Tag Archives: Journal AMS

Peer-reviewed journal apologizes for censoring pro-ID article

From Evolution News. (Excerpt below, with links removed)

Excerpt:

In one of their favorite soundbytes, members of the Darwin lobby like to assert that intelligent design scientists do not publish peer-reviewed research. That claim is manifestly false. But the fact that intelligent design scholars do publish peer-reviewed articles is no thanks to Darwinists, many of whom do their best to ensure that peer-reviewed articles by intelligent design scientists never see the light of day.

Witness the brazen censorship earlier this year of an article by University of Texas, El Paso mathematics professor Granville Sewell, author of the book In the Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design. Sewell’s article critical of Neo-Darwinism (“A Second Look at the Second Law”) was both peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by the journal Applied Mathematics Letters. That is, the article was accepted for publication until a Darwinist blogger who describes himself as an “opinionated computer science geek” wrote the journal editor to denounce the article, and the editor decided to pull Sewell’s article in violation of his journal’s own professional standards.

The publisher of Applied Mathematics Letters (Elsevier, the international science publisher) has now agreed to issue a public statement apologizing to Dr. Sewell as well as to pay $10,000 in attorney’s fees.

“It’s hard to imagine a more blatant assault on intellectual freedom and the free exchange of ideas,” says attorney Pete Lepiscopo with the California firm of Lepiscopo and Morrow, which represented Sewell.

Lepiscopo points out that in retracting Sewell’s article, Applied Mathematics Letters “effectively accepted the unsubstantiated word and unsupported opinion of an inconsequential blogger, with little or unknown academic background beyond a self-professed public acknowledgment that he was a ‘computer science grad’ and whose only known writings are self-posted blogs about movies, comics, and fantasy computer games.” This blogger’s unsupported opinion “trumped the views of an author who is a well respected mathematician with a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Purdue University; a fully-tenured Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas–El Paso; an author of three books on numerical analysis and 40 articles published in respected journals; and a highly sought-after and frequent lecturer world-wide on mathematics and science.”

After Dr. Sewell’s article was pulled, Darwinian zealots crowed about their achievement and maliciously speculated that the article was withdrawn because it wasn’t really peer-reviewed or because it was somehow substandard. The journal, meanwhile, left Dr. Sewell to twist in the wind, seemingly endorsing the Darwinists’ smears. The journal editor Dr. Rodin wrote a groveling letter to the Darwinist blogger who complained to him in which he agreed that publishing Sewell’s article would involve “impropriety.” Rodin further apologized “for our erroneous judgement in even considering this paper for publication.”

Dr. Rodin and his journal now have to issue a public statement providing “their sincere and heartfelt apologies to Dr. Sewell… and welcom[ing] Dr. Sewell’s submission of future articles for possible publication.” More important than the apology, the journal has to set the record straight by reiterating that “Dr. Sewell’s article was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication” and by making clear that his article was not withdrawn because of “any errors or technical problems found by the reviewers or editors.”

Wow. I actually clicked on some of the links in the post at Evolution News and was carried off to the lands of naturalistic blogging. It’s amazing how confident they are in their little echo chambers, but I cannot fathom why this should be since they are unwilling to debate their views in public. To me, you can only know something if you are willing to hear the criticisms against it. If you censor all your opponents and hang around in little online chat rooms gloating to your choir about how smart you are and how right you are, why think that you really know anything about what you are talking about?

The only way to be sure about any issue is to listen to both sides in a debate, and let your opponents have a hearing. I would not feel confident in asserting anything if I only heard the arguments on one side of the question. Not only do the Darwinbots seem to be confident in asserting their views without hearing their opponents, they are actually arrogant and insulting about it. But before you can be trumpet your victory in a disagreement, doesn’t there have to be an actual debate first? Canceling the debate by censorship doesn’t mean that you won the debate.  It means you’re scared of debate.

Here’s what you do. Slap a defamation lawsuit on the blogger who complained for a million dollars and let them have their day in court to explain why they said what they said. Then we’ll find out which side has the blind faith and which side has the knowledge.