Intelligent Design

Peer Review and PT*

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Stu Harris is my once long-lost first cousin. He ferreted me out after I posted some ID-apologetic comments at ARN — Gilbert Dodgen is obviously a fairly rare name. Apparently there are some nefarious Dodgen-ID-gene-memes that have been lurking in the background of our evolutionary history, waiting to rear their ugly heads, since we are both converts from a materialistic worldview.

Stu offers an interesting link on the topic of peer review:
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/archive/13/soa/peerreview.htm

But wait! There’s more, at no extra charge! You too can earn your degree in postmodernist thinking (PT), without having to think at all!

Stu offers this indispensable tool for those aspiring to rise to the apogee of PT:

Here’s an essential tool for any postmodernist writing you may do: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo Why struggle with trying to string together a postmodernist essay when you can have a computer do it for you? See the links at the bottom of the page.

PT is a marvelous innovation: Just make stuff up and declare the problem solved! It’s so easy, and requires no thinking or effort whatsoever!

* Disclaimer: Similarities between PT (Postmodernist Thinking) and PT (Panda’s Thumb) are purely coincidental.

9 Replies to “Peer Review and PT*

  1. 1
    DaveScot says:

    So you and Stu have a common ancestor!

  2. 2
    Michaels7 says:

    Smiles, Philica and PLoS ONE, lovely – because open transparency insures free idea of exchange on a new level we should see even faster breakthrus. When I first found PLoS it rocked my world! Because a lay person could get immediate access to complex research at the highest levels I loved it!

    IDist should be opening their own online peer review process and open it to all views. Joseph’s wiki is getting closer to this and is an excellent precursor. I realize management of such an adventure is no small task.

    But even PLoS suffers from ID Derangement Syndrome(IDDS) and still needs to open up their process. If even in an OPEN NET, organizations disallow ID publications, what other choice is there?

    Will Philica truly open it up to all publishers? We’ll see. Truth be told, creationist, IDist, evolutionist, many all have great ideas which transfer over in science to breakthrus. Some do not get the recognition they deserve simply due to bias.

    The NET is a great equalizer. Some see this and embrace it. Others run away from it.

    Peer Review journals who refuse to go this way in the future will become dinosaurs, extinct and merely colonizers of supportive opinion. Collaboration, even openly critical reviews from varying worldviews can spur the author(s) to correction and refinement or lead to other researchers insight and renewed vigor in areas totally unrelated. Participation even of serious lay people can help scientist understand the disconnects either for Evos or IDist and Creationist.

    Yes, to much noise can be generated. The ones who can operate and provide logical rules and mechanisms to eliminate garbage in; however, will funnel good paper online reviews for all to see, open up the education and research process of complex discovery to all people, and exchange of information will flourish. That is the nature of the NET and what computer environments bring to the table – instant feedback, correction and refinement in a collaborative environment.

    Some of the greatest scientist and editors of journals still don’t get it. By eschewing ideas based upon one dogma, they’re limiting themselves insight into an ever refining process. The reason the challenge of ID will not go away is precisely because the NET allows open discussion. They cannot turn away from it. Instead, they should learn from it.

    This will give smaller institutions and thus other author(s) an open platform upon which to show their wares and be recognized for legitimate insights when they do offer them instead of being regulated out of the picture.

    Not only this, but the online tracking mechanisms put in place will give lovely trails of how ideas of observational interpretation leads to more research, and then practical daily use. Those who are more open to allow even seemingly heretic interpretations into the fold will experience more growth.

    Tools of the trade will grow in research recognition of trends which will help focus on more breakthrus.

    The studies by Shatz shine light on abuse, bias and even outdated modes. Peer review did help and has its place, but times change, technology allows for a more fluid approach to those who may have once been held outside the specific ivory towers or journalistic bias.

  3. 3
    Michaels7 says:

    Darn, speaking of review – or lack of preview 🙂 Last sentence should have stated, “towers OF journalistic bias”.

    And I intended to insert a quote by David Shatz: “Many landmark scientific papers (like that of Watson and Crick, published just five decades ago) were never subjected to peer review, and as David Shatz has pointed out, “many heavily cited papers, including some describing work which won a Nobel Prize, were originally rejected by peer review.”

  4. 4
    Chris Hyland says:

    I also quite like this computer science paper generator: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/. The authors apparently managed to get a randomly generated paper accepted at a conference.

    “But even PLoS suffers from ID Derangement Syndrome(IDDS) and still needs to open up their process. If even in an OPEN NET, organizations disallow ID publications, what other choice is there?”

    Are there examples of ID papers that have been rejected from PLOS?

  5. 5
    tribune7 says:

    Shatz describes a study in which “papers that had been published in journals by authors from prestigious institutions were retyped and resubmitted with a non-prestigious affiliation indicated for the author. Not only did referees mostly fail to recognize these previously published papers in their field, they recommended rejection.”

    That’s damning.

    Shatz describes a study in which “investigators deliberately inserted errors into a manuscript, and referees did a poor job of detecting them.” And critics of peer review need look no further than recent high-profile papers that turned out to be hoaxes—like the massive case of scientific fraud perpetrated by South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk in Science.

    This strongly indicates that most reviewers don’t read the articles that closely and base rejection and acceptence on summaries, skimming and the reputation of the person (or his institiution) who wrote it. And this makes sense. If your vocation is something other than editing/reviewing you are not going to put much time in it and you are not going to closely read complicated papers on subjects that don’t really interest you.

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    trib

    Of course that’s how it works. Patents, which are the way engineers “publish” at large corporations, I suspect work the same way. I didn’t follow them all but I approved hundreds of patent abstracts at Dell for submission to the U.S. PTO. We used top notch patent attorneys to help the inventor(s) make the application. As far as I know none were rejected and few were returned with objections. None of the patent applications where I was the inventor even neeeded further work – the patent examiners accepted them exactly as first submitted. If I was Joe Average submitting the same patents as an individual I bet it would have been a different experience.

    That said, I trust the patent peer review process more because the patent examiners are paid experts who do nothing else and are not anonymous.

  7. 7
    DaveScot says:

    trib

    I guess I should add that the damning “change the name and resubmit” wouldn’t work with patent examiners as they’d almost certainly find the previously approved patent and reject the resubmission due to prior art. The problem with the patent office in that regard is they don’t seem to do much searching for prior art outside of prior patents. Thus if what you’re submitting as novel is something that is actually common but was not patented by anyone there’s a good chance the patent examiner won’t know of it. There were about a dozen of us pre-examiners at Dell with centuries of cumulative experience in various disciplines and all of us reviewed every patent abstract. We didn’t miss much that had been done before by others whether patented or not. A few of us were pretty brutal (me included) about rejecting abstracts for “obviousness” and unpatented “prior art” based on the principle that patented inventions SHOULD be non-obvious and novel. The lawyers on the panel didn’t care for that because the patent office is pretty slack about the obviousness test and if the prior art isn’t in the patent database there’s a good chance they won’t object on that ground. Once a patent is granted the burden of proof is on the infringer in any challenge which often makes it finacially impractical to overturn the patent.

  8. 8
    tribune7 says:

    That said, I trust the patent peer review process more because the patent examiners are paid experts who do nothing else and are not anonymous.

    Dave, exactly. That’s why I suspect the old way — powerful editors whose reputation was on the line with each edition — was superior to peer review, i.e. leaving publishing decisons to mostly disinterested, anonymous persons whose interest may very well be in not shaking the status quo and whose expertise is likely not communication or provoking thought (and controversy and readership).

  9. 9
    Michaels7 says:

    Chris,

    Been away, as to your question…
    “Are there examples of ID papers that have been rejected from PLOS?”

    I have none.

    Do you think they’ll accept an ID paper?

    My comment was in regard to an article I read sometime ago(months) which were pro macro-evolution, anti-ID much like a Nature News article that was anti-ID, yet proided no response from pro-ID people.

    So, I did make an assumption that they would accept one.

    However, if they accept an ID paper – I’ll be glad to say I am wrong. As of now, I’ll be glad to say I don’t know if one has been presented to them.

    But I am not wrong about the bias in the article I read. I made some assumptions. If I’m wrong I’m wrong.

    But I’m curious. Do you think they’ll accept an ID paper?

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