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Update: Springer defends publication of creationist paper to Jerry Coyne

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1.jpgHe got a reply within 24 hours, one which he considers “lame and evasive”:

Briefly: Here’s the Paper (Umer, S. Int. j. anthropol. ethnol. (2018) 2: 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41257-018-0014-2). The author, Sarah Umer is Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Visiting Fellowship at SOAS (recipient: 2016-2017) and her Phd is from Lahore College for Women Universety, Pakistan, according to the South Asia Institute at the University of London.

From Coyne:

But the response is basically a self-exculpation, more or less saying that since the paper was submitted (DUH) and accepted after peer review, they can’t do anything about it. Note that they didn’t answer my questions about the terrible editing (I doubt, given the infelicities of writing and grammatical errors, that it was even edited.)

And of course there’s no point in contacting the author (there’s only one author), as she, as a creationist in Pakistan, is certainly not going to correct her article.

Well, I’m not giving up yet in trying to call Springer’s attention to this travesty. Springer’s management team has no email addresses listed (why is that?), and the CEO, Daniel Ropers, has only a Twitter site that he seems to never check. Nor do the journal’s editors have any contact information. Nevertheless, I tried tweeting at the CEO. (Feel free to retweet it to @DanielRopers, though it’s almost certainly futile.) Jerry Coyne, “Springer writes back, defending its publication of a creationist paper” at Why Evolution Is True

Jerry Coyne seems to need time off before he writes much more about this.

Added by News in the Comments below at 11:

The significant thing, all above, is that, so far, Springer does not care what Jerry Coyne thinks. That kind of thing is comparatively new. If they continue not to care, it will indicate a major change in the landscape: Each journal is hereafter entitled to its own standards of what truth is. Coyne and his pals no longer hog the mike on evolution.

Whether this will benefit the ID theorists who adhere to strict traditional standards of science – and come up with much that Darwinism doesn’t account for – is an open question. They won’t miss the vulgar persecution and misrepresentation but they will likely come to miss the idea that there are benchmarks, standards, and models. Most of the better-known ones are contemporaries of Coyne who grew up with those standards and saw them being misused – but never thought science could do without them.

We shall see.

To understand what may be happening better, see Sociologist: How ID foxes can beat Darwinian lions, a review of Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game by sociologist Steve Fuller. Better still, read the book.

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See also: A Springer journal has published a creationist paper. And Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True, is, needless to say, upset. It’s a good question, though, if we end universalism in science (and that’s all the rage), why creationism in an anthropology and ethnology journal doesn’t follow. Who is Jerry Coyne to say they can’t do that?

and

Ending universalism in science: What will it mean? Wait till IPBES hears from the past lives people, demanding respect for their perspective. The term “We were all one-celled creatures once” could take on an entirely new meaning.

23 Replies to “Update: Springer defends publication of creationist paper to Jerry Coyne

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    Doesn’t this contradict the often related argument that the “main stream” scientific community would never publish ID research?

  2. 2
    News says:

    Ed George at 1, it’s not clear that this is “ID research” exactly. For what it is worth, some ID research has been published.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    News

    Ed George at 1, it’s not clear that this is “ID research” exactly.

    What do you mean by this? You first presented this paper to us under the title A Springer journal has published a creationist paper. The last time I looked, ID included creationism as a possibility

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Ed,

    There is a difference between an ID research paper and a paper that was published that supports Creation. It is a scientific research paper.

    An ID research paper would be something like openly looking for and finding the immaterial information that runs life. In other words what is it besides physics an chemistry that makes living organisms what they are.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    The following is one problem that I can see with the paper:

    The fact that all living species were created separately, suddenly and fully-formed without any evolutionary ancestor is yet again backed by evolutionist biologist Douglas Futuyma, who claimed,

    “Creation and evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence.”(Futuyma 1983)

    What she quoted in no way supports what she claimed about it. Futuyma says there are TWO possibilities with Special Creation (type scenario) being one.

    So the only thing Futuyma backs is that Special Creation is one option. What he said can only be used to support Special Creation if and only if all of its criteria are met.

    She just muddled the wording.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    It looks to me like more of a storm in a teacup. The paper is a blatantly creationist tract. The only damage it will do is to the credibility and reputation of the International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology and the only interesting question it raises is how it got past the journal’s review process, assuming there was one.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    “The only damage it will do is to the credibility and reputation of the International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology”

    Don’t worry Seversky, I’m pretty sure they will soon publish dozens of papers from ‘real’ Darwinian scientists with ‘just-so stories’ adamantly claiming that humans are descended from slime mold and all will be well with the Darwinian faithful.

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    … Of course no actual experimental evidence is ever needed to get past Darwinian peer-review,,,, only blind faith in unguided, mindless, material processes to produce jaw dropping complexity.,,, such as the following,,,

    “Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, consists of artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours”
    Michael Denton PhD. Evolution: A Theory In Crisis pg. 329

    “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometres in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings with find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus of itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules. A huge range of products and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from all the various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell. We would wonder at the level of control implicit in the movement of so many objects down so many seemingly endless conduits, all in perfect unison. We would see all around us, in every direction we looked, all sorts of robot-like machines. We would notice that the simplest of the functional components of the cell, the protein molecules, were astonishingly, complex pieces of molecular machinery, each one consisting of about three thousand atoms arranged in highly organized 3-D spatial conformation. We would wonder even more as we watched the strangely purposeful activities of these weird molecular machines, particularly when we realized that, despite all our accumulated knowledge of physics and chemistry, the task of designing one such molecular machine – that is one single functional protein molecule – would be completely beyond our capacity at present and will probably not be achieved until at least the beginning of the next century. Yet the life of the cell depends on the integrated activities of thousands, certainly tens, and probably hundreds of thousands of different protein molecules.
    We would see that nearly every feature of our own advanced machines had its analogue in the cell: artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction. In fact, so deep would be the feeling of deja-vu, so persuasive the analogy, that much of the terminology we would use to describe this fascinating molecular reality would be borrowed from the world of late twentieth-century technology.
    What we would be witnessing would be an object resembling an immense automated factory, a factory larger than a city and carrying out almost as many unique functions as all the manufacturing activities of man on earth. However, it would be a factory which would have one capacity not equaled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours. To witness such an act at a magnification of one thousand million times would be an awe-inspiring spectacle.”
    Michael Denton PhD., Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, pg.328

    Discovering what keeps cellular cargo on track – November 17, 2016
    Excerpt: ,,,researchers, for the first time, have identified how plants’ largest cell factory moves to maintain vital functions,,,,
    “Healthy cells operate as smoothly as the best Minecraft city imaginable,” said Federica Brandizzi, MSU Foundation Professor of plant biology. “The miniature cities are fully equipped with all of the facilities, or organelles, that are necessary for a smooth-running operation.”
    Administration center, factories and even recycling centers are all there, running at 100-percent efficiency. In contrast to the infrastructures and city buildings in cells, however, the organelles, are not built on static foundations. They are huge, mobile cellular cargos that travel rapidly to reach resources and deliver products. When organelles go off the rails and mobility is disrupted, bad things happen.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117150333.htm

    Building a Cell: Staggering Complexity: – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: “All organisms, from bacteria to humans, face the daunting task of replicating, packaging and segregating up to two metres (about 6 x 10^9 base pairs) of DNA when each cell divides,” “,,,the segregation machinery must function with far greater accuracy than man-made machines and with an exquisitely soft touch to prevent the DNA strands from breaking.” Bloom and Joglekar talked “machine language” over and over. The cell has specialized machines for all kinds of tasks: segregation machines, packaging machines, elaborate machines, streamlined machines, protein translocation machines, DNA-processing machines, DNA-translocation machines, robust macromolecular machines, accurate machines, ratchets, translocation pumps, mitotic spindles, DNA springs, coupling devices, and more. The authors struggle to “understand how these remarkable machines function with such exquisite accuracy.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100202a

    A very compelling part of a cumulative body of evidence – September 4, 2013
    “The more I come to terms with the sheer engineering prowess of the cell, the more I am becoming convinced that the argument from biological design is perhaps the single most powerful argument for God’s existence — I now consider it to be stronger than even the cosmological and teleological arguments. It seems to be a rather under-used apologetic, however, particularly in Christian-atheist debates. ID as a scientific proposition, of course, doesn’t necessitate God as designer. But it is certainly a very compelling part of a cumulative body of evidence for theism. Catching just a glimpse of the beauty and sophistication of the cell should be enough to render absolutely anyone without excuse.”
    —Jonathan McLatchie – PhD candidate in cell biology

    Verse:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    The paper won’t do any damage to the journal nor the author if no one can refute its claims.

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    All those who have published papers in Springer journals raise your hands.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “All those who have published papers in Springer journals raise your hands.”

    Ironically, both raising your hand and writing a paper are demonstrable proof that Coyne’s atheistic materialism is a unequivocally false worldview.

    Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, relates how he performed, for an audience full of academics at a college, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his arm,,

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....qlE#t=746s

    What should be needless to say, if raising your arm is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism/naturalism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview?

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne – Eagleton on Baggini on free will – 2015

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant:,,) Read more here:
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

  11. 11
    News says:

    The significant thing, all above, is that, so far, Springer does not care what Jerry Coyne thinks. That kind of thing is comparatively new. If they continue not to care, it will indicate a major change in the landscape: Each journal is hereafter entitled to its own standards of what truth is. Coyne and his pals no longer hog the mike on evolution.

    Whether this will benefit the ID theorists who adhere to strict traditional standards of science – and come up with much that Darwinism doesn’t account for – is an open question. They won’t miss the vulgar persecution and misrepresentation but they will likely come to miss the idea that there are benchmarks, standards, and models. Most of the better-known ones are contemporaries of Coyne who grew up with those standards and saw them being misused – but never thought science could do without them.

    We shall see.

  12. 12
    News says:

    To understand what may be happening better, see Sociologist: How ID foxes can beat Darwinian lions, a review of Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game by sociologist Steve Fuller. Better still, read the book.

  13. 13
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    What should be needless to say, if raising your arm is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism/naturalism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview?

    Maybe you should tell this to an atheist. It is completely wasted on me.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Since you do not comprise the entire audience of UD, and since I was not specifically addressing only you, (remember your post about you never responding to my posts anymore?), it is fairy solipsistic of you to assume I was addressing only you.

  15. 15
    chris haynes says:

    Apparently Cr Coyne believes that his mere name should invoke genuflection and obedience. Perhaps that is why he didn’t feel the need to address Dr Umer’s main points: 1) that if humans indeed date back 5 million years, how comes 99.8% of that history doesn’t demonstrate the features that humans display today? and 2) that evolutionist claims are based on shaky deductions from remarkably scant data.

    But taken by itself, Dr Coyne’s letter is that of an elderly crank, who specializes in ad-hominems and demands retraction of a paper for errors in spelling, capitalization, and grammar, and for the sin of citing the writings of Creationists.

    Springer gave him what one would expect. Something safe and insipid. A courteous form letter that avoids any appearance of attacking a senior citizen whose mind could be slipping.

  16. 16
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Since you do not comprise the entire audience of UD, and since I was not specifically addressing only you, (remember your post about you never responding to my posts anymore?), it is fairy solipsistic of you to assume I was addressing only you.

    Forgive my mistaken assumption arrived at because your comment started with a quote from my previous comment.

  17. 17
    Ed George says:

    From Springer’s response:

    Please contact the corresponding author of the article….to notify them of this. It is up to the authors, as copyright holders, to decide whether they would like us to correct the article.

    Springer holds the copyright for articles published in Springer journals.

  18. 18
    News says:

    Chris Haynes at 15, you might be onto something there. Coyne and other Darwinians who contacted Springer proceed from the assumption that everyone agrees that they represent Science.

    What if everyone does not agree?

    That’s why I have suggested having a look at “Sociologist: How ID foxes can beat Darwinian lions,” my review of Fuller’s book on post-truth, to get some sense of the change that appears underway.

    Whether people think the change is a good thing or a bad thing, whether it will be helpful to them or not, they will need to begin by understanding it.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    No problem Ed. Why do you not admit to your many other mistaken assumptions?

  20. 20
    john_a_designer says:

    The question is, why does Darwin’s theory continue to dominate the biological sciences? It should have been ruled obsolete, except when it comes to explaining minor evolutionary change, decades ago. It persists for philosophical or worldview reasons not scientific ones. Nothing provides a hand and glove fit with atheistic naturalism and materialism like Darwin’s theory. That is because Darwin himself was deeply influenced by 19th century materialism.

    Unfortunately as long as people are wedded to a naturalistic world view you’re going to have some version of Darwinian evolution. It’s the one thing that’s not going to evolve.

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    I’ve finally read the paper (been in the UK discussing Real Science), and it’s pretty bad: it reads like a rather poor quality undergraduate essay.

    Anyway, a few comments from my perspective as a senior editor of a journal (not published by Springer!):

    News @ 11 –

    The significant thing, all above, is that, so far, Springer does not care what Jerry Coyne thinks. That kind of thing is comparatively new. If they continue not to care, it will indicate a major change in the landscape: Each journal is hereafter entitled to its own standards of what truth is. Coyne and his pals no longer hog the mike on evolution.

    In this instance, that is the right attitude for Springer to take. They have to maintain editorial independence, so passing this on to the journal is the right thing to do. This is a different situation to, say, publishing a book, where the editors are in-house.

    Ed George @ 17 –

    Springer holds the copyright for articles published in Springer journals.

    Not always, and in this case the webpage says that the copyright is held by the authors. As it happens, this is on a CC-BY licence, so if they wanted to, Springer could make the changes themselves, as long as they gave appropriate credit.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    Bob O’H- The paper presents science and evidence that you cannot address. That is because you don’t even know how to do so and you sure as heck don’t have anything to explain it.

    And you may have been discussing “Real Science” but it is a given that you don’t know what real science is

  23. 23
    Ed George says:

    Bob O’H

    Not always, and in this case the webpage says that the copyright is held by the authors. As it happens, this is on a CC-BY licence, so if they wanted to, Springer could make the changes themselves, as long as they gave appropriate credit.

    Thank you for the clarification. My experience is with a different Springer journal. My papers are not open access so that may make a difference.

    I realize that every journal is different, but I was once asked to review a manuscript for a Springer journal, which I found strange. I don’t work for a university or a research facility, they did not have my educational background, and you could literally count the number of papers I have published in the last 35 years on one hand. I would be interested to hear from you how the journal you edit vets its reviewers.

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