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From Undeniable: The “vague language of prejudice”

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From Douglas Axe’s Undeniable:

Only a very few research scientists have the opportunity to work against that disjoined view by openly studying life as something clearly and cleverly designed. I am one, and I can count the others on my fingers. There are more who would like to have ths opportunity, as shown every now and then by a paper th
at gets past the policing system of an establishment science journal. A recent example is a description oft the architecture of the human hand as being “the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.” Infractions like this almost always bring out the whistle-blowers, which almost always brings reprimand. Everyone must decide for himself or herself what they can do under the shadow of te materialist flag, knowing that if they press too hard they may lose even the small opportunities they once had. (p. 265)

Real case histories bear this out, time and again.

Two months after this paper on the human hand was published, it was retracted—not by the authors but by the journal (PLoS One), and not for any technical error that cold be described, but because of “concerns with the scientific rationale, presentation and language.” This sounds very much like the vague language of prejudice. Consistent with that, the retraction mentions only one specific objection: “Following publication, readers raised concerns about language in the article that makes referenes to a ‘Creator.’” Evidently PLoS One marches on command whnever a whistle is blown.

See also: Mob with Pitchforks Forms as Science Journal PLOS ONE Acknowledges “Proper Design by the Creator”

This was a particularly unjust instance of a retraction if there was no written rule that one must not use such terminology. And yes, it was prejudice, of the classic type where all the inpeople know the rules, but we don’t publish them. That way we can easily identify and exclude outsiders.

It’s becoming a serious problem. These days, just about any hornswoggle about space aliens is “science” but references to the fine-tuning of the universe, however massive the evidence, exist only to be repudiated in favor of unfalsifiable claims about a multiverse.

Evidence is getting less important all the time. Obedient mediocrities will benefit, taxpayers will pay, and science will slowly settle into the sort of oblivion (which has often happened before) when ideology replaces evidence, sometimes for centuries.

Note: News will be light today as O’Leary for News is currently working at her other alternative night job.

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Comments
BA77 @7: Good paper reference. Thank you. BTW, wasn't it another recent OP by VJTorley on the new Axe's book? Where is it? I don't see it. Was it removed?Dionisio
September 1, 2016
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OT:
Research outlines cellular communication processes that make life possible - August 29, 2016 Excerpt: Researchers have discovered a mechanism of intercellular communication that helps explain how biological systems and actions - ranging from a beating heart to the ability to hit a home run - function properly most of the time, and in some scenarios quite remarkably,,, "The thing is, individual cells don't always get the message right, their sensory process can be noisy, confusing, and they make mistakes," Sun said. "But there's strength in numbers, and the collective sensory ability of many cells working together usually comes up with the right answer. This collective communication is essential to life." In this study, researchers helped explain just how that works for animal cells. When cells meet, a small channel usually forms between them that's called a gap junction. On an individual level, a cell in response to ATP begins to oscillate, part of its call to action. But with gap junction-mediated communications, despite significant variability in sensing from one cell to another, the sensitivity to ATP is increased. Oscillation is picked up and becomes more uniform. This interactive chatter continues, and a preponderance of cells receiving one sensation persuade a lesser number of cells reporting a different sensation that they must be wrong. By working in communication and collaboration, most of the cells eventually decide what the correct sensory input is, and the signal that gets passed along is pretty accurate. With this accuracy of communication, cells in a heart chamber collectively decide it's time to contract at the appropriate time, and blood gets pumped, dozens of times a minute, for a lifetime. Neuron cells send accurate signals. Photoreceptor cells see clearly. http://phys.org/news/2016-08-outlines-cellular-life.html
bornagain77
August 29, 2016
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When the base-line is farcical....Axel
August 29, 2016
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The idea of a Creator has been on the table for thousands of years. What is lacking is evidence for such a being other than what some people, including scientists, believe. A science journal is for the publication of scientific research, not the religious beliefs of individual scientists. There are other venues for those.Seversky
August 28, 2016
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Seversky It doesn't work. If a creator did create the universe it would be the most important idea inn origins and maybe present functioning. Its on the table as a subject. If some researcher is forced to see a creator then they must say so. Wanting to see it that way is another subject. However presenting origins as unrelated to a creator in origin and motive and pre4sent function is also a aggressive interpretation. One can not escape the truth of a creator in nature if ones research bumps into it or bumps into not there.Robert Byers
August 28, 2016
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A science journal is not the proper place to deny the existence of a Creator, neither is it the proper place to affirm the existence of one. Scientists are no more entitled to imply science supports Christian belief than they are to claim it implies atheism. The reality is, however, that any such reference to a Creator or God or Christianity in a published science paper will be gleefully seized upon by believers as evidence that science does support their beliefs. Science as an enterprise is not in the business of attacking or defending God or Christianity, although individual scientist are as free as anyone else to express their personal convictions. Besides, this whole notion of blasphemy is absurd. You God is more than big enough to take care of Himself, isn't he?Seversky
August 27, 2016
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Seversky. is the proper place in a science magazine to deny there is a creator? its both ways. its not religious to say there is evidence of a creator but pure fact. If its an interpretation then who says they can't do so?who decides its wrong? It shows a immoral, illegal, aggresion of these science bosses to reject the historic claims of God/genesis just because they said there is no God or no evidence of a god. they live in a society that has not made this decision. The attack on God in science is absurd and suspicious its an attack upon christianity.Robert Byers
August 26, 2016
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Is a science paper a proper venue for the author to state their religious beliefs, especially when such a placement could be interpreted as an improper attempt to give the imprimatur of science to a statement of faith? This is quite apart from the fact that, in a science paper, if you are assuming the existence of an unproven entity, it should be clearly identified as such. I think the journal acted properly in this case.Seversky
August 26, 2016
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