Another Creationist Research Paper Published?

There’s something very strange happening with the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

We recently reported about A Peer-Reviewed Creationist Paper? That turns out to have been an article placed in what seems to be a new trade journal — staffed with creationists. Now it seems that something similar has happened again. This is starting to look like some kind of a new Discoveroid tactic.

As before, we learn about the latest news from the Discoveroid blog, in an article by their only non-fellow, Casey Luskin. His latest is titled Peer-Reviewed Research Paper on Plant Biology Favorably Cites Intelligent Design and Challenges Darwinian Evolution. Casey says, with bold font added by us:

A new original research paper on mutagenesis comprising 240,000 plants in the journal Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology favorably cites to “intelligent design proponents,” including Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, and Stephen Meyer, as advocating one of various legitimate “scientific theories on the origin of species.”

That must be quite a science journal if it published an article in which those guys are said to be advocates of a legitimate scientific theory. Well, it’s a journal about floriculture. Floriculture? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s a link to that journal’s home page: Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology. Make of it what you will.

What can we expect next — the Ladies’ Home Companion, with creationist articles included among the recopies and embroidery lessons? We’ll skip Casey’s breathless description of the article, and get right to his ending:

[C]iting to the work of Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and Robert Marks, he [the author of the journal article] concludes that “it appears to be more than unlikely to generate the whole world of living organisms by the neo-Darwinian method.”

We eagerly anticipate the appearance of more of these “scientific” papers in other, equally respected journals. Intelligent Design is on the march!

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17 responses to “Another Creationist Research Paper Published?

  1. Doubting Darwinism has always been the call o’ th’ wild for the geniuses at the Disco Tute.

    Although headlines like “Bat Boy Surprises Prom Goers!!” still get top billing, back there on page 9 you’ll find “German Scientists Diss Darwin.”

    What’s next from the Tute, “Darwin was so fat … ” jokes?

  2. Gabriel Hanna

    Getting ready for more court cases, I assume. Peer-reviewed scholarship figured heavily in Dover. They’ve always adjusted their tactics to the most recent court case.

  3. Slow down now SC. Just because it’s a floriculture journal doesn’t mean it’s bad. I’m not a floriculturist but I’ve known a few (I’m a horticulturalist). It’s an applied science that doesn’t deserve to be denigrated. I will say that it’s possible a few more floriculturalists and ornamental horticulturalists might have a tendency toward ID than people in other biological sciences because many tend to come from an agricultural background (same with animal science). I was in NCSU’s Horticulture dept and there were quite a few people that didn’t want to talk about evolution. I often heard “I didn’t come from no ape!”. I didn’t have much in common with many of my classmates. That was in the 80s and 90s, I doubt it’s much different now. The landscape design people–I was one of those, too–were a bit more open minded.

    I’d question the science based on the citation to Behe et al. not based on this particular journal. I’ll keep my eyes out for more info on the paper.

  4. I should add that being from an agricultural background may not always make one more prone to ID/creationist ideas, but it has been my experience in both school and the field.

  5. Sorry, one more note. I looked at the description, scope etc of this journal. Nothing seems to show that it’s friendly to ID/creationism thinking.

  6. Lynn Wilhelm says:

    Just because it’s a floriculture journal doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    That’s true. But if some genuine research were done that actually produced evidence against evolution, it wouldn’t be published in that kind of journal.

  7. Well if cranks can consider themselves to be scientists, why can’t a floriculture magazine print their “science”?

    And yeah, I don’t think the issue is that floriculture isn’t a respectable science, rather that it’s not exactly on the cutting-edge of genetics and of evolutionary biology.

    Then again, perhaps we’ll finally quit hearing about the importance of getting ID into “peer-reviewed journals,” as if lots of junk doesn’t make it into those (peer-review may be the minimum requirement, it hardly assures quality). What a surprise that IDiots can get some of their junk “science” into some journals hardly well-equipped to debunk those kinds of cranks.

  8. Can you all please do me a favor? Every time Discoveroids mention their “theory” instead of the usual long-refuted misrepresentations of evolution (how it’s dead, dying, falsified, unfalsifiable and responsible for ever evil), please ask them to elaborate on which species share common ancestors, and when those species originated. Since some like Behe have come clean on at least the “billions of years” and common descent, it is simply a matter of asking them whether they agree with Behe or not. Don’t let them get away with the nonsense that their “theory” is “orthogonal” to those questions.

    The reason I keep nagging about these issues is that many fans of ID are not hopeless Biblical literalists, but have been duped into thinking that questions about “when,” and whether species originated in-vivo or required new origin-of-life events, are “unimportant.” If a “theory” can’t take a firm position on those simple questions, it’s at best worthless, and at worst a scam. We know it’s the latter, but apparently most people still do not.

  9. So we can expect more bragging about how they published in a real peer-reviewed journal, and more whining about being “expelled.” Meanwhile people who follow the “debate” only close enough to say “I hear the jury’s still out on evolution” or “I guess something like evolution happened, but it’s only fair to teach both sides” will fall for both the bragging and the whining.

  10. I looked at the website of ‘the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics’.

    In the list of staff members, one sees this: HONORARY EDITOR
    The late Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry.

    Their honorary editor is dead. Presumably he edits via ouija board.

  11. The whole reason they are bothering to get published in obscure journals in the applied sciences (have they tried the beekeeping journals?) is because people like us have been hammering on “peer review”. Now what are we going to say? Floriculture doesn’t count? Discoveroids will argue–and argue rightly–that the goalposts have been moved. They will argue wrongly that they have been moved because mainstream scientists will never accept any criticism of Darwin. But if so much emphasis weren’t placed on peer review by people who defend evolution, they wouldn’t have bothered.

    David Wolpert, in his response to Dembski’s flagrant abuse of the no-free-lunch theorems, said this:

    biologists in particular and scientists in general are horribly confused defenders of their field. When responding to attacks from non-scientists, rather than attempt the rigor that the geometry of induction and similar bodies of statistics provide, they fall back on Popperian incantations, trying to browbeat their opponents into acceding to the homily that if one follows certain magic rituals—the vaunted “scientific method”—then one is rewarded with The Truth. No mathematically precise derivation of these rituals from first principles is provided. The “scientific method” is treated as a first-category topic, opening it up to all kinds of attack. In particular, in defending neo-Darwinism, no admission is allowed that different scientific disciplines simply cannot reach the same level of certainty in their conclusions due to intrinsic differences in the accessibility of the domains they study.

    This intrinsic lower certainty of neo-Darwinism than (for example) that of quantum electrodynamics means that there is legitimate room for disputation concerning the history of biology on Earth. So if Dembski had managed to use the geometry of induction properly to quantify that some search algorithm occurring in the biological world had, somehow, worked better than all but the fraction 10^{-50} (say) of alternative algorithms, then there would be a major mystery concerning the modern biological mantra. This would be true regardless of whether neo-Darwinists had performed the proper rituals in settling on that mantra.

    It doesn’t matter if they get published in ALL the beekeeping journals or even in PRL. They still do no original research, and intelligent design still has no predictive power since they refuse to address the intentions and abilities of their “designer”.

    It’s all about conflating what they do with what legitimate scientists do in a Cargo Cultish fashion. It just has to be good enough to get through the courts. We collectively need to think harder, and more clearly express, the nature of what scientists do, instead of emphasizing the rituals.

  12. Gabriel Hanna says:

    It’s all about conflating what they do with what legitimate scientists do in a Cargo Cultish fashion. It just has to be good enough to get through the courts. We collectively need to think harder, and more clearly express, the nature of what scientists do, instead of emphasizing the rituals.

    There’s nothing wrong — especially when expert witnesses are testifying in court — about mentioning the customary trappings of science. Judges need to be educated about such things. The key, however, is to assure that the judge isn’t mesmerized by the trappings. If that should happen, then this floraculture campaign could have an effect.

    What needs to be emphasized is that publication in peer-reviewed journals is but one of the outwardly visible indicia of science. All that the creationists are doing here is sneaking survey articles into obscure journals that are probably hungry for material and are insufficiently rigorous about what they publish. Such articles may refer to ID and its promoters in an uncritical way. But mere publication is trivial. The major point is what is published. Creationists haven’t published any credible research that challenges evolution.

  13. The Discoveroid blog has a new post about yet another published article. I don’t think it’s worth blogging about here, but this is what the Discoveroids say: New Peer-Reviewed Paper Challenges Darwinian Evolution. It’s about this article in Complexity: Is gene duplication a viable explanation for the origination of biological information and complexity?

  14. Being a layman in the field of biology, I might be presumptuous in criticizing the Discoveroid’s comment on the article in Complexity, but my take on the abstract is… so what? Per the blog entry and the abstract, the author apparently analyzed some studies and concluded that gene duplication wasn’t alone sufficient to produce the biological diversity evident in life, but who said it was? My understanding – again, as a mere educated layman – was that a number of mechanisms operate to produce novel genetic code, which is then subject to selection pressures. I have never read an author who stated that the evolutionary model was based solely to gene duplication and subsequent mutation. Did I miss something?

    There is another pattern evident in these articles – ID advocates read papers by scientists and then pen these “reviews” which try to contort the scientists’ findings into something that supports ID. The ID advocates still do no independent research. If they did – and subjected their research to real review – it seems to me that they could actually contribute to science. They might stumble upon something interesting, no matter their motivation. On the other hand, these review-the-literature articles are just propaganda efforts and have nothing to do with science.

  15. ID advocates read papers by scientists and then pen these “reviews” which try to contort the scientists’ findings into something that supports ID. The ID advocates still do no independent research. If they did – and subjected their research to real review – it seems to me that they could actually contribute to science.

    Exactly, but they have no interest in doing so.

    For example, junk DNA. Every time a function is found for DNA thought to be junk, they say “Another triumph for design!” Yet THEY are never the ones who find the function, and they never predict what functions will be found or in what DNA it will be found in.

  16. Every time a function is found for DNA thought to be junk, they say “Another triumph for design!” Yet THEY are never the ones who find the function, and they never predict what functions will be found or in what DNA it will be found in.

    The real joy in science, in my opinion, is discovering something new. Recent discoveries about functions found in some segments of “junk DNA” are exciting in large part because they were unexpected. On the other hand, the DI, and creationists in general, seem to think that finding new things indicates that whatever scientists previously thought was wrong, therefore any new discovery weakens the credibility of existing science and scientists. They almost always tout new discoveries as supporting the creationist position for propaganda purposes, but they also convey an underlying message of “aha – scientists were wrong”. (Another recent example is the AiG’s treatment of the discovery of numerous planetary systems that do not follow the solar system model.) I think creationists actually believe this. My hypothesis is that the DI and other creationists are rooted in the biblical model which is, of course, a final word on the subject and is not open to revision in light of new information. The model is unbending – it is the evidence that must be molded to fit. Because of this mind-set, they assume new discoveries are discomforting to scientists (as they would be to the creationists). This also, I believe, partially explains the creationists affection for old science, before the new discoveries of the past 200 years or so.