A fun thing about reading things on the ID sites and then actually checking primary sources is how bizarre Uncommon Descent is as an information filter. I guess this would be an example of the dreaded “framing” of science which I don’t want to fight with my sciblings over. Take for example their discussion of Guillermo Gonzalez’s qualifications in light of his failure to get tenure.

UC says:
“he has had his research featured in Science, Nature, and on the cover of Scientific American.”

Then you see what they’re talking about and you see they’re talking about this negative review of “Privileged Planet” in Nature, a mention of his idea of a galactic habitable zone in an article about someone else’s research in Science (or were they referring to the articles in science about how the DI duped the Smithsonian into showing a documentary about his book?), and a Scientific American article that wasn’t mentioned on the cover as far as I can tell. Gonzalez’s article was in group of articles in SciAm entitled Mysteries of the Milky Way. It looks like, according to DaveScot (so I don’t know if I should believe this), SciAm is embarrassed to have published an IDer and has removed mention of the article being on the cover from their archives. Ha! It must suck to be an IDer. They may call their abuse at the hands of scientific publications (and science in general) McCarthyism, but I think it’s more accurately described as spotting BS and not letting it contaminate your journal.

C’mon internet hive-mind. Give me some more examples of the filtering process where “criticized negatively” or “mentioned” turns into “featured”. Or how articles which are just contained in a special issue become “on the cover”.

(Thanks sparc)


5 responses to “IDFilter”

  1. This reminds me of a youth hostel in Waterford in Ireland that boasted of being recommended in the Rough Guide to Ireland. When I stayed there, someone else staying there had the Rough Guide with them and looked it up, and it said something like “OK for the price, but female travellers off-season should be warned about the proprietor’s sleazy innuendo”. What a “recommendation”!

  2. A further note UC links a full copy of the article (PDF) in SciAm. It’s an interesting idea – that you can define a zone of habitability in the galaxy – but it seems full of false assumptions. The biggest problem is assuming that because life evolved the way it did on earth that it will necessarily have to evolve the same way every time or that nature can’t find different solutions based upon the raw materials available. When we find living things everywhere from the depths of the ocean, to feeding off of radiation in the earths crust, to virtually every inch of the planet, it suggests life finds ways to explore every niche.

    Finally, even if we were the only ones to exist in the universe it still isn’t clear to me why they like this idea so much.

  3. Scientific American has weighed ine on this now.

  4. Good link. I like how they mock DaveScot’s conspiracy theory.

  5. This reminds me of how, after being interviewed in Nature and having his purely religious motivations for being an IDcreationist exposed, Salvado Cordova spammed many – perhaps dozens – discussion boards with posts with intriguing titles similar to things like ‘Salvador Cordova featured in prestigious scientific journal’…

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