Discoveroids Rejoice in Their Brief Triumph

It was less than three weeks ago, so you probably remember when the Discovery Institute was gushing and gloating that a respected journal had published an article about intelligent design. When it happened we wrote Intelligent Design’s Big Breakthrough!

Well, the Discoveroids are still in ecstasy. They just posted this at their creationist blog: Journal Finds It Can’t Keep a Good Pro-ID Paper Down. It was written by Klinghoffer. .Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I have to laugh. The Journal of Theoretical Biology tried to trash its own paper because it was friendly to intelligent design.

That journal is in an awkward situation. Their decision to publish that article seems — at least to us — inexplicable and indefensible. Klinghoffer says:

Intimidated by the censors [Hee hee!], they placed a Disclaimer on it making it appear that the penitent editors had no idea that they had published a peer-reviewed paper favorable to ID, though the authors, Steinar Thorvaldsen and Ola Hössjer, explicitly cite intelligent design, by that name, as well as a range of familiar ID scientists and researchers and ID-related concepts.

We’ve heard that the term “intelligent design” didn’t appear in the paper when it somehow slipped through peer review. Rather, that expression was added by the authors during proof-reading, just prior to publication. If that’s what happened, it was rather sneaky. Still, the decision to publish the paper even when that expression wasn’t there is difficult to understand. Klinghoffer tells us:

We have covered the paper about biological fine-tuning here already. See [links to four Discoveroid blog articles omitted.]

He continues:

Well, as a correspondent points out, the paper is this prominent biology journal’s current No. 1 most downloaded article.

There’s a lot of curious people out there. Klinghoffer finishes his triumphant post with this:

What’s more, it beats out several others in the Top 10 about Covid and related hot topics! [Whoopie!] Download it yourself now. [Don’t you anything better to do?] If what they sought to do was bury the paper, they failed spectacularly.

The Discoveroids’ generous patrons must be thrilled, but if they’re expecting the “science” of intelligent design to suddenly become respectable, they’re going to be disappointed. Ah well, let ’em have their moment of triumph. It’ll be over soon enough.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

13 responses to “Discoveroids Rejoice in Their Brief Triumph

  1. Theodore J Lawry

    The problem with that paper is that it is silly to the point of being incoherent see Jason Rosenhouse’s analysis. If this is the best ID can do, as it must be to make them so excited, then the paper is an embarrassment , not an advertisement.

  2. Theodore J Lawry

    Rosenhouse says, after an extensive analysis, “But I don’t think I’ve adequately communicated just how bad this paper is. The authors are constantly tossing out bits of mathematical jargon and notation, but then they do nothing with them. There is a frustrating lack of precision, as when they variously describe fine-tuning as an object, an entity, a method, and an attribute of a system, all on the first page of the paper. They constantly cite creationist references, with only the most glancing mention that any of this work has been strongly and cogently criticized. They say we should give fair consideration to a “design model” for the origination of complex structures, but they give not the beginning of a clue as to what such a model entails.”

  3. Derek Freyberg

    If one can believe the journal’s editors, which I think is reasonable under the circumstances, the addition of “intelligent design” was indeed a post-review addition. If you were to click on Klinky’s link, you’d see the paper, the disclaimer, and a brief rebuttal: “Large sample spaces do not imply biological systems are ‘finely tuned'”.

  4. Michael Fugate

    “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.”

  5. Yeah, that’s it. Thanks, Michael Fugate.

  6. “If what they sought to do was bury the paper, they failed spectacularly.”
    So much for Darwinian censorship.

    @TheoJL: ie typical IDiot “methodology”.
    Kclunkckerdunkcer cries victory for a burglar who got caught 99 times but got away with 1000 Euro the 100th time.
    Ah well, a child’s hand is filled easily, as the Dutch saying goes.

  7. Shades of the Sternberg Affair. To recap, Sternberg was the outgoing editor of the Biological Society of Washington Journal. Sternberg managed to sneak in Meyer’s Creationist Monster of a “paper” into the journal without any of the assistant editors or the incoming editor seeing it. Sternberg went so far as to hide the galley proofs of the article so they could only see the innocuous abstract. Just before publishing Sternberg slipped the article into the packet to be sent to the publisher.

    It wasn’t the first time Sternberg had done this. He sneaked in a “peer reviewed” creationist article some years earlier but got caught and reprimanded, told he would be removed as editor if he tried that again.

    Whatever career Sternberg was eking out, sorry, reeking of, was destroyed by his professional dishonesty. As in the case at hand the Tooters crowed loudly that a journal was “friendly” to “intelligent design” creationism. By “friendly” the Tooters mean “stoopid and careless.”

  8. One might get the idea that if they really worked on it, they could get an occasional article published in the journals. There are some people with some experience in science, who know how to write up a report.

  9. Michael Fugate

    I would be interested to see the reviewers’ comments; I can’t see why they could have been positive and recommended publication.

  10. Theodore J Lawry

    @docbill1351 Do you have a link for Sternberg’s chicanery? Your statements are much more detailed than anything I have found on the web. Cheers

  11. @Theodore

    I don’t have a single link that explains the entire sordid tale. I followed it very closely at the time it was unfolding and tapped a number of friends I have in the biology community. I was fascinated at the time as to how Sternberg could pull this off without anybody on the editorial board getting wind of his skullduggery. I read everything I could find including lengthy and boring email chains ranting about Sternberg’s previous attempt at publishing creationism. It was a real puzzle with pieces scattered all over the place, but the story was there.

    Sternberg was an advisor to a “baraminology” group (classifying animals according to Biblical “kinds” – whatever that is) Sternberg swore up and down that he was not a creationist but merely helping the students. You know whenever a creationist uses the word “merely” that some dastardly deed is afoot! There was a report that he met fellow walks-like-a-duck not a creationist wink-wink Stephen Meyer where the plan was hatched to get Meyer’s Cambrian Not-plosion nonsense published, which would be a coup for the Disco Tute. We’re talking years waiting for the right opportunity.

    I will hand it to Sternberg that the plot was executed carefully and with stealth. (I have often mused how much farther these noobs would have gotten if they had applied their energies to honest endeavors.) Sternberg knew he had been warned about trying to slip creationism into the Journal, so he waited until he was on the out, minimizing his exposure and embarrassment.

    I think Sternberg was surprised at the IMMEDIATE blowback he received the day the journal came out. His only option was to switch sides and claim religious discrimination and persecution. In just a few short years Sternberg had taken himself from obscure Smithsonian research fellow and editor of a respected journal to obscure disgraced and mostly forgotten creationist hack.

  12. Theodore J Lawry

    @docbill1351 Thanks!