Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Scientist: Top 10 retractions 2015, not ranked

arroba Email

Possibly due to volume, they are not listed in any particular order. Here’s one:


We saw another fall from grace for a paper that was a media darling upon publication. An August paper that suggested feeling blue might affect how you see blues (and yellows) was pulled a couple of months later, after Christopher Thorstenson and his colleagues realized they’d omitted a key statistical test. And once they added it, their findings fell apart. Sure, it would have been nice to get it right the first time, but we gave these scientists kudos for explaining what happened in a transparent way and acting promptly to correct the record.More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Actually, the situation may be getting better, in a goofy sort of way. That is, handle it openly, with appropriate but reasonable penalties. Might be a step up from demanding worship of “science” and then driving miscreants to suicide.

Call it, if you like, the National Hockey League approach.

See also: Retraction Watch for regular updates.


Is peer review a “sacred cow”? Ready “to be slaughtered”?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Remind me, what is the impact factor of Bio-Complexity? Alicia Cartelli
20,001 if we include Bio-Complexity. :) Mung
SteRus and Rex, there are over 20,000 publications every year which focus on ecology and evolutionary biology. And on top of that, yes, there are many mentions of evolution in cell biology, developmental biology, immunology, and every other field of biology, but that is often not their primary focus. You guys are clueless. Merry X-mas! Alicia Cartelli
//"It only takes one to change the paradigm."// Like Origin of Species. Let me know when ID publishes the paradigm changing paper. paul sussman
When ID is publishing papers by the thousands, then we’ll talk.
How many of those thousands merely mention the word evolution or one of its derivatives to qualify as a pro-evo paper. I've been to biology thesis defenses where "evolution" is mentioned once at the end. No doubt to win the favor of the committee, evolution is paid lip service and nothing more. RexTugwell
Why is the evidence for evolution always behind a paywall? Mung
The Darwinist literature bluff! "Thousands, I tell you, thousands of peer reviewed articles that demonstrate that evolution is a fact, Fact, FACT, FACT! You IDiots have nothing that compares!" In reality, many of those papers do no more than elucidate some previously unknown or poorly understood process or collect data for an attempt to correlate some effect with a cause without reference to how the process or correlation came about. Many make no mention of evolution. Those that do, do so almost as a post script, as in, "By the way, since I am an evolution sympathetic biologist, I should let you all know that I am pretty sure evolution is behind all this some way or another." Those relatively few peer reviewed articles that might seem to attempt to make a case for evolution are nothing more than opinion pieces, in my own opinion. Stephen SteRusJon
@paul sussman It only takes one to change the paradigm. buffalo
As to hidden theistic presumptions, it is impossible for Darwinists to describe the complexities of biological life without illegitimately using words that invoke agent causality:
The 'Mental Cell': Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! - Stephen L. Talbott - September 9, 2014 Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”. Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness1. One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself. http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/org/comm/ar/2014/mental_cell_23.htm
This working biologist agrees with Talbott’s assessment:
Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails - Ann Gauger - June 2011 Excerpt: I'm a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology--we simply cannot avoid them. Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn't troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it's high time we moved on. - Matthew http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/life_purpose_mind_where_the_ma046991.html#comment-8858161
Moreover, in the peer-reviewed literature, Darwinian evolution is found to be a 'metaphysical add-on' that is used as a 'narrative gloss' that adds nothing to the substance of a paper. Moreover, Darwinian evolution is useless as a fruitful heuristic in science that ever leads to breakthroughs in science.
"Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming's discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin's theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No. I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin's theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss. In the peer-reviewed literature, the word "evolution" often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for "evolution" some other word – "Buddhism," "Aztec cosmology," or even "creationism." I found that the substitution never touched the paper's core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology." Philip S. Skell - (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. - Why Do We Invoke Darwin? - 2005 http://www.discovery.org/a/2816 "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood." Francis Crick - What Mad Pursuit (1988) "In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all." Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005 "While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.” A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to "Evolutionary Processes" - (2000). “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.” (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).) Darwinian 'science' in a nutshell: Jonathan Wells on pop science boilerplate - April 20, 2015 Excerpt: Based on my reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, I’ve distilled (the) template for writing scientific articles that deal with evolution: 1. (Presuppose that) Darwinian evolution is a fact. 2. We used [technique(s)] to study [feature(s)] in [name of species], and we unexpectedly found [results inconsistent with Darwinian evolution]. 3. We propose [clever speculations], which might explain why the results appear to conflict with evolutionary theory. 4. We conclude that Darwinian evolution is a fact. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/darwinism/jon-wells-on-pop-science-boilerplate/ Rewriting Biology Without Spin By Ann Gauger - Jan. 12, 2014 Excerpt: It’s a funny thing—scientific papers often have evolutionary language layered on top of the data like icing on a cake. In most papers, the icing (evolutionary language) sits atop and separate from the cake (the actual experimental data). Even in papers where the evolutionary language is mixed in with the data like chocolate and vanilla in a marble cake, I can still tell one from the other. I have noticed that this dichotomy creates a kind of double vision. I know what the data underlying evolutionary arguments are. By setting aside the premise that evolution is true, I can read what’s on the page and at the same time see how that paper would read if neutral, fact-based language were substituted for evolutionary language. Let me give you an example.,,, http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/107965814309/rewriting-biology-without-spin
Moreover, the presumption of Intelligent Design is far more than a 'narrative gloss' or a 'metaphysical add-on' as Darwinian evolution is found to be 'but is in fact a driver of science':
"It has become clear in the past ten years that the concept of design is not merely an add-on meta-description of biological systems, of no scientific consequence, but is in fact a driver of science. A whole cohort of young scientists is being trained to “think like engineers” when looking at biological systems, using terms explicitly related to engineering design concepts: design, purpose, optimal tradeoffs for multiple goals, information, control, decision making, etc. This approach is widely seen as a successful, predictive, quantitative theory of biology." David Snoke - Systems Biology as a Research Program for Intelligent Design - 2014 http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/viewArticle/BIO-C.2014.3 How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design - July 2014 Excerpt: Snoke lists various features in biology that have been found to function like goal-directed, top-down engineered systems: *"Negative feedback for stable operation." *"Frequency filtering" for extracting a signal from a noisy system. *Control and signaling to induce a response. *"Information storage" where information is stored for later use. In fact, Snoke observes: "This paradigm [of systems biology] is advancing the view that biology is essentially an information science with information operating on multiple hierarchical levels and in complex networks [13]. " *"Timing and synchronization," where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that different processes and events happen in the right order. *"Addressing," where signaling molecules are tagged with an address to help them arrive at their intended target. *"Hierarchies of function," where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that cellular processes and events happen at the right times and in the right order. *"Redundancy," as organisms contain backup systems or "fail-safes" if primary essential systems fail. *"Adaptation," where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, "These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way," and "Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.",,, Snoke observes that systems biology assumes that biological features are optimized, meaning, in part, that "just about everything in the cell does indeed have a role, i.e., that there is very little 'junk.'" He explains, "Some systems biologists go further than just assuming that every little thing has a purpose. Some argue that each item is fulfilling its purpose as well as is physically possible," and quotes additional authorities who assume that biological systems are optimized.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/when_biologists087871.html
AC: "When ID is publishing papers by the thousands, then we’ll talk." Ten research articles in five years. Don't rush them. paul sussman
Alicia clueless:
When ID is publishing papers by the thousands, then we’ll talk.
You say that as if there are thousands of papers published in support of blind watchmaker evolution. And yet there aren't any. Virgil Cain
Alicia Cartelli, perhaps you would like to tell us how to practice science in the first place without relying on hidden theistic presumptions?
"People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview." —Paul Davies (cited in, The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science)
Or perhaps you would like to tell us how to avoid the epistemological failure inherent in the naturalistic worldview? (besides just ignoring the problem as if it did not exist)
Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True (Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism) - video Excerpt: "Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life." Richard Dawkins - quoted from "The God Delusion" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs “An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value. But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide. Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement? Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.” - Nancy Pearcey - Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself - March 2015 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html Quote: "In evolutionary games we put truth (true perception) on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (true perception) never gets on the stage" Donald Hoffman PhD. - Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception - 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439
The number of retractions has increased with the number of publications. Just because your personal beliefs don't agree with what the science says, that does not give you the right to call for change in science. Peer review is not perfect and an overhaul of the system may be needed, but I can guarantee this is not going to help ID in any way. When ID is publishing papers by the thousands, then we'll talk. Alicia Cartelli
Paul Sussman at 1: My main problem with retractions is that there didn't used to be nearly enough of them. Things are changing, but only if the pressure is kept up. News
Not surprising that ID friendly research articles tend to be less sloppy, really. Doug Axe and friends know perfectly well their views are loathed by the Darwinian establishment, who will scrutinize every detail to find fault. Obviously, accepted views are subject to far less examination. After all, "everybody" knows they must be right, eh? anthropic
"how many retractions and corrections have Bio-complexity issued?" No retractions issued that I am aware of. A few minor corrections, if I'm not wrong. Have you read through the papers? Do you know where there is gross error on their part so that they should have to fully retract one of their papers? Perhaps you would like to go so far as to present actual empirical evidence that unguided material processes can create non-trivial functional information so as to falsify ID's primary claim, and end the debate once and for all? bornagain
I really don't understand what your problem is with retractions. Aren't they an indication of transparency and honest? Again, how many retractions and corrections have Bio-complexity issued? paul sussman

Leave a Reply