New peer-reviewed Creationist Research Journal
February 2, 2008 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Answers Research Journal is a new "professional peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework." Current Volume. Call for Papers.
posted by Rumple (32 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Looking forward t the peer reviewed proof that god existence.
Also the part where God says leave the "o" out of the spelling of my name or you're in big trouble (but g-d is nevertheless OK).
posted by Fupped Duck at 2:14 PM on February 2, 2008

I read the first paper and LOLed. The main use for this will be to see if postdoc applicants are willing to show themselves as dumb. It's just Answers in Genesis with a fancier set of vocabulary.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:14 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's just Answers in Genesis with a fancier set of vocabulary.

Yes ... and the Answers Research Journal is "powered by answeringenesis" and is "Copyright © 2008 Answers in Genesis."
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on February 2, 2008

Yawn. More AiG wedging, propaganda and bullshit.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2008

Adam Rutherford, an editor for Nature journal: "On first glance, ARJ looks kinda like a science journal. 'ARJ' sounds a bit like it could be a science journal. But sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken."*
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on February 2, 2008 [3 favorites]

In what way shape or form is this not the worst of web. It's the academic version of stormfront. Fuck off and may your children fuck off unto the third generation
posted by Sparx at 2:49 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I thought they were at least going to be written like scientific articles and refer to the peer reviewed literature--you would not get published in any real journal referencing only textbooks and popular science works as they do in this thing. Also, I'm not clear how peer review works since there appear to be roughly 12 people who they consider experts in the field. I guess they'll all be doing a lot of reviewing.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:49 PM on February 2, 2008

If your "peers" are proponents of a muddle of magic and misprision whose education comes from Bob Jones University, their "reviewing" is clearly rigorous. Yep.

This is first-rate religious propaganda, though...
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 3:08 PM on February 2, 2008

This is getting out of hand.

The creationists should just admit that they were wrong, and the rest of us should promise never to bring it up, so we can all just put this ugly business behind us.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 3:20 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is just really crying out for an Alan Sokal to come along.
posted by googly at 3:27 PM on February 2, 2008 [3 favorites]

It's the academic version of stormfront.

No, that's this.
posted by Makoto at 3:53 PM on February 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

What day were they (microbes) created?

posted by chillmost at 4:41 PM on February 2, 2008

These papers support my hypothesis that the quality of peer review for any journal is highly dependent on how its editors determine who is qualified to peer review.
posted by Tehanu at 5:01 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I find this really interesting, actually. I mean, if it's "legit" (in the sense of genuinely intending to peer review each other's nonsense). Testing claims is what science is all about. If they really do try to apply the rigorous tests of science to creationism (doubtful, but hey), I think it could be awesome when they start refuting themselves.
posted by DU at 5:05 PM on February 2, 2008

DU, here's what the it takes to get through the editor in chief and enter their review process:

VIII. Paper Review Process
The following criteria will be used in judging papers:
1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture? If necessary, refer to: R. E. Walsh, 1986. Biblical hermeneutics and creation. Proceedings First International Conference on Creationism, vol. 1, pp. 121–127. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.

Remark: The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of

posted by Tehanu at 5:08 PM on February 2, 2008

So I was wrong, I can't even test my hypothesis here.
posted by Tehanu at 5:08 PM on February 2, 2008

Wow. "Does the paper re-confirm our assumptions?"
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on February 2, 2008 [4 favorites]

"Does this paper say what we want it to say, in a way that can't be accidentally construed to say anything we don't want it to say? Was it, in fact, written by someone we know to agree with us?" You have to submit a biography, too:

4. Author Biographies—Submit to the ARJ editor-in-chief a brief biographical sketch (BIO), if AiG does not already have one. This BIO should be no more than 100 words. A BIO must be included for each author on multiple-authored papers. This BIO will be suitably posted on the AiG website list of creationist scientists and theologians linked to the paper when published in the ARJ. (Any author using a pen name or who has a reason for not wanting their biographical details publicized on the AiG website should specifically request this, and their wishes will be respected.)

But, you can publish using a pseudonym, like a few of the current authors have done:

These are pseudonyms. The writers, who hold PhDs in fields related to the topics of their abstracts, are scientists at prominent research facilities in the eastern part of North America. They prefer to keep their creationist credentials hidden for the moment until they achieve more seniority.

The depressing thing is, these are the same people who will claim Science and Nature reject their papers because they're pre-selecting for papers that agree with the opinions of the editors, whom they believe to be fervent adherents to the Church of Darwin. Like everything else creationists do, this has all the wrappings of science, which they believe to be fundamentally biased, yet it functions solely on bias. They rail against scientists who they say refuse to doubt Darwin, yet they'll only publish papers that confirm a specific interpretation of the Bible.
posted by Tehanu at 6:19 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

But sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.

Of course not. Only God can stick feathers up your butt and make you a chicken. New organisms don't evolve, you know.
posted by stevis23 at 6:23 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

you know, this seems like a perfect opportunity for someone to prank the creationists by submitting a ludicrously wrong paper that they'll approve, waiting until they've got it on their website, and then revealing it was a joke

wouldn't that just be tasty?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:26 PM on February 2, 2008

pyramid termite, my girlfriend and I discussed doing exactly that, and ran into the following conundrum:

What can we possibly write that is actually *more* "ludicrously wrong" than what they have already done? And what, therefore, could we write that they would not continue to hold up as evidence for their side EVEN AFTER IT WAS REVEALED AS A HOAX?

I have read some of the "papers" that Answers In Genesis and similar institutions hold up as their "scientific" backing. They discuss whether perhaps god made the planets out of water and *then* turned them into rock, somehow accounting for their apparent age. They deny evolution on the grounds that, because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it would only be possible if there were some massive exterior energy source supplying the earth with power ... a source they apparently cannot think of, so conclude does not exist, despite the fact that it shines on them every day. They create arguments as to how the sun can stand still in the sky, as it says it does in the bible, without destroying the earth, "cleverly" point out that monkeys should no longer exist if humans evolved from monkeys, and casually throw away a hundred years of scientific investigation to deny the speed of light.

Oh, and they love out-of-context quotes. They SO love out-of-context quotes. Stephen J. Gould, Einstein, Darwin, any scientist you care to name, they lift a phrase, half a sentence, a question, a query, a counter-example, and they extract, twist, and elevate it until, in their minds, it proves their point. See! They shout, even so-and-so said that evolution was a deeply flawed theory! That proves out point! And what was actually said (for example, pointing out why punctuated equilibrium might be a better model than a strict Darwinian one) gets thrown away.

So, sure, someone could do that - submit a hoax paper and then reveal it to be a hoax. You know what the result would be? Blaring headlines: PROMINENT SCIENTIST OFFERS EVIDENCE FOR CREATIONISM! No, no, would say the scientist - it was a hoax, you see. It's an utterly ludicrous premise. And their headlines would blare: PROMINENT SCIENTIST OFFERS EVIDENCE FOR CREATIONISM! And they would continue to cite the paper, no matter what it said, for decades, until the scientists' protests were forgotten and all the people they preach to ever hear is "and even Dr. Such-and-such wrote a paper proving creationism." Maybe, if the declaration that it was a hoax grew too publicized to ignore, they might add, "until forced to recant by the scientific establishment."

So, no, on reflection, I don't think it would be tasty. I think it would be bitter, and useless, and ultimately backfire. Because there is nothing so ridiculous that they will not claim it as evidence, on way to make them seem more ludicrous to anyone paying attention than they have already made themselves look, no length they will not go to in order to twist the words of others to stake their claim, and nothing you can show them which will get through to them, or their followers.

Frankly, if you can get through, say, a PhD astronomy program holding tight to your conviction that the world is 6,000 years old, and that therefore everything you have been taught, including things which have obvious real-world technological applications, is a lie - as some of them have done - there ain't nothing which is going to get through to you or even embarass you.
posted by kyrademon at 9:05 PM on February 2, 2008 [6 favorites]

kyrademon is correct...

Creationists are parasites. They live off the barnacles of science. Really quite a useless little bunch of know-nothings. There's actually very little difference between them and the Islamofacists who want to impose *their* reality on the world.

Science's challenge to non-scientific unbelievers is to be willing to *admit* that your theory can be refuted.

Creationists don't do that; thus, their work is just as much a fantasy as a Grisham novel.

Creationists tell stories. Try to verify a fairy tale. That's what they're offering.

And, oh, btw - they're going extinct. It will take a while, but they will eventually die off.
posted by MetaMan at 10:07 PM on February 2, 2008

I don't think I could fake the weird logic needed to write for that journal well enough to convince anyone I was legit. Plus I have no creationist credentials. But I think kyrademon is right about what the result would be if I could fake it.

I don't think creationism will ever go away. Belief in a flat Earth hasn't gone away. The important thing is that it doesn't have any traction in public discourse and decision-making anymore. I do hope creationism loses prominence in a similar way. If people want to believe the exact opposite of what empirical evidence suggests, I can't stop them. If they insist that it's science and that it be taught in schools as such, then I have a major problem.
posted by Tehanu at 10:39 PM on February 2, 2008

Prank them? That's what the Sokal reference implied.
posted by Monochrome at 11:19 PM on February 2, 2008

"The answers to these questions are not explicit in Scripture, so the answers cannot be dogmatic..."
If only they took that seriously. Sigh.
posted by verb at 7:29 AM on February 3, 2008

They prefer to keep their creationist credentials hidden for the moment until they achieve more seniority. WTF? This pretty much discredits anything they hope will give them the imprimteur of legitimacy with this sentence right here.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:39 AM on February 3, 2008

How can creationism be peer reviewed? How can creationism be researched? Creationists reject modern science methods and techniques because they all point to evolution. So what scientific methods can creationists use that can be reproduced in a lab?
posted by HotPatatta at 11:00 AM on February 3, 2008

It's a cargo cult. "Oh, real scientists use things called 'peer-reviewed journals'! If we call our magazine a 'peer-reviewed journal,' we will summon Real Science!"
posted by nicepersonality at 12:02 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

They don't want to summon real science though. Just undermine the perceived differences in the minds of the general public.
posted by Tehanu at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2008

Piece from Slate, explains the "peer review" including the instructions to authors
posted by Rumple at 12:51 AM on February 15, 2008

Great, let's just add to the misconceptions, Slate. Good job there.

Slate's article is very misleading about the real differences between Answers and real journals. After reading their article, people may think what Science does isn't real peer review.

has streamlined this process by inviting the submitting scholars to suggest who should review their work

That is not a flaw. Authors submitting to genuine peer reviewed journals can suggest reviewers for their manuscript. (See JAMA study on peer reviewers recommended by authors vs. not [PDF]). It's usually based on area of expertise. Key check #1: it's up to the editors to act on that recommendation or not. Either way, if an editor invites a reviewer and it turns out that the reviewer has a conflict of interest that would undermine their objectivity, they're ethically obliged to inform the editor of such an issue (key check #2; see Science reviewer policies). It usually means they decline the invitation and the editor asks someone else.

Allowing authors to suggest reviewers for their own work is not the problem here. The problem is that to even submit to their "journal," that is, to have their editor send your manuscript out to reviewers, your manuscript has to confirm their assumptions. Which, for the record, is the exact opposite of research. In science, you don't start with a conclusion and find data to back it up. Given their general author guidelines, I'm assuming that their peer reviewers also need to demonstrate that they agree with the specified ideologies and will evaluate the evidence in light of the desired conclusions, and not the other way around. Also a big problem and the exact opposite of peer review. The point of peer review is to not let anything with a detectable bias through. Real peer review selects against what Answers is selecting for.

Snelling also demands rigorous adherence to style principles.

Real journals do this, too. They are probably far more meticulous about it, actually.
posted by Tehanu at 3:20 AM on February 15, 2008

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