The Design of Life

Why can’t the ID people come up with evidence – evidence that doesn’t cause Darwinists to drive them from their posts?

Spread the love

Darwinian evolutionist E. O. Wilson insists that biology can do better than traditional faith, and meanwhile – in a fascinating passage that somehow signifies the passing of an old order – disses intelligent design.

Wilson insists that all the ID guys have to do is come up with “evidence” – so why don’t they?

The critics forget how the reward system in science works. Any researcher who can prove the existence of intelligent design within the accepted framework of science will make history and achieve eternal fame. They will prove at last that science and religious dogma are compatible. Even a combined Nobel prize and Templeton prize (the latter designed to encourage the search for just such harmony) would fall short as proper recognition. Every scientist would like to accomplish such a epoch-making advance. But no one has even come close, because unfortunately there is no evidence, no theory and no criteria for proof that even marginally might pass for science.

There is something almost obscene about a smug – and so they say – gentlemanly* prof sitting pretty at Harvard , writing this disingenuous garbage, in full awareness that none of his cowering colleagues will ask the obvious question: What happened to people who DID come up with evidence against Darwinism (and therefore maybe for intelligent design)?

What ABOUT Rick Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Robert Marks? To say nothing of Mike Behe?

What about them? Hey, the Darwin mob knows what to do about people who know that Darwinism is bankrupt and why, as the Expelled movie will certainly show.

Also, just look at the filth written by other people’s students about prof Mike Behe. And his crime? Behe KNOWS that what Wilson is saying is not true. Natural selection acting on random mutation rarely produces worthwhile information.

That’s just a fact, one that Darwinists cannot grapple with. The life of the universe is not long enough to do what Darwinists need.

People who do not know how to pay their bills look for victims, scapegoats. So, are the Darwinists’ victims and scapegoats just Behe and the other guys I mentioned above?

Not only them, no. Do you by any chance have a working brain?

I myself am, to this day, in receipt of garbage posts from an anti-ID scuzzbucket who seems to have dedicated his retirement years to destroying the careers of people who know that Wilson’s Darwinism is the Enron of biology.

Recently, I wrote to a scientist with whom I might be writing a book at some point, as follows:

… the problem is NOT that old Professor Harrumph of Harvard will disapprove of your views but that gangs of Internet yay-hoos (proud atheists all) will be yelling “xxxxxx yyyyyy is a ruddy FAG!!”

Some of them will be the grad students of that prof’s colleagues, and they will NOT be rebuked for their filthy insolence and stupid detractions.

So I wondered, can his family and friends and faith support him through all this?

As a science journalist, I am hesitant to work with scientists who do not have networks who can support them through the siege of foul-mouthed and otherwise stupid Darwinists.

This isn’t Muppet Laboratories, after all, where all the puppets go back into the box at the end of the show. Real human beings could be harmed, including children and teens, while we insist on balancing the books.

Or, alternatively, the real human beings could stand up to it. They can understand what is at stake and draw lines to protect themselves from the scuzzbuckets (often paid for by their tax dollars) who attack people – including their own nearest and dearest – with valid evidence against Darwinism.

It’s hard to explain to kids, but here’s the deal: Balancing the books of the Enron of biology will not be done without serious cost. If you’re not safe, stay out of the way and no problem. But don’t undermine the ID people who hold the future in their hands.

Otherwise, if you are safe, proceed with caution … and welcome to the future.

*Incidentally, re the “gentlemanly” stuff, I wouldn’t really care if Wilson has a mouth on him like PZ Myers. That’s not the substance of the problem we are dealing with, when confronting the Enron of biology. We want the books balanced. That’s all. And for all I know, it’s a crime. And if so, I’m guilty. Are you? And if not, why aren’t you? Don’t you want credit for having a mind when it matters?

58 Replies to “Why can’t the ID people come up with evidence – evidence that doesn’t cause Darwinists to drive them from their posts?

  1. 1
    shaner74 says:

    First of all, if there was conclusive, or even, “yeah gee this looks convincing” evidence in favor of unguided evolution there would be no debate raging right now. So all the darwinists have to do is put forth *their* “mountain” of evidence that shows how nature creates beings out of itself – to manipulate itself – all without a real mind, and ID goes away. But conjecture about finch beaks and flowers in a pot of deep time really doesn’t prove squat. So it seems to me that why we have this problem is that the observed facts do not fit the proposed *theory*! Now on the ID side, I guess what we would need for evidence would be something like, oh, say, showing how a parasite after countless generations didn’t do a d*mn thing. But I guess that’s just wishful thinking eh? On the other hand, finding a digital code embedded in living things, cellular machinery, and a fossil record which shows the sudden appearance of fully formed complex life forms was no surprise to darwinists.

  2. 2
    Benjamin L. Harville says:

    Behe did eventually admit that Abbie Smith had found a valid counter-example to his thesis.

  3. 3

    It isn’t as easy as just looking at evidence or “hey, any scientist who proves this will win fame.”

    Hollywood makes much more money when they make family-friendly films. But they don’t get the “artistic credibility” when they aren’t throwing in sex scenes or vulgarity. People don’t always operate on the basis of earning riches and fame.

    When you have a community that is dominated by materialism or at least materialistic thought, they filter evidence through their materialistic beliefs. When you are convinced there must be a naturalistic answer, you come up with naturalistic answers.

  4. 4
    getawitness says:

    Denyse,

    What ABOUT Rick Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Robert Marks? To say nothing of Mike Behe?

    All of these gentlemen still have their posts, and Gonzalez is the only one who is likely to lose his. So the idea that “Darwinists” are “driv[ing] them from their posts” is a bit much.

  5. 5
    O'Leary says:

    getawitness, I have now caught you doing the usual Darwinist crap of claiming that people were not harmed by Darwinthugs when they in fact were. Rick Sternberg suffered serious career harm in consequence of Darwinists’ rage over the Meyer paper in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington – even though it had passed peer review.

    One more such emission from you and I will ban you from this forum.

    We don’t abet persecutions here. Okay?

    Your usual drivel is just your usual drivel, but when you resort to claiming that your favourite thugs have done no harm – that’s different. Or else I just noticed you now and I am enforcing. M’kay?

  6. 6
    getawitness says:

    Denyse, I was making a somewhat small correction. I didn’t say “people were not harmed,” and I don’t have any “favourite thugs.” I said only one of the four people you mentioned have been driven from their posts. It’s a small point, and one that I would imagine you, as a journalist who values careful use of language, would appreciate.

    I’m perfectly willing to admit that Dr. Sternberg’s career has been harmed by the process, though I don’t know the specifics of the case that well. Dr. Marks and Dr. Behe have tenure, of course, so they’re in a more protected position.

  7. 7
    tdean says:

    Denyse,

    Is it me, but in your last few posts here and on your own blog, you seem to be getting increasingly more angry. Sure, you’ve always had little epithets for Darwinists, but not it seems to be getting a little more nasty (“Darwinthugs”, “Scuzzbuckets”. Really?)

    Obviously you feel very passionate about the topic at hand; but I think your tone is becoming so shrill and derogatory, that it is getting in the way of your message. I think if you want evolutionists or atheists to listen, I don’t think your highly polemical style is going to garner many listeners. Remember, you’re a journalist, so you are trained to be objective.

    Maybe you need to take a break from this for a while? Go smell the roses, perhaps? No offense, but you really aren’t adding much value right now in your writings…

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    GAW:

    Kindly look here to see just what the initial investigation of the Sternberg case found out. (There is a lot more on Dr Sternberg’s site, and there is more from this report and these appendices by US Congress staff. [Hope they have not been torn down . . . . I have copies in my vaults.] Much of this is a simple web search away.)

    If you don’t know about what has been happening, I think you would be wiser to listen and investigate rather than to assert things like: All of these gentlemen still have their posts, and Gonzalez is the only one who is likely to lose his. So the idea that “Darwinists” are “driv[ing] them from their posts” is a bit much.

    There are also a lot of other cases of harassment, unjustified career busting and outright persecution, at different levels, over the span of decades, going back to what was done to the likes of Dean Kenyon — who changed his mind on biochemical predestination in light of the findings reported in Thaxton et al’s TMLO — and beyond. (Read Johnson’s Reason in the Balance for a review.)

    In the Gonzalez case I think he made a basic strategic mistake: opening his mouth before he had tenure. [There is a name for this: politically correct censorship!]

    So, a slander campaign was spread against him [and its initiator has been rewarded at the same time as he is being cut off], in a context that being controversial would be likely indeed to dry up funding, and make wise grad students think twice before joining up. So never mind over 60 papers and powerful innovative ideas in Galactic habitable zones etc,we have our excuse and out he goes.

    We better wake up fast and smell the smoke — before we all get caught up in the conflagration of our liberties. Liberties that BTW, are historically and small-c constitutionally [as well as arguably big-C constitutionally] anchored in the concept that we are created by a Creator who has endowed us with unalienable rights.

    GEM of TKI

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Checked — the Souder report and appendices are blocked now.

  10. 10
    Frost122585 says:

    OLeary,

    One more such emission from you and I will ban you from this forum.

    Ouch! I didn’t think that his comment was that outrageous. I mean at the higher levels you have people who are already pretty well off and the effect’s of ID on individual people while I am sure is very present isn’t as horrible as you seem to take it. If it is please specify because I would like to know about the instances. They would be very useful information for debates. That said I haven’t studied it at all. I can say that as a political conservative (by and large I’m not super right wing) I often get treated like crap in collage by teachers. Down graded and such. Not to conflate ID with conservatives or neoliberal political philosophy, but it is the same thing in the community of academia. I don’t think however that at the highest levels there is a personal onslaught of constant harassment on ID advocates. Now I do think there is a witch hunt going on and that is to oust the creationist! This is the anti religious who are constantly looking for anything that looks like religion so they can save the day take out their inner rage and kill it. I’m sure this is what happened to Sternberg. I am just a little weary of taking well educated well off people who got into an institutional war in the sciences and hold them up as martyrs or w/e. Anyway the point is that there is a huge amount of anti ID propaganda out there that is being propped up by anti religious bigots. ID has a lot of work to do to get its academic and institutional freedom back. But to do so requires telling the facts like they are and listening to other people’s opinions then changing their minds with facts. You shouldn’t sink to the level of your opponents unless you have to and I don’t think there is any argument that forces ID to revert to politics because it “can” win the debate.

    In expelled the Meyer peer review case will get its media attention and it should. I am the kind of person who judges people on their intentions. If they make an effort and support their arguments with real substance and are willing to be open minded to my point of view I wont silence them unless they are constantly in the business of battling over and over on the same points with no new information.

    I look at comments like getawittne’s as an opportunity to make my case for ID or institutional persecution heard again for new people to see.

    I dont think I am exactly going to change your mind but I mean what I said in all respect of you, this is just my opinion of how to get the job done no offense meant. Im a Booker T. Washington type of guy not a W. E. B. Du Bois type.

  11. 11
    O'Leary says:

    The best attested fact in the intelligent design controversy right now is the systematic effort by Darwinists to ruin the careers of people who know evidence against Darwinism.

    In August I found myself starting at a whole panel of them. Apparently, both a movie AND a book are coming out this February on that very subject. The very next story I am about to write features precisely such an attempt to ruin a scientist’s career. To say nothing of the fact that a scuzzbucket pesters me on a regular basis, in the process of seeking to ruin careers (not mine, happily).

    So now and then I get tired of hearing people write as though whether that is happening is, like, some kind of a controversy.

    Those Hollywood types are investing millions in the Expelled film on mere speculation? Not likely. And I would think there’ll be people in the audience saying, “Wow, that’s what happened to me too. I thought I was the only one … “

  12. 12
    Frost122585 says:

    Good points, all of them.

  13. 13
    Frost122585 says:

    Kairosfocus, nice piece. I would like to add that there is of course cultural bigotry going on here as well. Im sure once you “come out of the closet” or people here from a 3rd party that you beleive in the theory of ID or as Ben Stein points out even question darwin, then you are shunned by your peers, coworkers, community etc.

    This is really a pathetic sight. Intellectual integrity has really fallen thanks to the people who hold the positions of power. The funny thing about all of this is that they have been excluding ID from being tought in public schools and as a logical consequence are trying to intelligently design a future incompatible with ID by breeding it out of peoples minds.

    The funny part is that it wont go away. Despite all the name calling and the 1 million to 1 schooling time DE gets over ID! I hope bens movie does well. I am definetly going to see it.

  14. 14
    allanius says:

    Darwinism is a theory, and theory is totalitarian in nature. Just as there can be no capitalists in a pure Marxist regime, so the Darwinists cannot tolerate any dissent in the fortresses they have constructed for themselves through their will to dominate. To admit, even for a moment, that someone like Dembski might be right is to put the whole enterprise at risk. Therefore the Dembskis must be suppressed.

    It is too, too dear to learn that some dissenters still have their posts. Nice of our Darwinist friends to be so tolerant, don’t you think? But what about the countless legions who never had an opportunity to have an academic post because of their lack of faith in Darwinism? What about the near-impossibility, at least until very recently, of getting anything published by mainstream publishers if you failed to toe the line?

    One hears from time to time that the vast majority of scientists are atheists or agnostics. Could it be because the Darwinists refused to allow anyone else into the club? Could it be that the faithful realized they were not welcome in the club of Huxley? Or were too disgusted by the animus of modern science to faith to want to join?

    Interest is coming due on a long history of bullying and exclusion. Darwinism has imperiled itself by obtaining the hegemony it desired. When the type of simpleminded idiocy seen in evolutionary psychology is taken seriously by the premier science journal in the land, then the end is at hand. Loss of the ability or desire to think critically is a sign of weakness, not strength.

    A new “wind” is blowing, and this time not from the swamps of the Darwinist propaganda machine. Many lines of inquiry are now converging to show that the story told by the materialists was just that—a story. And then its nakedness is revealed.

  15. 15

    “Critics of heliocentrism are not the monsters you make them out to be. After all, Galileo still has his attached head and uncharred skin.

    Oh no, I didn’t imply that Galileo hadn’t been harmed. Far be it from me to do so! I was just pointing out that he wasn’t persecuted, like say Giodorno Bruno was. Bruno’s was merely an unfortunate aberration, to be sure, because geocentrists mean no harm really, being a friendly magnanimous bunch.”

  16. 16
    Shazard says:

    I have real proposal which would be very strong evidence of ID. If we (IDiots) are realy brave we could come up with predictions like existence of real biological programming language. I guess M$ guys mumbled something about translating DNS and whole inner work of Cell into Software code. I guess that would be not C++ or JAVA or even Assembler code, but very new language of very strange framework! But here is the catch. If (and we IDiots claim it is so) the DNS and whole machinery of Cell is designed, then there under whole that stuff lies plain and simple mathematics. Each programming language and software in theory boils down to mathematical function, very complex one, but it does.
    We have strong IT theory, so my bold prediction for ID would be, we will find basic IT constructs in the DNS and Cell software if and when we would map the functions into computer software.

    I am not sure if quantum uncertainity plays role in Cell’s machinery, if so then we should wait for quantum computers. But if not, then proof that cell funkctions are 1:1 mapping to Software and basic ID construts, then it will be very strong argument.

    Sideffect of such research and Cell to Software mapping would be discoveries of new IT algortithms and approaches usable in everyday computer work.
    FOr example dual nature of code depending on context is real space saver in IT, nice to have in everyday life.
    I guess whole synchronization stuff and regulatory mechanisms, structures and data compression in DNS would be very good to have too!

    Good luck, my credetntials are too low to even begin such research!

  17. 17
    Nochange says:

    Those Hollywood types are investing millions in the Expelled film on mere speculation?

    Though I have no doubt that Expelled will be an excellent film, I’m not sure we as a movement want to stake our integrity on the ability of Hollywood to accurately depict *anything*.

    Those people have no values and no scruples. They’re *not* on our side.

  18. 18
    Maya says:

    O’Leary writes:
    “Rick Sternberg suffered serious career harm in consequence of Darwinists’ rage over the Meyer paper in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington – even though it had passed peer review.”

    I hadn’t heard of this case, so I just read what I could find on the ‘net. The available information doesn’t show any career harm — it appears that Mr. Sternberg was able to keep working at the Smithsonian in his unpaid capacity for some time after the incident. Were there other consequences that have not been documented?

    More importantly, it appears that the Meyer article did not actually pass the normal peer review process. Mr. Sternberg was one of the reviewers, which is generally unacceptable when one has close ties to organizations that would benefit from its publication. He also refuses to provide the names of the other reviewers. This gives the impression, at least, of impropriety.

    All this information is available from a simple Google search. If you know of particular sites with more details, please post them.

  19. 19
    John Kelly says:

    Any researcher who can prove the existence of intelligent design within the accepted framework of science will make history and achieve eternal fame. They will prove at last that science and religious dogma are compatible.

    I have “proof” that science and religious dogma are compatible. To where or who do I submit it?

  20. 20
    getawitness says:

    kairosfocus [7] and Maya [17]: thanks for your information and links. I’ve reviewed your site, kf, and Sternberg’s site, as well as a number of back issues of the journal in question.

    I tend to think Sternberg mishandled the publication.

    Why? Because the paper was clearly, unequivocally inappropriate for the journal. The first question an editor asks is not “is this good enough” but “is this the right place”? And the answer is clearly “No.” I’ve reviewed the tables of contents of PBSW for the year of the paper (2004). All the articles belong in the same journal except one, which is profoundly out of place.

    Let’s play Where’s Waldo:

    Issue 1

    A new genus of tiny condor from the Pleistocene of Brazil (Aves: Vulturidae)

    Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 13. An undescribed intrageneric combination, Heliodoxa imperatrix × Heliodoxa jacula

    Pholidochromis cerasina, a new species of pseudochromine dottyback fish from the west Pacific (Perciformes: Pseudochromidae),

    Redescription of Cambaroides japonicus (De Haan, 1841) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Cambaridae) with allocation of a type locality and month of collection of types

    Two new species of freshwater crabs of the genus Chaceus Pretzmann, 1965 from the Serranía de Perijá of Colombia (Crustacea: Decapoda: Pseudothelphusidae)

    Reevaluation of the hermit crab genus Parapagurodes McLaughlin & Haig, 1973 (Decapoda: Anomura: Paguroidea: Paguridae) and a new genus for Parapagurodes doederleini (Doflein, 1902)

    Pseudopaguristes bicolor, a new species of hermit crab (Crustacea: Decapoda: Diogenidae) from Japan, the third species of the genus,

    A new species of axiid shrimp from chemosynthetic communities of the Louisiana continental slope, Gulf of Mexico (Crustacea: Decapoda: Thalassinidea)

    Description of a new Synidotea species (Crustacea: Isopoda: Valvifera: Idoteidae) from Hawaii

    A new species of Synidotea (Crustacea: Isopoda: Valvifera) from the northern Gulf of Mexico

    A new genus of the Clausidiidae (Copepoda: Poecilostomatoida) associated with a polychaete from Korea, with discussion of the taxonomic status of Hersiliodes Canu, 1888

    Vesicomyicola trifurcatus, a new genus and species of commensal polychaete (Annelida: Polychaeta: Nautiliniellidae) found in deep-sea clams from the Blake Ridge cold seep

    Studies on western Atlantic Octocorallia (Coelenterata: Anthozoa). Part 4: The genus Paracalyptrophora Kinoshita, 1908

    Notes on the genus Dicliptera (Acanthaceae) in Bolivia

    Issue 2

    Pseudopaguristes shidarai, a new species of hermit crab (Crustacea: Decapoda: Diogenidae) from Japan, the fourth species of the genus

    A new species of Procambarus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Veracruz, Mexico

    Brackenridgia ashleyi, a new species of terrestrial isopod from Tumbling Creek Cave, Missouri (Isopoda: Oniscidea: Trichoniscidae)

    New species and records of Bopyridae (Crustacea: Isopoda) infesting species of the genus Upogebia (Crustacea: Decapoda: Upogebiidae): the genera Orthione Markham, 1988, and Gyge Cornalia & Panceri, 1861

    Three new species and a new genus of Farreidae (Porifera: Hexactinellida: Hexactinosida)

    The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories

    Issue 3

    A review of the North American subspecies of the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

    A new species of Microgale (Lipotyphla: Tenrecidae: Oryzorictinae) from the Forêt des Mikea of southwestern Madagascar

    Designation of the type species of Musaraneus Pomel, 1848 (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    The mammals of Palawan Island, Philippines

    A new species of Tropidonophis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) from the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea

    A new species of snake of the genus Omoadiphas (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) from the Cordillera Nombre de Dios in northern Honduras

    A new species of Kolpotocheirodon (Teleostei: Characidae: Cheirodontinae: Compsurini) from Bahia, northeastern Brazil, with a new diagnosis of the genus

    Astyanax biotae, a new species of stream fish from the Rio Paranapanema basin, upper Rio Paraná system, southeastern Brazil (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae)

    Tetragonopterus lemniscatus (Characiformes: Characidae), a new species from the Corantijn River basin in Suriname

    Longipalpa saltatrix, a new genus and species of the meiofaunal family Nerillidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from an anchihaline cave in Bermuda

    Neostrengeria lemaitrei, a new species of freshwater crab from Colombia (Crustacea: Decapoda: Pseudothelphusidae), and the vertical distribution of the genus

    A new species of Agostocaris (Caridea: Agostocarididae) from Acklins Island, Bahamas

    A new species of caridean shrimp of the family Stylodactylidae from the eastern Pacific Ocean

    A new pedunculate barnacle (Cirripedia: Heteralepadidae) from the Northwest Atlantic

    Two new species of seven-spined Bathyconchoecia from the North Atlantic and Indian oceans (Crustacea: Ostracoda: Halocypridae)

    The hermaphroditic sea anemone Anthopleura atodai n. sp. (Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Actiniidae) from Japan, with a redescription of A. hermaphroditica

    New species and new combinations in Rhysolepis (Heliantheae: Asteraceae)

    Issue 4

    Studies on western Atlantic Octocorallia (Coelenterata: Anthozoa). Part 5: The genera Plumarella Gray, 1870; Acanthoprimnoa, n. gen.; and Candidella Bayer, 1954

    A new species of the sea anemone Megalactis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Actinodendridae) from Taiwan and designation of a neotype for the type species of the genus

    A new genus and new species of crab of the family Xanthidae MacLeay, 1838 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) from the southwestern Gulf of Mexico

    A new anchialine shrimp of the genus Procaris (Crustacea: Decapoda: Procarididae) from the Yucatan Peninsula

    Macrobrachium patheinense, a new species of freshwater prawn (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae) from Myanmar

    A new species of Enhydrosoma Boeck, 1872 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Cletodidae) from the Eastern Tropical Pacific

    New record of Ophiosyzygus disacanthus Clark, 1911 (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea: Ophiomyxidae) in the Caribbean Sea

    Sunagocia sainsburyi, a new flathead fish (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae) from northwestern Australia

    A new species of Nannocharax (Characiformes: Distichodontidae) from Cameroon, with the description of contact organs and breeding tubercles in the genus

    Rhamdia guasarensis (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae), a new species of cave catfish from the Sierra de Perijá, northwestern Venezuela

    Taxonomic review of the fossil Procellariidae (Aves: Procellariiformes) described from Bermuda by R. W. Shufeldt

    Revision of the genus Squamigera (Insecta: Zygentoma: Nicoletiidae) with descriptions of two new species

    Anybody should be able to tell that “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories” does not belong. It simply doesn’t. A responsible editor would not even read this paper enough to know it was an ID paper. A responsible editor would send a note back saying “Sorry, this is inappropriate for this journal. Try somewhere else.”

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    GAW (and Maya):

    It is clear, sadly, that you have not addressed the case on the substance, but have looked for the usual excuses to “justify” what was done. (Try to think about how the McCarthy cases looked in the 50’s and how they look now. Then, look back at what you said in light of the evidence and results that we can all see for the cost of a link or two.)

    FYI, GAW, the paper passed “proper peer review” by “renowned scientists,” which would have plainly included addressing relevance to the purpose of the Journal. The Waldo hunt argument fails.

    FYI, Maya, Mr Sternberg was subjected to a well-documented major witch-hunt that not only damaged his career and slandered his character — think about how you would react to being unjustly called or treated as a thief, for just one instance — but as I recall, also cost him his marriage.

    I would take your responses more seriously if they actually addressed the record.

    As it is, they simply come across to me as trying to defend the indefensible by distracting and dismissing.

    Sad.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, on a closely related point, note what Denyse is currently giving out as a heads up on the Gonzalez case, and compare with the ever so confident discussions over at an earlier thread.

  22. 22
    getawitness says:

    kairosfocus, I don’t have a position on whether what happened to Sternberg as a consequence was appropriate. It may have been. I was speaking to whether Sternberg behaved responsibly and noted that this particular journal, which has never published anything else remotely like it, is not an appropriate venue. I was once the associate managing editor of a very good scientific journal. We sent back papers outside the scope of the journal all the time, unread. That’s standard practice.

    I also think it’s odd that Mayer sent it to a journal that was clearly inappropriate but which happened to have an ID-friendly managing editor. (The managing editor typically oversees the logistics of peer review and is not an Associate Editor.)

    Who were the scientists (other than Sternberg) who reviewed the paper? I haven’t seen their names anywhere.

  23. 23
    getawitness says:

    correction: “may have been” should be followed by “excessive.”

  24. 24
    Rude says:

    But of course if ever the slightest “dissing” befell the abortion advocate or celebrator of sodomy, do you think we’d have heard the end of it? No, better halt this when they’re destroying reputations and careers. Surely it will lead to worse, as last century it did under their comrade’s care.

    By the way—why not indulge some student T-shirt provocation with

    QUESTION AUTHORITY! QUESTION DARWIN!

  25. 25
    Maya says:

    kairosfocus wrote:
    “It is clear, sadly, that you have not addressed the case on the substance, but have looked for the usual excuses to justify’ what was done.”

    Please explain how you came to that conclusion based on my message. I pointed out several facts, including:

    1) Mr. Sternberg made himself one of the reviewers of Meyer’s paper, despite having connections to a group that would benefit from its publication. This gave the appearance of impropriety, something that must be avoided at all costs in peer reviewed publications.
    2) Mr. Sternberg refuses to provide the names of the other reviewers, contributing again to the appearance of impropriety.
    3) Mr. Sternberg did not lose his position at the Smithsonian during or because of this incident.

    When Meyer’s paper was reviewed by the other editors at the journal, it was found to be inappropriate.

    How does pointing out these facts, readily available from numerous websites, suggest that I am trying to “excuse” anything? From what I can find out about this case, the journal responded as any other reputable journal would to the perceived impropriety of Mr. Sternberg’s actions and the Smithsonian took no other action against him. If you can provide other facts that should be considered, please do so.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers:

    Maybe we need to put up [yet again] some of the record from the OSC investigatory letter. That will at least serve to show why the complaint on workplace harassment, character assassination and career busting is being made.

    Forgive me if this is boring repetition:

    . . . many e-mails from within the management of the SI and from outside sources stated that the only way the Meyer article was published was through “serious editorial oversight.” Other managers called it an “egregious instance of editorial incompetence…” They could not fathom that they Meyer article had been peer-reviewed and, if it was, it could only have been reviewed by “like minded individuals.” In fact, there was a serious effort by some to take the drastic step of piercing the veil of peer review, an unprecedented and unethical act within your field. They assumed that you violated editorial regulations of the Proceedings because you were the primary editor of the article. These comments were made to and by SI and NMNH managers and were published to several outside organizations. It was later revealed that you complied with all editorial requirements of the Proceedings [NB GAW, this would include relevance to its focus] and that the Meyer article was properly peer reviewed by renowned scientists. As an aside, the information received by OSC does not indicate that any effort was made to recall or correct these comments once the truth was made known.

    During the impromptu background investigation allegations were also made that you mishandled specimens and collections during your scientific research. You have clearly explained how damaging this is for a scientist in your position. This information was also shared outside of the SI. And once again managers later had to admit that the allegations were false. And as with the editorial issue there was no effort, as far as we can tell, to correct this misconception. This allegation may have played into a larger strategy to deny you access to the range and collections at the SI.

    There was a strategy by several managers to force you out of the SI. The first thing they did was to check your official status with the SI to see if you could be let go for cause for the Meyer article and the information found in your unofficial background investigation. Then they tried a more sophisticated strategy by arguing that since your sponsor died shortly before the Meyer article was published that you could be denied access on that basis. Within two weeks of receiving the Meyer article in the Proceedings, four managers at the SI and NMNH expressed their desire to have your access to the SI denied . . . .

    Eventually, they determined that they could not terminate you for cause and they were not going to make you a “martyr” by firing you for publishing a paper in ID. They came to the conclusion that you had not violated SI directives and that you could not be denied access for off-duty conduct. This was actually part of the strategy advocated by the NCSE. Undeterred, these same managers then embarked on a new strategy to change your working conditions and create a hostile working environment. Several e-mails complained that you should not be allowed to “live” on the same working floor with other scientists. Two very senior scientists wanted your supervisor to let you know that “you are welcome to leave or resign.” . . . .

    [text of several emails and some paragraphs of comment] . . . .

    These e-mails are consistent with many others at this time. Your managers are still attempting to find a way to terminate your access. However, they have decided that the politics aren’t right for them to let you go. They wanted to make it clear that you should “do the right thing and resign.” This supports your allegation that you were subjected to a hostile work environment. Finally, the last e-mail cited sets forth a troubling summary of events were people had to be investigating your work activities beyond that which is done for other RAs. They are even inspecting what you have been checking out from the library . . .

    [and more . . . ]

    Much more can be cited, from this report, from other investigations and from relevant documents.

    But, the point is already well-warranted: Denyse is right when she [remember, a practicing journalist] points out in 10 above, that: The best attested fact in the intelligent design controversy right now is the systematic effort by Darwinists to ruin the careers of people who know evidence against Darwinism.

    We need to take this issue seriously, before we pay a terrible price for it.

    GEM of TKI

  27. 27
    Maya says:

    kairosfocus wrote:
    . . . Quotes from an OSC letter . . .

    From Wikipedia (Sternberg peer review controversy):
    “He continues to cite a letter by the United States Office of Special Counsel as supporting his version of events,[23] despite the Office of Special Counsel ultimately dismissing his claim.”

    The OSC dismissed his claim. If you’re going to use that letter to support your view that Mr. Sternberg was a victim rather than someone who went around the normal channels to see a paper he personally agreed with published, you should have the intellectual honesty to mention that fact.

  28. 28
    getawitness says:

    The yet those reviewers, “renowned scientists” according to the OSC (is the OSC a scientist?), remain unknown.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Maya

    Have you read the OSC letter?

    If you do, you will see why the claim was not followed up with a further investigation, in para. no. 2:

    I have carefully considered the information you provided. Based upon my evaluation of the facts and law applicable to your claim, I have made a preliminary determination to close our investigation into your allegations. My decision is not based upon the substance of your allegations; in fact, our preliminary investigation supports your complaint. My decision is founded upon a complicated jurisdictional puzzle [i.e not clarified until this stage] and your position as a Research Associate (RA).

    I am simply pointing to those confirmed facts that substantiate Mr Sternberg’s complaint, as they make the point Denyse underscored all too clear.

    In short, you have unfortunately followed Wiki into a red herring track leading out to a strawman that it has burned to cloud and poison the atmosphere.

    (And, BTW, Wikipedia is, sadly, notoriously politically correct and unreliable on anything tied to the Design Controversy — due to the moderating panel for the relevant articles. A real shame as that damages its general credibility, even on subjects where it does a good job.)

    GAW, FYI, peer reviewers are NORMALLY confidential.

    The relevant peer review file, on the record, has been examined by independent sources, and has been verified to be in order. That is what the OSC letter has documented. (Notice, too that little point about: there was a serious effort by some to take the drastic step of piercing the veil of peer review, an unprecedented and unethical act within your field. No prizes for guessing why it was taken, and for guessing that this, too, has a chilling effect — even without success.)

    GEM of TKI

  30. 30
    Maya says:

    Yes, I have read the OSC letter. It’s very easy for the author of that letter to claim to support Mr. Sternberg when he or she knew that the OSC did not have jurisdiction. If Mr. Sternberg’s claims had real merit, why did he not arrange to have his case reviewed by someone who did have jurisdiction?

    When the people actually responsible for the journal realized that Mr. Sternberg had slipped an inappropriate article past the standard process, so that it would make it into the last issue for which Mr. Sternberg was responsible, they repudiated his actions. Beyond that, no official action was taken against Mr. Sternberg.

    Mr. Sternberg is not the victim in this situation.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers

    This thread, sadly, is a clear illustration of what happens when the Dawkins style prejudicial assertion that those who reject evolutionary materialism are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked takes hold in the public mind.

    We find ourselves blaming the victim for the crime, or at least suspecting the victim — adding to his troubles.

    I repeat, Mr McVey of the Office of Special Counsel carried out an independent, external investigation. he found that on the facts relating to the harassment complaint, our [OSC’s] preliminary investigation supports your [RvS’] complaint. As a part of that finding, they also found this concerning the paper: you [RvS] complied with all editorial requirements of the Proceedings and that the Meyer article was properly peer reviewed by renowned scientists. This obviously includes relevance to the focus of the journal.

    RvS also comments, on his home page, that:

    I was repeatedly pressured to reveal the names of the peer-reviewers of the Meyer article, contrary to professional ethics. I was also told repeatedly that I should have found peer reviewers who would reject the article out-of-hand, in direct violation of professional ethics which require editors to find peer reviewers who are not prejudiced or hostile to a particular author or his/her ideas . . . .

    The Meyer paper underwent a standard peer review process by three qualified scientists, all of whom are evolutionary and molecular biologists teaching at well-known institutions. The reviewers provided substantial criticism and feedback to Dr. Meyer, who then made significant changes to the paper in response. Subsequently, after the controversy arose, Dr. Roy McDiarmid, President of the Council of the BSW, reviewed the peer-review file and concluded that all was in order. As Dr. McDiarmid informed me in an email message on August 25th, 2004, “Finally, I got the [peer] reviews and agree that they are in support of your decision [to publish the article].”

    On the page specifically discussing the publication of the paper, he adds:

    recognizing the potentially controversial nature of the paper, I consulted with a colleague about whether it should be published. This person is a scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, a member of the Council, and someone whose judgment I respected. I thought it was important to double-check my view as to the wisdom of publishing the Meyer paper. We discussed the Meyer paper during at least three meetings, including one soon after the receipt of the paper, before it was sent out for review.

    After the initial positive conversation with my Council member colleague, I sent the paper out for review to four experts. Three reviewers responded and were willing to review the paper; all are experts in relevant aspects of evolutionary and molecular biology and hold full-time faculty positions in major research institutions, one at an Ivy League university, another at a major North American public university, a third on a well-known overseas research faculty. There was substantial feedback from reviewers to the author, resulting in significant changes to the paper. The reviewers did not necessarily agree with Dr. Meyer’s arguments or his conclusion but all found the paper meritorious and concluded that it warranted publication. The reviewers felt that the issues raised by Meyer were worthy of scientific debate. I too disagreed with many aspects of the Meyer paper but I agreed with their overall assessment and accepted the paper for publication. Thus, four well-qualified biologists with five PhDs in relevant disciplines were of the professional opinion that the paper was worthy of publication.

    On the claimed irrelevance to the focus of PBSW, on the same page, RvS notes:

    According to the official description of the Proceedings published in each issue, the journal “contains papers bearing on systematics in the biological sciences (botany, zoology, and paleontology).” [NB: a very broad purpose statement, which on the face of it embraces a review of the famous and longstanding issue of the Cambrian life revolution, an issue that puzzled Darwin and his contemporaries] The journal has published in areas such as comparative cytogenetics, phylogenetic hypotheses and classifications, developmental studies, and reviews of faunal groups. In addition, evolutionary scenarios are frequently presented at the end of basic systematic studies . . . . [cites several general focus papers from 1979 – 2003] . . . . the topic of Meyer’s paper was within the scope of the journal.

    I could go on and on, including pulling data from the follow-up investigation by Congressional Staff — of which the original documents in the appendix are stunning. But, there is already more than enough to show to the unprejudiced mind that what is going on is refusal to address the facts of harassment and to put up plausible-sounfding excuses that cherry pick evidence and issues to maske it appear that Mr Sternberg is to blame for what happened to him.

    In fact, even if Mr Sternberg were in gross error [and he, on the plain record, is not], the slander and shadowy fishing expedition accusatory tactics used against him were, and are, utterly inexcusable and tellingly reflective of a pattern of unethical conduct across scientific, educational, advocacy and public education institutions of the highest level that should serve as a warning that something is very, very very wrong in the state of our our civilisation’s institutions of science and associated education and mass communication and policymaking.

    That is what, in the end, is so sad about this thread and the parallel ones on the Gonzalez case, even as the smoking gun evidence emerges.

    GEM of TKI

  32. 32
    Frost122585 says:

    Now instead of trying to come to some legal or political BS answer about whether the process was exactly right, or whether Meyer used his connection to get around the norm lets take a look at the actual paper.

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2177

    As any intelligent person can see this is a brilliant paper that not only raises extremely good questions and criticisms of DE but at the same time made a positive case for design based on the origin of complex specified information.

    I’m sure that Meyer was not the first person to use the peer review process to the benefit of his paper and a scientific theory that he cares greatly about forwarding. So why not pick on all of the other papers that get published that are weak or not scientifically based at all? Are we to believe that if someone published a paper on say a new approach to treating cancer that was not scientifically supported and the paper was published because the editor was sympathetic to the argument that the whole community would be up in arms and wage a persecution war on anyone involved? No. The reason that Meyer’s paper (which was perfectly scientific) was rejected and attacked was not because the editor was friendly with Meyer and sympathetic to his position, it was because those people who hate, fear, and seek to destroy ID based on its metaphysical implications saw an opportunity to use the oppressive nature of the institution as a weapon on their side of the battle. The other issue is that any research money that could be used to forward design would cut into the money that is going to every other scientific research program (many of which totally superfluous). This is sad because design could yield excellent insights into the nature of horrible diseases and present new ways of thinking about them and searching for cures. The reality of this situation is that metaphysical bias and a battle over research money have revealed the well known nature of any hierarchical system which is that they always result in the oppression of the spirit through suppression of the mind. I think that the bigotry of those who hold the positions of power in the scientific community has revealed itself as a metaphysical lynch mob. The truth is that the scientific establishment can do better than the sad situation it has currently confined itself to. Or as Orwell put it-

    “A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.”

  33. 33
    Maya says:

    frost122585 wrote:
    “As any intelligent person can see this is a brilliant paper that not only raises extremely good questions and criticisms of DE but at the same time made a positive case for design based on the origin of complex specified information.”

    Asserting brilliance isn’t enough. Meyer’s paper is a review, not original work. It has also been extensively critiqued. If you check the times it has been cited by other papers, all referencing articles are critical of it. There have been no peer-reviewed articles supporting it.

    This comes back to the original topic on this page. The only way to address the criticisms is with empirical evidence. That is the base currency of science. E. O. Wilson’s question is legitimate: Where is the evidence for ID?

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    Maya,

    You said

    “Where is the evidence for ID?”

    Relevant to evolutionary biology, where is the evidence for neo Darwinism that is not trivial?

    No one has ever been able to present any here or point us to any published anywhere. What they bring up is always irrelevant or trivial. Maybe you can break the trend

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Ms. Maya ask:

    “This comes back to the original topic on this page. The only way to address the criticisms is with empirical evidence. That is the base currency of science. E. O. Wilson’s question is legitimate: Where is the evidence for ID?”

    This is a very broad topic; Do you have a particular field of science you are an expert in? We could start there and build your knowledge on that, but for starters let’s look at the anthropic principle of cosmology:

    Proverbs 8:27
    “When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep”,

    The numerical values of the universal constants in physics that are found for gravity which holds planets, stars and galaxies together; for the weak nuclear force which holds neutrons together; for electromagnetism which allows chemical bonds to form; for the strong nuclear force which holds protons together; for the cosmological constant of space/energy density which accounts for the universe’s expansion; and for several dozen other constants (a total of 77 as of 2005) which are universal in their scope, “happen” to be the exact numerical values they need to be in order for life, as we know it, to be possible at all. A more than slight variance in the value of any individual universal constant, over the entire age of the universe, would have undermined the ability of the entire universe to have life as we know it. On and on through each universal constant scientists analyze, they find such unchanging precision from the universe’s creation. There are many web sites that give the complete list, as well as explanations, of each universal constant. Search under anthropic principle. One of the best web sites for this is found on Dr. Hugh Ross’s web site.

    http://www.reasons.org/resourc.....sign.shtml

    There are no apparent reasons why the value of each individual universal constant could not have been very different than what they actually are. In fact, the presumption of any naturalistic theory based on blind chance would have expected a fair amount of flexibility in any underlying natural laws for the universe. They “just so happen” to be at the precise unchanging values necessary to enable carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Some individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy human comprehension. For example, the individual cosmological constant is balanced to 1 part in 10^60 and The individual gravity constant is balanced to 1 part to 10^40. Although 1 part in 10^60 and 1 part in 10^40 far exceeds any tolerances achieved in any man-made machines, according to the esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the “original phase-space volume” constant required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123” or as said another way, “The initial entropy of the universe had to be within one part in 10^10^123!”. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, EVEN IF a number were written down on each atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 atomic particles in it.

    http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf

    This staggering level of precision is exactly why many theoretical physicists have suggested the existence of a “super-calculating intellect” to account for this fine-tuning. This is precisely why the anthropic hypothesis has gained such a strong foothold in many scientific circles. American geneticist Robert Griffiths jokingly remarked about these recent developments “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use anymore.”

    “The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming. The belief that there is ‘something behind it all’ is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists.” Physicist Paul Davies

    “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here. Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate — it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially.” Nobel Prize winning physicist Charles Townes

    The only other theory possible for the universe’s creation, other than a God-centered hypothesis, is a naturalistic theory based on blind chance. Naturalistic blind chance only escapes being completely crushed, by the overwhelming evidence for design, by appealing to an infinite number of other ??%9 – estable” universes in which all other possibilities have been played out. Naturalism also tries to find a place for blind chance to hide by proposing a universe that expands and contracts (recycles) infinitely. Yet there is no hard physical evidence to support either of these blind chance conjectures. In fact, the “infinite universes” conjecture suffers from some serious flaws of logic. For instance, exactly which laws of physics are telling all the other natural laws in physics what, how and when to do the many precise unchanging things they do in these other universes? Plus, if an infinite number of other possible universes must exist in order to explain this one, then why is it not also infinitely possible for a infinitely powerful and transcendent God to exist? Using the materialist same line of reasoning for an infinity of multiverses, if it is infinitely possible for a infinitely powerful and transcendent God to exist then He, of 100% certainty, must exist no matter how small the probability is of his existence in one of the other multiverses, and since he certainly must exist, according to the strict materialistic reasoning, then all possibilities, by default, become subject to Him, since He is, by definition, Omnipotent. As well logic dictates there can only be one infinitely powerful “Lord” of the multiverses. (Having two infinitely powerful Beings is a logical absurdity)

    As well, the “recycling universe” conjecture suffers so many questions from the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) as to render it effectively implausible as a serious theory. The only hard evidence there is, the stunning precision found in the universal constants, points overwhelmingly to intelligent design by an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator who originally established what the unchanging universal constants of physics could and would do at the creation of the universe. The hard evidence left no room for the blind chance of natural laws in this universe. Thus, naturalism was forced into appealing to an infinity of other “un-testable” universes for it was left with no footing in this universe. These developments in science make it seem like naturalism/materialism was cast into the abyss of nothingness so far as explaining the fine-tuning of the universe.

    Proverbs 8:29-30
    “When He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;”

    Job 38:4-7
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

  36. 36
    Joseph says:

    When the people actually responsible for the journal realized that Mr. Sternberg had slipped an inappropriate article past the standard process, so that it would make it into the last issue for which Mr. Sternberg was responsible, they repudiated his actions.-Maya

    Too bad there isn’t any evidence to substantiate that claim-

    1- There isn’t any evidence that the article was inappropriate

    2- There isn’t any evidence that the artcle slipped past the standard process.

    BTW if you rely on Wikipedia then you have already lost your case.

    Also the best way to refute ID is to actually substantiate the anti-ID materialistic position. But seeing that cannot be done the only alternative is to make up nonsensical claims that have no impact on reality.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers:

    Re, 34:

    Meyer’s paper is a review, not original work. It has also been extensively critiqued. If you check the times it has been cited by other papers, all referencing articles are critical of it. There have been no peer-reviewed articles supporting it.

    First, it seems we are now looking at “move on to the next objection” — we can find no responsiveness to serious evidence of precisely the sort of harassment that RvS complained of, and that is as Denyse points out, all too widespread. That immediately throws a sadly telling light on the rhetorical role played by the previous (now answered) objections.

    Now, on this objection, we note that the Meyer PBSW paper is a critical review of longstanding information. (And BTW, it has been a hot download item. It seems that it is now a Samizdat classic.)

    Yes — ever since Darwin, the Cambrian life revolution has been an unanswered conundrum, a glaring anomaly.

    So now, — as Keynes had to do in the 1920’s – 30’s for economics — the foundations are being re-examined.

    So also, courtesy Mr Meyer, here is an alternative, one that actually makes sense of this and other highly relevant data. Instead of a reasonable and fair response, it has met with thought-police tactics [starting with the NCSE’s highly questionable role, and its even more questionable and ill-bred gloating over the success of bully-boy tactics], not a serious examination on the merits.

    As to the objection that all peer-reviewed articles that mention it are critical, this is the very case which shows most plainly just why the peer-reviewed lit is so biased!

    For, we can see that an Editor — one who in fact does not agree with the ID theses — has been fair minded enough to publish a paper that on the record [as excerpted above] has passed proper peer review by renowned scientists, has been subjected to the worst kind of thought police witch hunt.

    In such a corrupt intellectual climate, “peer review” means nothing more or less than “politically correct.”

    In short, once a field of intellectual endeavour has been so corrupted by political correctness that it cannot police itself to be fair-minded and reasonable in its treatment of people, ideas, and facts on the other side of an issue, then the representatives and voices for that dominant power bloc have — deservedly — utterly no credibility.

    That holds for Wikipedia.

    It holds for the PBSW post-Sternberg.

    It holds for the Smithsonian and the NCSE.

    And, increasingly obviously, it holds for Darwinian biology.

    Sad.

    GEM of TKI

  38. 38
    Bob O'H says:

    2) Mr. Sternberg refuses to provide the names of the other reviewers, contributing again to the appearance of impropriety.

    In this matter, at least, Sternberg was entirely correct. Editorial matters should be confidential, and particularly the identities of reviewers when reviewing is blind.

    In a now-departed thread, Jerry argued that ID supporters should behave in a whiter than white manner. It’s clear that Sternberg didn’t do this for the Meyer paper. He had to know that it would be controversial, so he should have covered his back – he should have passed it on to another editor to deal with. At worst, if he was going to act as editor, he should have made sure that other members of the editorial board knew what was happening.

    Even if there was no actual impropriety, there was every appearance of impropriety. And Sternberg made no effort to avoid this. Could he really have been that naïve?

    Bob

  39. 39
    Frost122585 says:

    Maya-

    Where is the evidence for ID?

    Look, if you haven’t read the material then shut up. I have explained No Free Lunch, The Design Inference, Irreducible Complexity, How the cambrian explosion refutes Darwin, The inability of the DE process to explain the digital code in DNA, ALL OF WHICH CAN BE EXPLAINED BY ONE PROCESS CALLED INTELLIGENT DESIGN. All of which is empirically observed. ID has been tested a million times. How do we know if an ancient artifact is designed? Through a design inference. The cell and DNA look so intelligently designed its creepy. Go back and read the Meyer article that I posted. If you don’t think that he has laid out a scientific hypothesis that is supported by empirical observation and reasoning then you really are quite ignorant of what science is about in the first place which is explaining empirical phenomena and you probably are a methodological materialist that demands a stupid unguided fully physical reductionist explanation for everything in the universe including those things that cant be explained , I repeat, that cant be explained without intelligence.(read No Free Lunch)

  40. 40
    DLH says:

    Frost122585
    Please keep to civil discourse. “Shut up” and “stupid” is not civil!

  41. 41
    DLH says:

    Maya
    You are citing only anti-Sternberg material. Please review Richard Sternberg’s summary and detailed description of the publication process and events.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    All:

    It is worth taking time to remark on a few further points from the above, even at the risk of repeating old and long since resolved matters — “new” people, by definition are just that. (Of course, I have long thought this underscores the need for a good FAQ in this blog, and maybe a forum too.)

    Okay:

    1] M, 34: Where is the evidence for ID?

    Short answer: all around you, and inside you.

    Slightly longer: Look at the nanotech in the cells of your body, especially the information storing molecule, DNA, and then try to seriously account for that nanotech’s origin. You will see that attempted explanations that appeal only to chance plus necessity , on the gamut of the cosmos, rapidly run out of probabilistic resources in trying to account for functionally specified, complex information. But, FSCI is routinely generated by agency. [For introductory level details, cf. my always linked. For full bore analysis, someone else has already sent you to major works.]

    So inference to agent action is a better explanation of both the origin of life and of body plan level biodiversity. So much so, that the evolutionary materialist alternative, in fact, only prevails by begging worldview level questions. [Cf intro level source here.]

    As the Sternberg and many other cases document, sadly, this is backed up by rather ruthless and oppressive institutional power games. [BTW, the just linked gives several other cases too.]

    Similarly, and as the always linked also discusses, the physics of a life-facilitating cosmos also exhibit patterns of complex and fine-tuned organisation which point to agency as the best explanation.

    Expectation: I expect that you will now engage the cited evidence on the merits, and that you will show why you reject it if you do so.

    2] Bob, 39: Sternberg . . . had to know that it would be controversial, so he should have covered his back – he should have passed it on to another editor to deal with. At worst, if he was going to act as editor, he should have made sure that other members of the editorial board knew what was happening.

    Kindly look at the linked description of the publication process in 42.

    I have excerpted sufficient in 32 to show that RvS did in fact do what you expected. As I recall, the controversy was not a spontaneous one (initial reaction was in fact tepid) but was by and large orchestrated by NCSE and ilk, and was fed by a lot of uncorrected misinformation and even outright slander. And that was precieley the point we have been making.

    3] DD, 43: Everyone thinks the article is poor scholarship, so this proves that everyone is biased.

    In fact, first, here is RvS’s summary of responses of the scientific community, on his publication details page:

    I’ve received four kinds of responses regarding the Meyer article. The first is one of extreme hostility and anger that the peer-review process was not barred to a “creationist” author—no questions asked (a minority view). The second is what I’d term the herd instinct: this response arises when some key people (often members of the first group) are upset. Some people, once they begin to feel the heat from individuals with strong opinions, feign being upset too or actually become upset, for fear that they’ll seem to be a “supporter” of an unpopular or despised position. Many of these individuals initially displayed no concern or qualms about the paper until some loud voices displayed their discontent. Those in the third category don’t really care about the issue one way or the other, because it doesn’t impact their research. In terms of population size, groups two and three are by far the largest. The fourth group consists of those who found the paper “informative,” “stimulating,” “thought-provoking,” (real quotes I’ve heard from colleagues about the paper), including some who are in agreement with some of Meyer’s ideas. Many members of the third and fourth groups have told me that in their opinion sooner or later the design issue will have to be debated in a reasoned manner.

    Recall, before it even appeared, the paper was successful before a panel of “renowned scientists,” namely [RvS opening page] “evolutionary and molecular biologists teaching at well-known institutions.”

    Thus, it is simply false that “everyone” thinks the article exhibits “poor scholarship.”

    It is controversial scholarship that challenges a dominant paradigm [one that is, sadly, too often backed up by abuse of power], and it indubitably led to a witch hunt.

    As a result of how the resulting nasty and ruthless power games played out, sadly, we can see clearly that peer review inasmuch as it touches this area is in effect simply a stamp of political correctness.

    And that is what I spoke to in 38.

    The response in 43, sadly, simply underscores the force of my point.

    GEM of TKI

  43. 43
    getawitness says:

    Kairosfocus, You’ve convinced me in part, at least that Sternberg’s behavior was not intentionally deceptive, and that he is right not to reveal the reviewers’ names. The reviewers are, of course, still free to identify themselves. That happens occasionally.

    I still think the paper is clearly inappropriate for the journal, as it resembles nothing else published in the journal by a long shot. I also am suspicious that Meyer just happened to send this paper to the only journal in America that happened to have a sympathetic scientist as its managing editor. I am convinced that the paper would have been sent back, unread and without knowledge of its status as an ID paper, by any other editor. I further think that the OSC isn’t really qualified to evaluate proper peer review in science. Every time the government gets involved in that kind of micromanagement (since the David Baltimore case in the 1980s) they’ve shown they don’t know anything about how science works.

    But if standard peer review is rigged against ID, why doesn’t ID revive its own journals? PSCID hasn’t published in two years. When is an ID journal going to get some legs?

  44. 44
    Frost122585 says:

    DHL “Shut up” and “stupid” is not civil!

    No prob sorry for the lingo. Just want ot point out that maya is useing the argument that no theory exists and that ID doesnt predict anyhting over and over. I think this kind of a poaster would be inviolation of your rules. Anyways, my recomendation is just keep an eye out for maya because i think he/she is just a broken record.

  45. 45
    Frost122585 says:

    “Shut up” and “stupid” is not civil!

    When I used the word stupid i was referring to the unguided process of DE that IS not intelligently guided. I therefore maintain that the word stupid is a terminologically accurate and civil description of the process as it is defined and behaves mechanically.

    I know I’m BSing a lil’ here. 😉

  46. 46
    John Kelly says:

    getawitness post 44 said: “But if standard peer review is rigged against ID, why doesn’t ID revive its own journals? PSCID hasn’t published in two years. When is an ID journal going to get some legs?”

    In regards to my question in post 20, I guess the only place to submit or publish “ID research” is in a book or on the internet.

    Maybe there is no journal because there isn’t much “real” research? Lots of evidence to point to though…..

    O’Leary asks: Why can’t the ID people come up with evidence – evidence that doesn’t cause Darwinists to drive them from their posts?
    The problem is not with pointing to evidence. The problem is in presenting “Proof”. As E.O. Wilson said “Any researcher who can prove the existence of intelligent design……”. He didn’t say “show evidence of”.

    The difference between evidence and proof is like the difference between throwing words at a person and throwing rocks. Sticks and stones…..

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    GAW, JK et al:

    On points:

    1] GAW, 44: I still think the paper is clearly inappropriate for the journal, as it resembles nothing else published in the journal by a long shot . . . . OSC isn’t really qualified to evaluate proper peer review in science

    This is simply not so; first, note that peer review would necessarily have included an assessment of relevance, and that I have already excerpted in 32 on how the president of BSW’s council, Dr McDermiad, also concurred that the peer review was in order. Thus, it is the one who claims that the article was irrelevant who has a steep – and unmet — burden of proof to meet.

    Also, kindly review the publication page as linked at 42 and as linked and excerpted at 32. Especially:

    Focus: According to the official description of the Proceedings published in each issue, the journal “contains papers bearing on systematics in the biological sciences (botany, zoology, and paleontology).”

    –> This is, as I noted in 32, “a very broad purpose statement, which on the face of it embraces a review of the famous and longstanding issue of the Cambrian life revolution, an issue that puzzled Darwin and his contemporaries.”

    Scope of published articles: “The journal has published in areas such as comparative cytogenetics, phylogenetic hypotheses and classifications, developmental studies, and reviews of faunal groups. In addition, evolutionary scenarios are frequently presented at the end of basic systematic studies . . .”

    –> This alone is sufficient to warrant RvS’ conclusive statement, even if no other articles ever appeared, to wit: “the topic of Meyer’s paper was within the scope of the journal.”

    Examples: RvS cited examples over the lifespan of the journal up to 2002 – 2003, which were not in the list you cited earlier:

    Rickart, E. A. 2003. Chromosomes of Philippine mammals (Insectivora, Dermoptera, Primates, Rodentia, Carnivora). Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 116(3): 699-709.

    Panero, J. and V. A. Funk. 2002. Toward a phylogenetic subfamilial classification for the Compositae (Asteraceae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 115(4): 909-922.

    Pohle, G. and F. Marques. 2000. Larval stages of Paradasygyius depressus (Bell, 1835) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Majidae) and a phylogenetic hypothesis for 21 genera of Majidae. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 113: 739-760.

    Newman, W. A. 1985. The abyssal hydrothermal vent invertebrate fauna: a glimpse of antiquity? Bull. Biol. Soc. Wash. 6: 231242.

    Brusca, R. C. and B. R. Wallerstein. 1979B. The marine isopod crustaceans of the Gulf of California. II. Idoteidae. New genus, new species, new records, and comments on the morphology, taxonomy and evolution within the family. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 92(2): 253-271.

    –> RvS is right to complain that this “complaint” is “basically unfair.” (I add, that it takes rhetorical advantage of the fact that relatively few will be able to track down the relevant facts,and that even fewer will realise the implications of successful peer review, or of the stated focus of the journal.)

    [ . . . ]

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    2] I am convinced that the paper would have been sent back, unread and without knowledge of its status as an ID paper, by any other editor.

    First, in light of what actual peer review indicated, if the paper would have been “sent back unread” by other editors, that implies a degree of pervasive prejudice that is telling.

    Second, let’s excerpt in brief, beginnning with the intro:

    In a recent volume of the Vienna Series in a Theoretical Biology (2003), Gerd B. Muller and Stuart Newman argue that what they call the “origination of organismal form” remains an unsolved problem . . . . They note, following Darwin himself, that the sources of new form and structure must precede the action of natural selection (2003:3)–that selection must act on what already exists . . . . In the last decade or so a host of scientific essays and books have questioned the efficacy of selection and mutation as a mechanism for generating morphological novelty, as even a brief literature survey will establish . . . [which follows]

    This underscores the currency and longstanding nature of the problem. It then focuses on the key case in point:

    This review will address these questions . . . by analyzing the problem of the origination of organismal form (and the corresponding emergence of higher taxa) from a particular theoretical standpoint . . . . In order to perform this analysis, and to make it relevant and tractable to systematists and paleontologists, this paper will examine a paradigmatic example of the origin of biological form and information during the history of life: the Cambrian explosion. During the Cambrian, many novel animal forms and body plans (representing new phyla, subphyla and classes) arose in a geologically brief period of time. [details follow]

    It then focuses on information:

    organismal form arises (both in phylogeny and ontogeny) as possible arrangements of material parts are constrained to establish a specific or particular arrangement with an identifiable three dimensional topography . . . . Understanding form in this way suggests a connection to the notion of information in its most theoretically general sense . . . Information, in Shannon’s theory, is thus imparted as some options are excluded and others are actualized . . . . Sequences of nucleotide bases in DNA, or amino acids in a protein, are highly improbable and thus have large information-carrying capacities. . . . . we can pose a question, not only about the origin of genetic information, but also about the origin of the information necessary to generate form and structure at levels higher than that present in individual proteins. We must also ask about the origin of the “specified complexity,” as opposed to mere complexity . . . . One way to estimate the amount of new CSI that appeared with the Cambrian animals is to count the number of new cell types that emerged with them (Valentine 1995:91-93) . . . to build the proteins necessary to sustain a complex arthropod such as a trilobite would require orders of magnitude more coding instructions. The genome size of a modern arthropod, the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, is approximately 180 million base pairs (Gerhart & Kirschner 1997:121, Adams et al. 2000).

    Immediately, of course, we are well beyond the probabilistic resources, not only of this planet on which presumably the Cambrian fauna emerged, but also the entire observed universe — by many, many orders of magnitude. In short, it is simply not credible that chance + necessity only can give rise to so much functionally specific information. But agency is a known, routine source of such CSI. And, the basic case has long since been made.

    However, the complexity is even higher, as “Building a new animal from a single-celled organism requires a vast amount of new genetic information. It also requires a way of arranging gene products–proteins–into higher levels of organization . . . New animals, therefore, embody hierarchically organized systems of lower-level parts within a functional whole.” In short, the DNA CSI for protein formation severely underestimates the degree of complexity involved. We have to account for CSI, IC and OC — all of which are routinely created by agents, and none of which has been shown to be originated by chance + necessity only. And this, Meyer discusses in detail [cf onward discussion], with copious citations of the relevant current authorities in the field.

    He introduces alternative models, and shows why he thinks design is the best current explanation. Then, he concludes:

    An experience-based analysis of the causal powers of various explanatory hypotheses suggests purposive or intelligent design as a causally adequate–and perhaps the most causally adequate–explanation for the origin of the complex specified information required to build the Cambrian animals and the novel forms they represent. For this reason, recent scientific interest in the design hypothesis is unlikely to abate as biologists continue to wrestle with the problem of the origination of biological form and the higher taxa.

    Thus, once so-called methodological naturalism is removed as a before-the fact filter on what is accepted as “scientific” — i.e. so soon as worldview level questions are not being begged — we see a candidate for superior explanation of the acknowledged fossil record.

    It is worth noting that the editor — a structuralist — does not agree with the paper’s argument, but does believe that it is worthy of discussion among the Guild of scholars. In short, his stated motives are those of fair-mindedness.

    In that spirit, maybe we should discuss the issue on the merits [even at professional levels] and we should also be willing to recognise and object to an obvious witch hunt when we see it.

    [. . . ]

  49. 49
    Frost122585 says:

    Nice work Kairos-

  50. 50
    Frost122585 says:

    “Thus, to constrain a set of possible material states is to generate information in Shannon’s sense. It follows that the constraints that produce biological form also imparted information. Or conversely, one might say that producing organismal form by definition requires the generation of information.”

    -Meyer (Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories)

    As it has been demonstrated time and time again DNA is the most complex language in the world. There is only one place that we can go and find a “presently acting cause” that can assemble it’s complity and novel form and that is intelligence.

    Or to put things in a more visual and entertaining perspective –

    “Newton’s atheist-scientist friend came by for a visit. Seeing the model, he was naturally intrigued, and proceeded to examine it with undisguised admiration for the high quality of the workmanship. ‘My! What an exquisite thing this is!’ he exclaimed. ‘Who made it?’ Paying little attention to him, Sir Isaac answered, ‘Nobody.’

    Stopping his inspection, the visitor turned and said: ‘Evidently you did not understand my question. I asked who made this. Newton, enjoying himself immensely no doubt, replied in a still more serious tone. ‘Nobody. What you see just happened to assume the form it now has.’ ‘You must think I am a fool!’ the visitor retorted heatedly, ‘Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius, and I would like to know who he is.’

    Newton then spoke to his friend in a polite yet firm way: ‘This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?

    -Isaac Newton’s solar system story from “The Truth: God or evolution”

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    3] JK, 47: Maybe there is no journal because there isn’t much “real” research?

    Again, kindly cf. here and here on peer-reviewed research. NB: peer reviewed [and peer-edited] books address subjects that are too long for journal articles. Third, when there is the sort of censorship that the RvS case demonstrates, addressing and mobilising the public is the only real remedy — thus, too, the denial we see.

    4] The problem is not with pointing to evidence. The problem is in presenting “Proof”

    Science works by the logic of explanation across competing hypotheses. But, when a worldview level question-begging assumption — so-called methodological naturalism — is injected into the process, and is backed up by censorship and witch hunting, the whole process is corrupted.

    Why not you take up the challenge in 43 [and in the always linked] on the merits? [Then we can see for ourselves whose explanation is better, why.]

    GEM of TKI

  52. 52
    getawitness says:

    KF, the examples RvS provides don’t really make the case. They resemble the other papers in the PBSW much more than the Meyer paper.

    Also, you’ve made a good case that the Journal of Theoretical Biology would have been a much better journal to submit the work to.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    GAW

    On the contrary, it is plain to an unprejudiced mind, that the paper was within the reach of the journal’s focus. The real problem here is selective hyper-skepticism, and that, unfortunately and sadly, in service to excusing a witch hunt.

    GEM of TKI

  54. 54
    getawitness says:

    KF,

    One man’s witch hunt is another man’s conspiracy theory.

  55. 55
    getawitness says:

    KF,

    We should try a little experiment: select a hundred undergraduate biology majors who know nothing about the Sternberg case and have them look at the titles I listed plus the titles listed by Sternberg. Hey, include the abstracts for all I care! Ask them to select the one that’s out of place. I predict that a significant number will pick the Meyer paper. I also predict that the titles listed by Sternberg will be picked at the same freuqency as the other non-Meyer papers. In other words, the Meyer paper will still be out of place.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers:

    Observe that we already know that the article passed “proper peer review” by “renowned scholars.”

    We also know that RvS was subjected to a savaging in the Smithsonian and in the wider scientific community that even had he blundered — which he did not — they had no right to treat him that way.

    Proper conclusion: Witch hunt, QED.

    GEM of TKI

  57. 57
    getawitness says:

    I don’t think you’re using QED correctly. 🙂

    An interesting note: the PBSW used to publish an annual list of everybody who had reviewed for the journal, as a way of thanking them. They don’t seem to do this any more, in part because Sternberg refused to release the names of the reviewers of Meyer.

  58. 58
    getawitness says:

    Clarification: that is, he refused to release these even to the PBSW editors, though he’d released others every year as a matter of course.

Leave a Reply