your paper’s topic.
To your Curmudgeon’s knowledge, when submitting a paper to a science journal, an author may suggest reviewers, but their choice is the exclusive province of the journal’s editors. We’re not aware of any journal that requires a list of suggested reviewers as part of the article submission process. AIG does it differently.
The manual has one other item about their review procedure. On page 9 there’s a section titled: “Paper Review Process.” It’s quite interesting:
Upon the reception of a paper the editor-in-chief will follow the procedures below:
A. Receive and acknowledge to the author the paper’s receipt.
B. Review the paper for possible inclusion into the ARJ review process.
The following criteria will be used in judging papers:
1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture? [Reference omitted.]
Immediately after that we see this “Remark”:
The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith.
This is AIG’s Statement of Faith. So there you are. We continue to wait for Jason’s paper. When we finally see it — assuming it qualifies for publication in the AIG journal — we’ll judge it on its scientific merits.
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