So, Answers in Genesis cranked out the first issue of its new journal, and with all deliberate speed! It’s remarkable. I’m guessing that creation research doesn’t take quite as long as, say, real science. The pilot issue is a true testament to the idiocy of the Creation Cult. I guess we have to actually look inside this waste of electrons to see what’s going on.
While it is true that no scientist with an intact cerebral cortex will take the Answers Research Journal seriously, still, it’s hard to ignore. If this is the best shot the Creationist cults can do at making their point then I don’t think the NIH is going to be sending them a lot of money any time soon. Each article from the pilot edition has its own kind of stupid..
Remember that “Answers” is supposed to be a “professional, peer-reviewed technical journal.” One article is called “Proceedings of the Microbe Forum”, but what this “forum” was is not clearly indicated. This doesn’t start well (nor does it end well). If fact, it ends so badly, that I’ll start with the footnotes:
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.
If you publish a scientific paper anonymously, it isn’t scientific. There is no way to verify anything. If what they publish is quality research, then they have nothing to fear. If it is crap, well, then academia can be very harsh on non-productive idiots (productive idiots, however…). Let’s go back to the top and see what has the authors so verschrecked.
For many years the roles of microbes as part of God’s wonderful design have been neglected. Creationist literature is largely void of topics related to these tiniest creatures. Perhaps it is because many people associate microbes as the cause of death, disease, and suffering. This is true for only a fraction of microbes; the large majority are extremely vital for sustaining life on earth. Their roles range from recycling nutrients in soil and water to symbiotic relationships that provide necessary factors to their host. Their role in death and disease is a result of the Fall and the Curse on all living things.
Ouch! That is a steaming pile of burning stupid. I can see why the authors are scared. A tenure committee would look pretty foolish if they promoted a microbiologist who believes that “the role [of microbes] in death and disease is a result of the Fall and the Curse”….
In addition, how do we classify microbes taxonomically from a creation perspective? Do they fit into conventional or baraminic taxonomical convention? How do we view them biblically? What day were they created? What were they originally created for? Were they created as separate baramins or were they created as parts of other organisms? Or were they created as part of the earth on Day Three? These are just some of the intriguing questions facing the field of creation microbiology.
These are not the questions of a scientist. If these questions had answers, what would it help us predict? Let’s say that we were able to “prove” that microbial life was created on Day 3. Does that help us predict how they will respond to selective pressures? Does it help us to predict what type of bacteria might be found in various environments? Does it help us cure disease?
I’ll leave it you, dear reader, to continue reading the article, if you have the stomach for it. But I agree with the authors’ decision to remain anonymous. If I were on a tenure committee and read this, I don’t think I’d recommend them as a graduate student, much less a tenure track position. This “journal” is a project doomed to failure as a scientific venture. It may some day have historical interest, as our descendants wonder what the hell we were thinking.
Be that as it may, let’s look at another article, say, Microbes and the Day of Creation, by Allen Gillen. Let’s remember, this is supposed to be “a 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.” Yes, I know, the premise is ridiculous, but still, let’s give them a chance, shall we?
First, Gillen is listed as a Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Liberty U. Hmm…not looking so good. Let’s see what he writes about microbiology. Anything better than the above “forum”?
The world of germs and microbes has received much attention in recent years. But where do microbes fit into the creation account? Were they created along with the rest of the plants and animals in the first week of creation, or were they created later, after the Fall? These are some questions that creation microbiologists have been asking in recent years.
Talk about begging the question! All science starts off with certain assumptions, e.g. gravity exists, what we perceive somehow represents reality, etc. This article adds the assumption that Genesis is literally true. How do you reason with people whose preconceptions don’t even allow examination of the facts? Oh, and find me one legitimate microbiologist who gives a shit about where “germs” (sic) fall in the hierarchy of a fringe Christian cult?
Very little has been written in Bible commentaries or in creation literature on the subject of when microbes were created.
And this is really the point. The goat herders who wrote the Bible didn’t know about microbes. And given the cult’s belief in Biblical inerrancy neither did their God.
In a world where God does not show up to explain Himself, all of their “research” must be based on human interpretations of the actions of an imaginary deity. In other words, the entire article is nothing more than theocratic masturbation, not science. As with masturbation, they should probably do it in private, rather than clogging our precious intertubes with their rantings, but, hey, at least it’s entertaining.
The Cultists who publish this trash keep harping on “peer-review”. Peer review depends on who your peers actually are. If you are writing for the New England Journal of Medicine, your peers are other physicians and medical researchers who are at the top of their fields. If you’re writing for a Creationist rag, who are your peers?
I’m not sure, especially with all the anonymity going around, but here is what one of their articles says about it:
Despite the centrality of peer review to the development of a scholarly community, very little is known about the biblical basis and Christian conduct of peer review. We find that peer review is rooted in several Christian virtues, such as reflecting Christ, being honest, seeking wisdom, humbly submitting, showing Christian love, correcting error, and being accountable. Given these principles, we recommend that creationists use a double-blind peer review system, wherein the identities of the author and peer reviewers are confidential. Additionally, we recommend that creationist publishers develop a regular public audit of their peer-review process
What good is a “double-blind peer review system” when everyone involved is already blind to the truth?
Answers Research Journal 1 (2008). http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj (reportedly non-fiction)