The battle for the soul of science..

A Slugger reader flagged this story up to me due to the attempt by neo-creationists, and possibly young-Earthers, to insert references to supernatural beliefs into a peer-reviewed scientific journal. But it’s also a good illustration of the power of combining an expert audience – in this case PZ Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris – some additional bloggers, and the influence of the often unfairly derided mainstream media. As James Randerson at the Guardian’s ScienceBlog noted, he was alerted to the story via the comment here. It’s a battle a day out there.. Adds Spotted by pauljames in the comments below, the editor-in-chief of the journal is Professor Michael Dunn, of University College Dublin.

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  • Observer

    The scientific journal obviously does not believe in Freedom of Speech – something the journal has in common with NAZI GERMANY and the SOVIET UNION.

  • joeCanuck

    And you obviously miss the point, Observer.
    Scientific journals exist to share scientific knowledge, not to pander to crackpots of any sort who demand their “right” to free speech to disseminate “facts” that have no basis in research..

  • michael

    I get the feeling that observer was being ironic!?!

  • joeCanuck

    In which case I’ll admit to being the fool.

  • pauljames

    Did you pick up on the Irish connection? The editor of the Journal involved(Proteomics)is Michael J. Dunn, a professor at University College Dublin. He is catching considerable flak for the failure of the peer review process for which he was ultimately responsible.

  • Pete Baker

    I hadn’t, Paul.

    But I’m hoping it’s just a point of interest, rather than something more significant.

  • BfB

    Well, there’s quantum entanglement and the whole ‘what happened before the big bang’ thing that makes me pause when I try to reconcile these tight ass scientist moaning about their precious evolution mantra. I believe it is anti-religion, ego, dementia, in various degrees. There are an equal cadre of scientists, with religion, who are quite comfortable with the two theories. I think they get the whole big picture of life at various levels and couldn’t be arsed to quibble with the wide eyed devil worshipers. I’m not saying that life went only as the bible says, not by a long shot. But…I believe that there is another force at play in our space and time that has a part in what has, and will, happen…. The strongest arguments are always promoted by the most fervent anti ‘higher power’ droolers..Faith isn’t just a religious concept imho.

  • joeCanuck

    I guess you’re hoping to win some of them over to your POV, BfB, what with your reasoned arguments and lack of invective. Always nice to see that.

  • BfB

    I’m expressing my opinion, based on what I know. I really don’t care what you think about it. Save your lectures for your children. Hosehead 😉

  • BfB

    Speaking of science and religion…I bet this guy had a bit of both. God rest his soul.

  • willis

    Thanks Pete

    I’m not a microbiologist, so I found James Randerson’s Guardian article must useful. I particularly enjoyed these comments.

    “I do wonder if a bit too much cultural relativism wasn’t at work here, granting a bit too much leeway in the use of language by authors for whom English is not their first.”


    It’s my pleasure- Dunn has been ignoring us but I realized he could not ignore the Guardian. In case you don’t realize it, the Guardian is viewed as an essential progressive resource here in the former colonies.”

    More like chuckle a day!

  • Bob Mugabe

    Darwin was a mysoginistic racist. Has much changed? If academics would stop bonking their students and colleagues for a few months and actually do some real work, society mught improve. Who should care whsat a nobody professor in a nothing university thinks? Flann O’Brien said the only thing he got out of UCD was a capacity to hold his drink (not true)and an ability to get a good pool break even with a bad cue? Has anything changed?

  • joeCanuck

    Tuck away that inferiority complex, would you. It’s embarrassing.