Update on Springer “Biological Information: New Perspectives” Volume

| 43 Comments

As those who have followed the comment thread on the previous post know, the link to the webpage for the forthcoming creationist/ID “Biological Information: New Perspectives” volume on the Springer website went dead yesterday, approximately 24 hours after the PT post went up. This may mean that the volume had already been identified as problematic, and the webpage was put up due to some oversight or failure to update a database.

Surprisingly for the ID movement, which normally cries “oppression” and “freedom of speech” at the first sight of criticism, there has been virtually no reaction so far. The only creationist reaction is from Todd Wood, who is a lone wolf in the creationist movement in several ways. David Klinghoffer at the Discovery Institute (DI) did put a post up at the DI Media Complaints Division soon after my post, but it was taken down before anyone saw it, except apparently for Google blog aggregators.

Since silence is odd when we’re talking about the ID movement, this invites speculation about what is going on. I had assumed, based on the fact that the editors of the volume were primarily DI fellows or close associates (Michael Behe, William Dembski, Bruce Gordon, Robert Marks, etc.), and the language of the abstract, that this meeting and volume were primarily the brainchild of the DI. However, by looking at the talk titles and googling them, and looking at the posts of those who reported on the meeting (e.g. from YEC David Coppedge, also here), we can see that the meeting had quite a bit of influence from straight-up proud young-earth creationists. Sanford-related talks about the alleged decay of the human genome are a dominant part of the meeting, although phrased in “genetic information” infobabble-speak. And the meeting was at Cornell, where Sanford is, and he may have been the main organizer.

If all of this is true, perhaps the whole project was primarily the brainchild of specifically young-earth creationists, rather than generic creationists of ID and non-ID varieties, and by using lots of infobabble the YECs were able to draw in a number of the big ID names into collaboration. This was then further massaged down to “telic processes” for presentation to Springer.

This would match up with the quietness of the DI, who would certainly know the danger of associating explicitly with a bunch of creationists of the Answers-in-Genesis and ICR type. The collaboration of people like Behe and Dembski might have even occurred without the DI knowing about it, as the meeting setup was done pretty quietly, although that seems pretty unlikely if someone like Bruce Gordon was involved.

Furthermore, John Sanford’s “genetic entropy” argument, if taken seriously, proves too much for ID creationists and old-earth creationists, even though Sanford’s Genetic Entropy book got endorsements from the likes of Behe. If Sanford is right, then no species could persist for more than a few thousand or tens of thousands of years, without miraculous intervention. That’s fine for YECs, but it would be a huge problem for old-earth creationism or for those in the ID movement who wish to pretend that ID is fine with universal common ancestry*, just as it would be for mainstream science. The fact that Behe endorsed Sanford’s book could just be evidence that he’s not terribly good at thinking consistently, which I guess we already knew.

However, all this is speculation. It could also be that lawsuit threats are being tossed around behind the scenes by the creationists, since this is now a favored tactic when a publisher retracts or criticizes some creo-friendly piece. I would suspect, though, that Springer has had to deal with this kind of thing before. Every field, e.g. medicine, vaccines, climate science, etc., has a small group of pseudoscientific detractors that can sometimes become quite organized and can target mainstream publications.

(*Note: Although virtually all major IDists except Behe deny common ancestry and many make vociferous arguments against common ancestry that they call ID arguments, since Kitzmiller some have tried to play this down, presumably to dodge the “creationist” accusation.)

43 Comments

Interesting. The original point of the term “intelligent design” was to relabel creationism, after Edwards v. Aguillard, in an effort to “court proof” creationism taught as science in taxpayer funded public schools. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_pan[…]e#Pandas_and_.22cdesign_proponentsists.22

Many people are familiar with the old “ID isn’t religious because it doesn’t say who the Designer is” routine.

This approach lost some steam after Kizmiller v. Dover.

It’s often been noted that fundamentalists had difficulty handling the “ID” approach even during its heyday of about 1995-2004, and were prone to start using religious language even when they were pretending that “ID isn’t religious”, and that all YEC types always took the ID side, and never complained about its compromising nature, implying that they understood it to be disguised YEC.

Nevertheless, strong mixing of ID/creationism with more overt YEC borders on abandoning the original ID strategy.

Likewise, Klinghoffer’s comments seemed to carelessly shatter some official fiction. Klinghoffer equated “Darwin skepticism” with “climate skepticism”. But this suggested equivalence markedly violates the fiction that these are unrelated conclusions based on examination of evidence, and is consistent with the idea that they are rigid, non-rational ideological positions, held more or less by the same people.

There is photo footage from the conference (one picture is showing Werner Gitt) on a blog named Johnson and Johnson. There you will also find additional information on the location:

After leaving Heather and Andrew, we traveled about 3 1/2 hours north to Ithaca, New York. Howard was fortunate enough to be able to attend a conference on “Biological Information: New Perspectives”.

Howard and I were fortunate to share a picnic dinner with this gentleman, Werner Gitt and his daughter, Roma, from Germany. He was one of the speaker’s at the meeting Howard went to held on Cornell University’s campus. Delightful people.

The other pictures may tell locals where the conference actually took place.

It’s amusing that the best information about this conference can be found in various blogs:

[Robert Marks] was a coorganizer along with famous ID people like William Dembski (The Design Inference and No Free Lunch), Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution), John Sanford (Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome) and Bruce Gordon (The Nature of Nature).

None-the-less the Dishonesty Institute is working its butt off trying to pass their creationist nonsense off in Republican held legislatures. The latest is in Oklahoma, where they passed a bill to protect creationist teachers should they introduce creationist materials in their science classes:

“Victor Hutchison, Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education president and professor emeritus of the University of Oklahoma’s zoology department, said the bill’s language comes from the creationist Discovery Institute in Seattle.

“They claim not to be religious-based, but they use religious organizations to help push the bill,” he said.

Louisiana is the only state to have passed a version of the bill, Hutchison said. …

HB 1551 states that public school teachers shall not be prohibited from helping students understand, critique and review the “scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”

Hutchison said the National Academy of Sciences and AAAS haven’t found any legitimate scientific weaknesses to evolution, providing an opening to introduce supplementary creationist intelligent design materials into class.”

I found this last paragraph most interesting, i.e., if there isn’t a problem then the creationists will introduce one.

And in regard to the Springer subject, mayber there’s a Richard Sternberg clone at Springer who’s trying to sneak in their ID stuff and embarass the publisher and/or sue them if they renege.

source: http://www.evri.com/media/article;j[…]g_title=Evri

I have never understood the creationist argument about hyperfast “devolution” or “genetic entropy.” If natural forces make the human genome devolve at super-speed, because of loss of “genetic information” (which they won’t define and can’t compute), and if only Intelligence can create some more of this undefined “genetic information”, then doesn’t that make eugenics MANDATORY?

If only Intelligence can reverse what nature “devolves”, then some artificial selection is demanded RIGHT NOW.

Of course the real founder of Intelligent Design Theory, A. E. Wilder-Smith, was like most creationists of the time, quite pro-eugenics. In his 1969 books “Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny”, Chapter 6 is called “Planned Evolution” and is all about his scheme to breed a Master Race that can live to be 900 years old, like Adam did. He says all we need to do is “breed out the recessives.”

The position of most major creationists before about 1970, by the way, was pro-eugenics. Almost all of the founders of creationism were pro-eugenics, except George M. Price. That included Henry Morris. The ICR’s go-to guy for eugenics was William J. Tinkle, who wrote one pro-eugenics book in 1939 and another in 1970.

It’s only eugenics when you dirty, nasty, darwin worshipping, atheist nazis do it. It’s not eugenics when my noble, perfect, ever-loving god does it. [/POE]

“Design Inference”, “Genetic Entropy”, “Complex Specified Information”, etc. It all falls into the “making stuff up” category - assertions without evidence. I have a personal belief and I need some way to make it sound like it has a connection to reality.

I think I can explain.

As a journalist (and as someone who has published in an evolution journal at Springer), I thought I’d do a little digging. So I sent some questions to Springer, which were answered today. (I was traveling, so hence the lateness of my comment.)

Here are a couple of the questions, answered by Eric Merkel-Sobotta, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications. As you can see, they decided to take down the flyer.

On what grounds was this book proposal accepted by Springer? The proposal was submitted to the “Intelligent Systems Reference Library” book series which focuses on the “Intelligent Systems from the Computational Intelligence and Complex Systems” point of view. The initial book proposal had been accepted at the suggestion of the book series editors as the scientific outcome of a workshop of experts in information theory, computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, molecular biology, etc. The book includes a section on self-organizational complexity theory with contributions from well-known authors in the complexity theory community.

Was this book peer-reviewed? The initial proposal was peer reviewed by two independent reviewers from the complex systems/computational intelligence community. However, once the complete manuscript had been submitted, the series editors became aware that additional peer review would be necessary. This is currently underway, and the automatically generated pre-announcement for the book on springer.com has been removed until the peer-reviewers have made their the final decision.

Thanks for the info!

Good.

Game still on.

Two peer-review hurdles in the bag. Couple more to go.

Cough. Cough. (dust for lunch). “Where’d they come from?”

“Couldn’t stand the Weather.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix3inTQps20

Maybe the usual suspects are being quiet about this because it has been sent to another round of review and the publisher is already suspicious about it. Thus the less controversy right now the better.

It’s probably too late for them to contain it.

The answer by Springer is standard waffle. The two ‘independent’ reviewers of the original proposal were not among the authors of the book, but might very well have been proposed by the people who made the initial proposal. The additional peer review per chapter too might be by people sugggested by the proposers, only not on the list of chapter authors ( althought even that is a possibility, that people review each other’s chapters). After all, who are the series editors? Scientists? Springer employees? A publisher has to find books to publish, after all.

I dunno, this:

However, once the complete manuscript had been submitted, the series editors became aware that additional peer review would be necessary.

sounds like code for “they smelled a rat” to me. I’d expect (or at least hope) that the “additional peer-review” would be by proper scientists.

Todd is cool.

He’s the only creationist I know of who displays the courage borne of honest conviction. I think the rest strongly suspect (at best) that their case is flawed.

The initial proposal was peer reviewed by two independent reviewers from the complex systems/computational intelligence community. However, once the complete manuscript had been submitted, the series editors became aware that additional peer review would be necessary. This is currently underway, and the automatically generated pre-announcement for the book on springer.com has been removed until the peer-reviewers have made their the final decision.

I’m going to be cautiously but strongly optimistic here. (An even stronger option would have been for the two reviewers to outright state that the material didn’t meet peer review standards, but that’s asking a lot.)

Yet it’s being published in an engineering publication called “Intelligent Systems Reference Library.”

Todd Wood raises a very good point here.

There is no shortage of work that applies physics, information technology, mathematics, chemistry and robotics to biomedical sciences.

As it happens, the usual convention is to append the prefix “bio” when such work is done.

What do you call a physicist who also knows a lot about biomedical science and applies techniques of physics to biomedical problems?

Typically, you call them a “biophysicist”. The same with biostatistics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, etc.

There are plenty of legit venues for this kind of work, and “end run” attempts to get around truly knowledgeable peer review are suspicious.

The oldest creationist trick in the book is to make false, but “sophisticated” sounding, statements about the theory of evolution, to an audience which lacks knowledge of or expertise in biological evolution.

Another common creationist trick is to claim to “disprove evolution from above” with reference to thermodynamics, “rules of logic”, etc.

Take the recent example of Granville Sewell, who published anti-evolution claims based on math in a journal edited by people lacking strong backgrounds in biomedical science.

Efforts to publish work on one field in journals devoted to another field need to be examined closely.

But Granville Sewell’s paper shouldn’t have got past a physicist either!

Inside Higher Ed has just published a piece on this, with more details:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/[…]s-scientists

Elizabeth Liddle said:

But Granville Sewell’s paper shouldn’t have got past a physicist either!

Very true, but it’s still an example of the approach.

Behe just endorses stuff without thinking.

Elizabeth Liddle said:

But Granville Sewell’s paper shouldn’t have got past a physicist either!

Papers in the Dembski and Marks genre are the thin edge of the wedge. Abel, Sewell and Sanford fall into this category also.

ID/creationists are attempting to establish a language of pseudo-science in the literature by making frequent references to themselves making further references to themselves. This gives the appearance of a labyrinth of well-establish ID/creationist-driven research already up and running.

I am chagrined that more people in the physics community are not fully aware of this continued war on biologists. There are just a few of us creaky old physics geezers left who are familiar with ID/creationist history and tactics; and even that was a complete accident of history.

When we’re gone, who is going to step in and be familiar enough with this behavior on the part of ID/creationists to take it down? There is no particular career motive for anyone to do so.

The papers themselves are not hard to take down, but most physicists are so busy that very few even know any of this is going on.

What we are seeing in most journals now is something we are seeing all over. Everything is under severe economic stress, including research and the peer-review and publishing processes. ID/creationists are the canary-in-the-coalmine.

Mike Elzinga said:

ID/creationists are the canary-in-the-coalmine.

Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Apparently, the thing was cosponsored by the Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity. From the above link:

Recently Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI) co-sponsored an international symposium entitled “Biological Information - New Perspectives” that was attended by many PhD scientists to address the question: “What is biological information and where docs it come from?”

The symposium was held at the Slater Hotel on the Cornell University Campus.

From PSSI’s website:

Allowing physicians and surgeons to speak on this subject with a united voice in significant numbers is one of the best ways to let the scientific facts be known, and to dispel falsehoods, innuendoes and distortions that often flood the media. To accomplish that goal, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI) was established as a means for physicians and surgeons to publicly be counted among those skeptical of nature-driven Darwinian macroevolution. In joining PSSI members of the medical profession certify their agreement with the above statement of dissent.

According to Wikipedia the organization is associated with the Discovery Institute and even has a Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism petition.

I always thaugt these atheist Darwinian commies don’t let anybody in and nobody out but apparently there is a way for good Christian AIG authors: Wesley Brewer, Professor and Dean of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pyongyang University of Science & Technology, Pyongyang, North Korea, claims to have co-authored a section in “Biological Information: New Perspectives”:

W. Brewer, F.D. Smith, J.C. Sanford (2012) Information loss: potential for accelerating natural genetic attenuation of RNA viruses. In Biological Information - New Perspectives.

On another page he claims to have another article in the volume:

Wesley Brewer

Has a new publication titled ‘Using numerical simulation to test the “Mutation-count Mechanism” for halting deleterious mutation accumulation in natural populations’ in Biological Information - New Perspectives

11th November, 2011

(emphasis mine)

Mike Elzinga said: Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Um, let’s not go with analogies to infections, parasites etc. Creationists say evolution is a parasite feeding on the host body, Christendom. Analogies of people to infections, parasites, etc. have a miserable history.

Another presenter was John W. Oller. From his pages:

Professional Papers and Lectures

1. May 31, 2011. Pragmatic information. Invited lecture presented at the Cornell University, Symposium on Biological Information: New Perspectives, Ithaca, NY.

and he has a related article in Biological Information: New Perspectives of course peer-reviewed

Peer-Reviewed Monographs, Articles, Chapters, Interviews, Reviews, and Notes

[…]

4. Oller, J. W., Jr. (In press). Pragmatic information. Paper presented at the Symposium on Biological Information at Cornell.

Also Winston Ewert:

Winston Ewert Sponsor: Dr. Robert J. Marks, II

“Tierra: The Character of Adaptation” Biological Information: New Perspectives Ithaca, New York. May 30-June 3, 2011.

and George Montanez:

“Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation” Biological Information: New Perspectives Ithaca, New York. May 30-June 3, 2011

both from the Engineering Dept. at Baylor.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Mike Elzinga said: Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Um, let’s not go with analogies to infections, parasites etc. Creationists say evolution is a parasite feeding on the host body, Christendom. Analogies of people to infections, parasites, etc. have a miserable history.

Agreed. As far as I am concerned, creationists - even “honest” ones like Todd Wood - are mendacious intellectual pornographers. There is no need to invoke any references to infectious diseases IMHO.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Mike Elzinga said: Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Um, let’s not go with analogies to infections, parasites etc. Creationists say evolution is a parasite feeding on the host body, Christendom. Analogies of people to infections, parasites, etc. have a miserable history.

Good point. I suppose parasites might also take offense. ;-)

afarensis said:

Also Winston Ewert:

Winston Ewert Sponsor: Dr. Robert J. Marks, II

“Tierra: The Character of Adaptation” Biological Information: New Perspectives Ithaca, New York. May 30-June 3, 2011.

and George Montanez:

“Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation” Biological Information: New Perspectives Ithaca, New York. May 30-June 3, 2011

both from the Engineering Dept. at Baylor.

Aren’t they rather from the The Evolutionory Informatics Lab that was not allowed to be run on Baylor campus. Dembski, postdoc salery, the cafeteria etc. Those golden days ..

Douglas Theobald said:

Inside Higher Ed has just published a piece on this, with more details:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/[…]s-scientists

From this article: John West, associate director at the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, an organization that advocates for intelligent design, said the critics had not read the book and were bigots. “In the academic world, it is not considered a mark of scholarship to attack books you haven’t read,” he said, calling Matzke, the blog-poster, a hypocrite. “Intelligent design scientists are criticized for not publishing and then you denounce them for doing just that. It is damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

In the academic world, scholarship involves actual research and publications in peer-reviewed journals before getting into the book writing business. Or the movie making business.…

Apparently, the thing was cosponsored by the Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity.

Although that is embarrassing to all sane physicians, dentists and veterinarians (since PSSI counts all of these in order to elevate its tiny number of supporters), it is also another good piece of proof of the YEC nature of the conference. Please note that 0.02% of US medical professionals have signed the PSSI “dissent from Darwinism” to date, although it has been promoted for years. I think one member of the Ron Paul/Rand Paul father-son politics team may have had an association with PSSI, but I am not sure. Apologies to both if this is shown to be untrue. Please note that the Indonesian soccer league also referred to as PSSI has nothing to do with any of this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physic[…]ic_Integrity

Mike Elzinga said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

Mike Elzinga said: Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Um, let’s not go with analogies to infections, parasites etc. Creationists say evolution is a parasite feeding on the host body, Christendom. Analogies of people to infections, parasites, etc. have a miserable history.

Good point. I suppose parasites might also take offense. ;-)

I have recently thought of a better analogy for what creationism is: Cosmopolitan Magazine. No, really.

I just saw a female stand-up on Comedy Central (alas I forget her name) who said Cosmo pretends to be a woman’s best friend, but actually secretly tries to destroy her, by enhancing her insecurities… thus creating a market for insecurity-balms. They make women insecure with “Does he hate your orgasm face?” and then feed you the cure: “5 Ways to Drive a Man Wild!”

Creationists do the same thing. They perform before the audiences of Muggles (non-scientists) and tell them, “Those scientists think they’re smarter than you! They think they’re smarter than everybody– smarter than God!”

Having thus infected ordinary Muggles with their own status-insecurities, then they market the balm: “Nebraska Man! Every scientist in the world said it was man’s ancestor– and it was a pig’s tooth!

I guess that’s one time a PIG made a MONKEY out of an EVOLUTIONIST!” [orgasmic laughter]

diogeneslamp0 said:

Mike Elzinga said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

Mike Elzinga said: Pardon me. A more appropriate term would have been an opportunistic infection.

Um, let’s not go with analogies to infections, parasites etc. Creationists say evolution is a parasite feeding on the host body, Christendom. Analogies of people to infections, parasites, etc. have a miserable history.

Good point. I suppose parasites might also take offense. ;-)

I have recently thought of a better analogy for what creationism is: Cosmopolitan Magazine. No, really.

I just saw a female stand-up on Comedy Central (alas I forget her name) who said Cosmo pretends to be a woman’s best friend, but actually secretly tries to destroy her, by enhancing her insecurities… thus creating a market for insecurity-balms. They make women insecure with “Does he hate your orgasm face?” and then feed you the cure: “5 Ways to Drive a Man Wild!”

Creationists do the same thing. They perform before the audiences of Muggles (non-scientists) and tell them, “Those scientists think they’re smarter than you! They think they’re smarter than everybody– smarter than God!”

Having thus infected ordinary Muggles with their own status-insecurities, then they market the balm: “Nebraska Man! Every scientist in the world said it was man’s ancestor– and it was a pig’s tooth!

I guess that’s one time a PIG made a MONKEY out of an EVOLUTIONIST!” [orgasmic laughter]

Be careful, I think you may have insulted some Harry Potter fans by referring to Muggles (Thankfully I’m not one of them.).

afarensis said:

Also Winston Ewert:

Winston Ewert Sponsor: Dr. Robert J. Marks, II

“Tierra: The Character of Adaptation” Biological Information: New Perspectives Ithaca, New York. May 30-June 3, 2011.

IIRC, Ewert is a grad student of Marks. I’m a little perplexed by the reference to Tierra, Thomas Ray’s evolution simulator from 20 or so years ago. AFAIK, it’s not used much these days. Avida is a successor program.

Another author, Jorge Fernandez, complains:

Hey, Sam (Ansgar Seraph) …

Last edited by Jorge; Yesterday at 01:44 PM.

1. I had promised you that the two papers that I co-authored would soon be published, remember?

Well, publication has occurred and release is supposed to be very soon - within days. However …

2. … we may be witnessing in real time another episode of ‘EXPELLED’.

3. The Proceedings from the symposium, contained in a book titled Biological Information: New Perspectives, is now encountering the usual attempts at censorship practiced by the ‘Thought Police’ – you know, the type of censorship that the Evo-Faithful loudly deny happens at all.

4. This was strictly a scientific symposium – I know, I was there from start to finish. Every paper was scrutinized to be/remain science … pure science.

5. The publisher is Springer-Verlag. I assure you, the papers were heavily peer-reviewed. But guess what? They now want to do additional peer-review because of “complaints”. OMG !

6. The Evo-Faithful complain that intelligent design isn’t science “because it’s not peer-reviewed.” When it is peer-reviewed, they say, “It shouldn’t have been peer-reviewed because it’s not science.”

Now where did I put my shotgun?

7. In passing, do you see why I use the term “dishonest” as often as I do? Do you? Huh? Do you? It fits!

8. Lastly, wanna guess who’s already involved? Yup, you guessed it, the NCSE : the ‘witch’ and her broomstick.

9. More details here : http://the-scientist.com/2012/03/02/…print-id-book/

10. This could turn ugly, very ugly … stay tuned …

Jorge

Jorge Fernandez mentioned the meeting and even where it took placebefore:

Symposium on Biological Information at Cornell

Questions, anyone?

I must state this up front : I will not be able to answer all questions on account of the most disturbing (and disgusting!) thing that I learned at this conference.

That said, I will answer whatever I am able.

The Symposium was, in a word, outstanding! Superb science being carried out with results that, sadly (hehe) do nothing to promote Darwinism. One of the presenters (name withheld upon request) is a Darwinist and even he admitted this. I was surprised that he didn’t convert right then and there but I guess that would have been too much to ask – akin to Tiggy becoming a Biblical Creationist.

To start things off: one of the papers was by a graduate student in Evolutionary Biology. He used the program Avida to see if he could get a net gain in information using every realistic combination of parameters that he could construct. He began his presentation by noting that the ONLY way to get any information “gain” was by using biologically unrealistic parameter settings, in particular with regard to the “selection” settings. His conclusion was that under any biologically relevant conditions, there will always be a net loss of genetic information. He compared Avida with Mendel’s Accountant under the same parameter settings and obtained essentially the same results.

The Proceedings (including his paper) should be published in 2-4 months. The publisher is highly reputable and secular [I will let you know in due time].

To me this work / paper only provided further confirmation of something that I have long known. It was, nonetheless, excellently done.

Jorge

Further down the thread Tiggy had the right idea:

You mean a handful of IDiots rented some hall space at Cornell (which did not sponsor or endorse the meeting) and sat around stroking each others’ fragile egos.

According to Tiggy’s comment David Coppedge put the whole endeavor at risk with his comment at Creation Evolution Headlines which was similar to his Mountain Daily Newsarticle:

Here’s something that should make you mad. One of the organizers had invited Cornell professors, some known to be Darwin skeptics, but they all declined. In addition, he had tried to interest area churches in participating, either by sending people to hear the talks or assist with volunteer help, and they all declined, too. Some of them did not even answer the emails. There is still fear among many scientists toward being associated with a controversy like intelligent design. And, sad to say, many churches these days are more concerned about looking good to the world than dealing with matters of truth.

Because of potential harm to careers of some participants, names of all are being withheld from this review.

Today traces of this post are neither left on Coppedge’s pages nor in the Google cache.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]vtiF0BBqF10Q said:

Another author, Jorge Fernandez, complains:

Hey, Sam (Ansgar Seraph) …

Last edited by Jorge; Yesterday at 01:44 PM.

1. I had promised you that the two papers that I co-authored would soon be published, remember?

Well, publication has occurred and release is supposed to be very soon - within days. However …

2. … we may be witnessing in real time another episode of ‘EXPELLED’.

3. The Proceedings from the symposium, contained in a book titled Biological Information: New Perspectives, is now encountering the usual attempts at censorship practiced by the ‘Thought Police’ – you know, the type of censorship that the Evo-Faithful loudly deny happens at all.

4. This was strictly a scientific symposium – I know, I was there from start to finish. Every paper was scrutinized to be/remain science … pure science.

5. The publisher is Springer-Verlag. I assure you, the papers were heavily peer-reviewed. But guess what? They now want to do additional peer-review because of “complaints”. OMG !

6. The Evo-Faithful complain that intelligent design isn’t science “because it’s not peer-reviewed.” When it is peer-reviewed, they say, “It shouldn’t have been peer-reviewed because it’s not science.”

Now where did I put my shotgun?

7. In passing, do you see why I use the term “dishonest” as often as I do? Do you? Huh? Do you? It fits!

8. Lastly, wanna guess who’s already involved? Yup, you guessed it, the NCSE : the ‘witch’ and her broomstick.

9. More details here : http://the-scientist.com/2012/03/02/…print-id-book/

10. This could turn ugly, very ugly … stay tuned …

Jorge

Jorge preferred to remove the above cited post. Luckily Tiggy conserved it.

more from Jorge Fernandes on the „Biological Information: New Perspectives“ Conference:

Post #16

[…]

[sigh …]

I’ll only give here the response that is deserved :

Yes, many faculty members, administrators and students from Cornell were invited. Yes, only TWO students showed up (no faculty, no administrators). We still had about 120 in attendance.

Yet, you will not see a more scientific symposium anywhere - it was pure science where no philosophical or religious digressions were allowed.

It was sad, very sad to see the response to the invitations. We all agreed that one and only one thing could explain such a reaction : F - E - A – R. Actually we later recognized a second - commitment to an ideological position (certainly not science).

There was nothing new in that for me since, as most of you know, I have been playing that song here at TWeb from the first day I arrived. Nonetheless, I was literally floored to see this happening in the flesh. Here is one of the “Ivy League Towers” of learning – where knowledge is supposed to rule the day – and these learned PhD-clad people would not even show up to listen. Yet, rest assured that they will publish their criticisms (about stuff that they have NOT listened to).

But there was something far worse, far sadder. Many of the people there had to state that they were “undercover” – we could not post pictures/videos on public sites for fear of reprisals. One of the attendees (name withheld here, of course), is presently involved in legal actions for being fired from his/her job (I’m concealing even the gender of said individual) from a US National Laboratory. Why was s(he) fired? For promoting ID on his/her time and expense!!! Similar stories of thought-police actions were repeated by several individuals at this conference - it was SICKENING!!

Believe whatever you wish but this is as real as it gets. I like to see the silver lining in all things. Here the silver lining is that the ONLY way a loser can “win” is by completely silencing the opposition. Better yet, if they can make it so that their opposition does not even get a hearing then they “win” by default. THAT is what Materialists/Evolutionists have been reduced to doing - total censorship

Deep inside they know that they do not stand a chance if it’s a fair fight with both sides being given equal opportunity to present their case.

And so they have to tip the scales – they have to do this and that is what they do. In my eyes, that is a good thing. When your opponent has been reduced to that level of action you know that they have nothing to stand on except false beliefs. Otherwise, why be so afraid?

Okay, ‘nuff said. Now go away, Phank.

Jorge

(emphasis in the original)

But there was something far worse, far sadder. Many of the people there had to state that they were “undercover” – we could not post pictures/videos on public sites for fear of reprisals. One of the attendees (name withheld here, of course), is presently involved in legal actions for being fired from his/her job (I’m concealing even the gender of said individual) from a US National Laboratory. Why was s(he) fired? For promoting ID on his/her time and expense!!! Similar stories of thought-police actions were repeated by several individuals at this conference - it was SICKENING!!

Well, that’s clearly a reference to David Coppedge, who is not just some mild IDist, but a vocal, well-known young-earth creationist who runs Creation-Evolution Headlines. And he has been publicly known as such since long before the recent employment lawsuit. So why Jorge’s trying to be so hush-hush about it is anyone’s guess. He doesn’t seem to be particularly lucid – more emotion than calm statements. That sort of creationist is common on the internet but rarer as a speaker/publisher at an official creationist meeting.

Fascinating, as Mr. Spock used to say. We now have a growing list of people identified as authors in that manuscript submitted to Springer, yet it’s like the mystery of the dog that didn’t bark in the night. With the exception of Jorge Fernandez, information as to whether any of the authors identified so far is a creationist is missing so far.

Here are the other authors, with # in front of their names, each followed by either the person who documented it or the documentation.

#John W. Oller

A Masked Panda (F10Q) | March 1, 2012 1:27 PM

#Werner Gitt:

http://cjandhj.blogspot.com/2011/06[…]haca-ny.html

#Wesley Brewer:

A Masked Panda (F10Q) | March 1, 2012 12:58 PM

#Winston Ewert and George Montanez:

afarensis | March 1, 2012 1:44 PM |

Concerning the last two, there was a question about membership in something that was not allowed on the Baylor campus, but even that wasn’t unambiguously identified as creationist.

Instead, people here are making do with David Coppedge, whom Jorge listed as merely an “attendee”, and Jorge himself.

Excuse me– you all know that Werner Gitt is an AIG YEC, right?

He’s like AIG’s YEC version of Dembski– portrays himself as an information theorist.

You know the scam: 1. There’re huge amounts of DNA in the genome! 2. By circular logic, I assert that information cannot be produced by natural processes. 3. If you ask me for an equation that has properties 1 and 2, I will evade and change the subject… Darwin caused the Holocaust! Therefore, 4. God did it.

Jorge wrote:

“Deep inside they know that they do not stand a chance if it’s a fair fight with both sides being given equal opportunity to present their case.”

Right Jorge, that’s the problem here, the playing field isn’t level. And to make it level, you want your team to avoid the peer review process. You want to force people to publish your crap without regard to the scientific validity. Is that the way you want to level the playing field?

Look dude, I don’t know how to break it to you, but real scientists must deal with real peer review every day. My latest paper was already been rejected twice. Did I cry discrimination? Did I try to sue the publisher? No, I looked at the reviewer comments, made some changes and submitted it a third time. If need be, I am prepared to submit it five or six times. If it eventually gets accepted, fine. If not, maybe it isn;t as good as I think it is. Either way, those are the rules. Deal with it.

You simply cannot have the veneer of scientific respectability unless you actually do some science and actually go through peer review. That’s what you are getting now. If you didn’t want it to be reviewed, why did you submit it to a scientific publisher?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on February 29, 2012 11:50 AM.

Red Lynx was the previous entry in this blog.

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