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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Recent items at Uncommon Descent:

Uncommon Descent has been having trouble (= censorship?) with the Google search engine, so I am posting some links here with a brief explanation, as a stopgap until the problem is sorted out:

- The fur flies as Darwinist and Thumbsman P.Z. Myers is accused of dealing dishonestly with quotations from Jonathan Wells' The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, and it is still flying as of today.

- College level ID textbook to be released March 2007, with Chapter 1 available online.

- An article in eminent science journal Nature once again highlights the limitations of peer review, as a road to excellence. Responding to "Flawed nature paper on global warming", by Douglas J. Keenan, DaveScot asks "Can you say rubber stamp?"

Yes we can. Global warming is the apocalypse of the secular materialist's creed, so almost any nonsense can be allowed in its favor and no good sense allowed against it. Some warming warnings read like the Left Behind series of secular science - but, you see, it's the science that sometimes get left behind.

It's not hard to understand the limitations of peer review as a fair forum: Peer review submits new ideas to a committee.

Committees tend to lop off BOTH ends of the spectrum - extreme excellence and extreme stunnedness. That's just how small groups tend to work. They attempt to achieve consensus, which is most easily found in the middle.

I suppose an evolutionary psychologist would, at this point, make up a just-so story about how this tendency helped our selfish genes survive the Pleistocene era. But actually, if the entire universe had popped into existence on July 1, 1867, committees would likely work the same way.
Convergence would most often be found in the middle range.

So one way of explaining the problem is that the current procedure suppresses stunned stuff at the price of also suppressing excellence.

As relativity physicist Frank Tipler wrote,
If one reads memoirs or biographies of physicists who made their great breakthroughs after, say, 1950, one is struck by how often one reads that "the referees rejected for publication the paper that later won me the Nobel Prize."

- By Design or by Chance?, page 205.

But rejection was safer, you see.
For all Uncommon Descent posts and comments go here.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

My U of Toronto talk on why there is an intelligent design controversy, or my talk on media coverage of the controversy att he University of Minnesota.

A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove’s critique of Darwinism.

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being granted tenure at Baylor after a long struggle - even after helping in a small way to destroy the Baylor Bears' ancient glory - in the opinion of a hyper sportswriter.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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