March 4th, Drudge linked to Doug Bolton’s inquisition: “Scientific paper which says the human hand was designed by a ‘Creator’ sparks controversy” which asserts that it refers to:
“a Creator throughout . . . members of the scientific community have demanded the paper be retracted, for its several perceived references to the pseudoscientific theory of intelligent design and a possibly divine ‘Creator’.”
On Jan. 5, 2016, PLOS One published the article: Liu M-J, Xiong C-H, Xiong L, Huang X-L (2016) Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146193. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146193
“Abstract: Hand coordination can allow humans to have dexterous control with many degrees of freedom to perform various tasks in daily living. An important contributing factor to this important ability is the complex biomechanical architecture of the human hand. However, drawing a clear functional link between biomechanical architecture and hand coordination is challenging. It is not understood which biomechanical characteristics are responsible for hand coordination and what specific effect each biomechanical characteristic has. To explore this link, we first inspected the characteristics of hand coordination during daily tasks through a statistical analysis of the kinematic data, which were collected from thirty right-handed subjects during a multitude of grasping tasks. Then, the functional link between biomechanical architecture and hand coordination was drawn by establishing the clear corresponding causality between the tendinous connective characteristics of the human hand and the coordinated characteristics during daily grasping activities. The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way. The clear link between the structure and the function of the human hand also suggests that the design of a multifunctional robotic hand should be able to better imitate such basic architecture.”
Four weeks later, evolutionists noticed and mounted an inquisition via a Twitter campaign with hashtags #Creatorgate and #HandofGod to force retraction of Liu’s paper as “unscientific” – for five mentions of “Creator”. On 2nd March, PLOS Staff offered abject apologies:
A number of readers have concerns about sentences in the article that make references to a ‘Creator’. The PLOS ONE editors apologize that this language was not addressed . . . .
On Mar. 3rd, Anxo Sánchez threatened to resign as an editor and Bolton posted his inquisition. P.Z. Myers posted:
“There’s nothing wrong with the data that I can see, but the authors do make a surprising leap in the abstract and conclusion,”
Daniel Cressey commented in Nature: Paper that says human hand was ‘designed by Creator’ sparks concern
Apparently creationist research prompts soul searching over process of editing and peer review. . . . Xiong said that he was discussing the issues raised with his co-authors and would respond as soon as possible. He added, “Indeed, we are not native speakers of English, and entirely lost the connotations of some words such as ‘Creator’. I am so sorry for that.”
On 3rd Mar PLOS caved in, and on 4th March it posted its retraction notice:
. . .experts in the editorial board. . . .confirmed concerns with the scientific rationale, presentation and language, which were not adequately addressed during peer review. Consequently, the PLOS ONE editors consider that the work cannot be relied upon and retract this publication.
How are these actions by evolutionists, Bolton, Nature, and PLOSOne any different from book burning, anti-scientific inquisition, and Lysenkoism?
Why not follow the scientific method, clearly lay out the null hypothesis and proposed model and quantitatively test both?
PS At Archive.org, the Wayback Machine saved the original article as accepted.