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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Journal aims at serious discussion of ID issues

A friend writes to say,

The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is the best known think tank sympathetic to intelligent design. They manage to enrage all the right tax burdens. Here is one recent activity along that line:

"I am excited to call your attention to a new on-line journal, called BIO-Complexity, that has recently been launched." See here for details. Its stated purpose:
BIO-Complexity is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a unique goal. It aims to be the leading forum for testing the scientific merit of the claim that intelligent design (ID) is a credible explanation for life. Because questions having to do with the role and origin of information in living systems are at the heart of the scientific controversy over ID, these topics—viewed from all angles and perspectives—are central to the journal's scope.
My friend notes,
To achieve its aim, BIO-Complexity is founded on the principle of critical exchange that makes science work. Specifically, the journal enlists editors and reviewers with scientific expertise in relevant fields who hold a wide range of views on the merit of ID, but who agree on the importance of science for resolving controversies of this kind. Our editors use expert peer review, guided by their own judgement, to decide whether submitted work merits consideration and critique. BIO-Complexity aims not merely to publish work that meets this standard, but also to provide expert critical commentary on it.
This should prove much more interesting than the usual unfalsifiable Darwin defense sludge one encounters in many journals, which reminds me of nothing so much as a cult defending its fixed beliefs. (Everything and its opposte, truth nonsense, and falsehood all prove Darwin was right, you see. But after all, biology is the sociology of science, so one might expect this, and increasing numbers of well-thought-out books are written about it.)

She asks,
I'd like to ask your help to promote the journal's success. First, read the articles, and check back regularly. More will be published as they become available. Second, cite the articles in your blogs and scientific research articles when appropriate. Third, sign up as readers, and register to be able to make on-line comments. (Go here for instructions, then scroll down to Online Comments.)

This will allow you to post comments on specific articles. You may also be asked to review papers relevant to your own area of expertise.

Finally, consider submitting your own scientific research articles here, or encourage others to do so. The journal is registered with, and every article is assigned its own searchable doi.
Note that, by "comments",my friend means intelligent critues, not screeds from some Darwinist troll hole. We have all heard enough of that.

More here:
For years, scientists and other scholars who want to pursue design-theoretic research have had to deal with a Catch-22. Though many big scientific ideas appear in books, specialized science develops, in large part, through the peer-reviewed publishing process. At the same time, anyone with the slightest acquaintance with the subject knows that arguing explicitly for design in an article submitted to a scientific journal is a sure-fire way to prevent the article from seeing the light of day. But it looks like that is about to change.

As we learned recently with the “Climategate” controversy, despite the merits of the peer-review concept, it can often be used as an ideological gatekeeper. This is nowhere more true than with ID. So ID-oriented scientists have been forced either to avoid the subject in their scientific publishing, or, when dealing with design-relevant evidence, to write in such an elliptical fashion that that relevance is thoroughly disguised.

It’s a Catch-22, of course, because critics claim that ID “isn’t science” since it’s not in the peer-reviewed literature. (That’s not true; but the Catch-22 means that explicitly ID-oriented work is vastly under-represented in that literature.)

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:


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