Saturday, May 1, 2010

You knew it had to happen

Anti-evolutionists, whether they are Creationist or Intelligent Design supporters -- which pretty much are the same thing as far as I am concerned -- just on a different time continuum -- are nothing if not flexible. They also are always looking for ways around all any criticism of their unsupported positions.

I don't know if you remember, but 5 or 6 years ago the Discovery Institute (DI) opened their own lab, Biologic. The stated purpose of this 'lab' was to find the experimental evidence that will vindicate all of their claims about Intelligent Design. I have mentioned them before. While the DI is funding it, they tend to try and convince folks that Biologic is an independent agency . . . but that's all marketing.

Well like I said Biologic was designed to do the lab work that have been a constant criticism about how all they do is popular press and marketing and never any real science. This was one of the specified steps in the Wedge Strategy. In fact in the 1999 version of the Wedge document it mentioned Dr. Douglas Axe, who later became the director of Biologic. It should also be noted that as late as 2002 Phillip E. Johnson noted that there was no 'Theory of Intelligent Design'. His complaint was that their pet scientists hadn't delivered on their ideas of a viable scientific and testable theory,

OK, so to summarize we have a marketing group, the DI, who keeps firing blanks and opens their own lab which fails to deliver the goods. OK, time to change tactics, right? I mean the whole marketing scheme was constantly changing with each failure. So what's the single most constant criticism? It's the lack of peer-reviewed research papers.

So they should really buckle down and do the work . . .Oh wait, they tried that. It failed. So since they haven't been able to do the work and published the papers in real-live science journals, what is the obvious step for the DI? Well most organizations would consider walking away, but they apparently still have someone else's money to burn, so what do they do?

They create their own journal. This is a step very consistent with their history. I mean they opened their own publishing group (Discovery Institute Press) to get some of their crap in print. Why not create their own journal, and pretend it is going to be peer- reviewed. Here is their press release. Like I said, this isn't a surprise, since it also isn't the first time they have tried this one. Anyone else remember the defunct 'International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design'?

OK, what we need to do is take a look at who they claim are the 'peers'. Here is a link to their editorial page . . . See what I mean? Lots of familiar names. One hilarious note, look at the ISCID fellows list. See any familiar names?

I think someone forgot one of the things that makes Peer-Review work well. It's not a peer when it's a close colleague who already supports your position. It should be someone independent who has the same or higher degree of experience in the same area of expertise. But that would mean opening themselves up to . . . dare I say it . . . more criticism. Gee, how could that be possible?

Look, You know I don't trust anything the DI does. So don't take my word, go do the digging for yourself. I think you will end up right where I usually do and learning a new reason why the DI cannot and should not be trusted.


  1. I've read the first BIO-Complexity research paper, by Gauger et al. IMO it's a joke. Nowhere is ID mentioned either by name or by concept. Rather, it's a test of a subset of natural hypotheses, and not a particularly interesting set at that.

    I see that the DI is playing up the Sternberg/Meyer publication angle on this. IOW "we have to publish our own journal, because we know what happens to our boys; look at what happened when Sternberg OK'd the Meyer paper in 2004." But nowhere do Sternberg or Meyer address, or apparently even acknowledge, the substantive criticism of that paper; some of that criticism, along with related material and comments, can be found linked at the "Meyer 2004 Medley" over at the Panda's Thumb.

    Somewhere, these guys will have to do more than just complain, whenever they take some lumps. When faced with substantive criticism, real scientists buckle down and get to work. I don't see that happening with the ID proponents; at this rate, we never will.

    BIO-Complexity will fade within five years, tops.

  2. Rubble, Have you tried to read Stephen C. Meyer latest? He also re-spins the Sternberg peer review controversy, of which he was a major player. It's pretty funny how Sternberg is the victim now. I guess he plays that role better than he played at being an editor.