Intelligent Design Peer review

Eureka! Researchers discover the Gollum effect in academia

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See, after Gollum crawled out from under the rubble of Mt. Doom, he had enough smarts to seek a career in academia:

It is well established that many academics feel precious about their research fields, but now there is a name for how some go a step further and try to wreck colleagues’ attempts to encroach on their areas of expertise – the “Gollum effect”.

Scholars who examined “research opportunity guarding” – how some professors have lied, threatened and sought to sabotage the careers of those seeking to move into their topic – liken the behaviour to that of the maniacally possessive guardian of the Ring of Power from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth chronicles.

“Like the greedy Gollum, many researchers believe they have the sole right to particular aspects of research,” explained Jose Valdez, a postgraduate researcher at German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig, who has studied the phenomenon with the University of Newcastle’s John Gould.

Writing in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the pair describe how an animal science researcher had contacted an expert to ask advice on using their methodology to study a different species. When the expert claimed that he was considering doing that same experiment, the researcher desisted, but the research was never undertaken.

Jack Grove, “My precious! How academia’s Gollums guard their research fields” at Times Higher Education (June 9, 2022)

The paper is open access.

That is over and above stuff like Darwin policing.

17 Replies to “Eureka! Researchers discover the Gollum effect in academia

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This has been an intrinsic part of academia from the start. Newton was famous for using sneaky tactics to sabotage his competitors. Maybe it should be called Newton’s 4th Law instead of the Gollum effect.

    I’ve seen it often in territorial form, with profs holding onto well-equipped labs long after they stopped using the room for real research.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    There’s a Darwin police force? Apart from the one in Australia, of course.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Nope. There isn’t any Darwinian police force. Just a bunch of cowards who cannot stand to have their nonsensical claims questioned.

  4. 4
    JHolo says:

    ET: Nope. There isn’t any Darwinian police force. Just a bunch of cowards who cannot stand to have their nonsensical claims questioned.

    The peer reviewed literature is full papers questioning previous claims. That’s how science works. Perhaps you should publish some of your research rather acting like an angry child.

  5. 5
    Bob O'H says:

    Nope, no police force. Instead we have superheroes with naturally selected mutant powers.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    JHolo, “The peer reviewed literature is full (of) papers questioning previous claims.”

    Well actually, time and time again, there are studies that falsify core Darwinian presuppositions. Yet Darwinists never accept these empirical results that contradict their theory as falsifications of their theory, but simply view it as an opportunity to learn more about how evolution really worked. In other words, the belief that evolution is true, at least how Darwinists treat their theory, is above empirical reproach. i.e. Evolution is held to be true no matter what the evidence says to the contrary.

    As Cornelius Hunter noted, empirically speaking, there simply never is any bad news for Darwinists,

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    And contrary to what JHolo claimed, this lack of a rigid falsification criteria for Darwinian evolution renders Darwinism profoundly unscientific.

    As Denis Noble remarked, “it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”

    Central tenets of neo-Darwinism broken. Response to ‘Neo-Darwinism is just fine’ – 2015
    Excerpt: “If, as the commentator seems to imply, we make neo-Darwinism so flexible as an idea that it can accept even those findings that the originators intended to be excluded by the theory it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”
    – Denis Noble – President of International Union of Physiological Sciences
    https://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/16/2659

    Of note: Imre Lakatos, who was considered one of the top three philosophers of science in the 20th century, stated that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific,”

    “,,, nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific,,”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

  7. 7
    martin_r says:

    BA77,

    As Cornelius Hunter noted, empirically speaking, there simply never is any bad news for Darwinists,

    let me add to yours:

    Evolution is slow and gradual except when it is fast. It is dynamic and creates huge changes over time, except when it keeps everything the same for millions of years. It explains both extreme complexity and elegant simplicity. It tells us how birds learned to fly and how some lost that ability. Evolution made cheetahs fast and turtles slow. Some creatures are made big and others small, some gloriously beautiful and some boringly gray. It forced fish to walk and walking animals to return to the sea. It diverges except when it converges. It produces exquisitely fine-tuned designs except when it produces junk. Evolution is random and without direction except when it moves toward a target. Life under evolution is a cruel battlefield, except when it demonstrates altruism. Evolution explains virtues and vice, love and hate, religion and atheism and it does all this with a growing number of ancillary hypotheses…It explains everything without explaining anything well.

    — Matti Leisola, bioengineer (former Dean of Chemistry and Material Sciences at Helsinki University of Technology)

  8. 8
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Evolution is slow and gradual except when it is fast. It is dynamic and creates huge changes over time, except when it keeps everything the same for millions of years. It explains both extreme complexity and elegant simplicity. It tells us how birds learned to fly and how some lost that ability. Evolution made cheetahs fast and turtles slow. Some creatures are made big and others small, some gloriously beautiful and some boringly gray. It forced fish to walk and walking animals to return to the sea. It diverges except when it converges. It produces exquisitely fine-tuned designs except when it produces junk. Evolution is random and without direction except when it moves toward a target. Life under evolution is a cruel battlefield, except when it demonstrates altruism. Evolution explains virtues and vice, love and hate, religion and atheism and it does all this with a growing number of ancillary hypotheses…It explains everything without explaining anything well.

    Matti Leisola, bioengineer (former Dean of Chemistry and Material Sciences at Helsinki University of Technology)

    Somebody…give this man a Nobel Prize. 😆 :star:

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Martin, that’s definitely a keeper.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r/7

    Evolution is slow and gradual except when it is fast.

    Yes, evolution can be both fast and slow. Why is that a problem? Darwin allowed it could move at varying rates. Why would you expect it to move at the same rate all the time?

    It is dynamic and creates huge changes over time, except when it keeps everything the same for millions of years

    Parts of the deep sea environment are relatively unchanged over millions of years. Parts of the land change relatively rapidly. Evolution is about living things adapting to their environment, so some are going to change relatively rapidly and others are going to change hardly at all for eons. Again, why should this be a problem?

    It explains both extreme complexity and elegant simplicity

    Complexity and simplicity are human concepts. Evolution doesn’t care about them. It does whatever happens to work at the time.

    It tells us how birds learned to fly and how some lost that ability.

    We observe flying birds, flightless birds and intermediate animals that glide. Evolution offers hypothetical explanations of how these may have arisen.

    Evolution made cheetahs fast and turtles slow. Some creatures are made big and others small,

    You would expect all animals to be the same size and move at the same speed?

    … some gloriously beautiful and some boringly gray

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Evolution doesn’t care about what might have an esthetic appeal to us.

    It forced fish to walk and walking animals to return to the sea. It diverges except when it converges

    Evolution doesn’t “force” animals to do anything. The theory says that as an environment changes animals adapt to the changes. Some are lucky enough to get favorable adaptations and they tend to survive better than those that are less well-favored.

    It produces exquisitely fine-tuned designs except when it produces junk.

    Evolution doesn’t produce designs, exquisitely-fine-tuned or otherwise. The process results in some animals which are better-fitted to their environment than others. The junk, if it’s detrimental, generally goes extinct.

    Evolution is random and without direction except when it moves toward a target

    The only randomness in evolution is mutations that are such with respect to the survival of the animal. The only “target” of evolution is survival.

    Life under evolution is a cruel battlefield, except when it demonstrates altruism

    Life is “red in tooth and claw” or a cruel battlefield whether it evolved or was designed. The only difference is, if it was designed, the designer has a lot of pain, suffering and death to answer for.

    Evolution explains virtues and vice, love and hate, religion and atheism and it does all this with a growing number of ancillary hypotheses…It explains everything without explaining anything well

    No, it doesn’t explain everything well. It’s a human enterprise, not God-given knowledge, doing it’s best with far from complete data but trying to adapt to new information as it comes along. That’s what it’s supposed to do. As a scientist, Leisola should know that.

    As for ID, it doesn’t even offer an alternative. It refers to some vague, ill-defined, unidentified designing intelligence that can account for everything we observe, except it is vulnerable to the same criticism of being an explanation of everything that explains nothing. Plus, it settles for a speculation of “who” but assiduously avoids any explanations of “how” and, in so doing, abandons any pretense to being science.

  11. 11
    martin_r says:

    Seversky @10

    thank you for the explanation …

  12. 12
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    “Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe urge us to be cautious of a theory that needs ever more ancillary hypotheses when faced with new facts: Our interpretation is:
    ‘Be suspicious of a theory if more and more hypotheses are needed to support it as new facts become available, or as new considerations are brought to bear.’
    This interpretation leaves Darwinism in a poor way, for this is exactly what has happened to Darwin’s theory.”
    (Matti Leisola, Jonathan Witt, Heretic -book.)

  13. 13
    ET says:

    JHolo:

    The peer reviewed literature is full papers questioning previous claims.

    Peer-reviewed literature is devoid of support for evolution by means of blind and mindless processes. Unless we are discussing genetic diseases and deformities.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    seversky:

    As for ID, it doesn’t even offer an alternative.

    ID offers the only scientific explanation for our existence. Without ID all you have to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck. And that is the antithesis of science.

    It refers to some vague, ill-defined, unidentified designing intelligence that can account for everything we observe, except it is vulnerable to the same criticism of being an explanation of everything that explains nothing.

    Nice strawman. You must be proud to be such a loser that you have to attack a strawman.

    ID odes not try to account for everything we observe. ID odes NOT say that everything we observe was intelligently designed.

    All evos have is some ill-defined and untestable mechanism. They don’t even know what determines biological form! Given starting populations of prokaryotes they don’t have a naturalistic mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes! They definitely cannot account for sexual reproduction and metazoans. seversky is just a clueless troll.

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    ET: ID offers the only scientific explanation for our existence.

    It’s not really scientific though is it? You can’t make a prediction that under such-and-such conditions we should see this-and-that based on ID. If you think you can then let’s hear it. Oh, and make sure it’s not the same as a prediction that would be given by an unguided evolution perspective.

    The point being that ID doesn’t predict anything that is measurable. How can you predict what the designer would chose to do in a given situation?

    And if you think you can predict how design gets implemented then please describe how to set up a scientific test for that.

  16. 16
    EvilSnack says:

    As with other areas of endeavor, pride is the seminal curse of the cosmos.

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    EvilSnack: As with other areas of endeavor, pride is the seminal curse of the cosmos.

    We you addressing this to someone in particular?

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