Friday, December 19, 2014

Groundless Annual Ritual of ID Self-Congratulation

As each year draws to a close, we can expect being treated to the annual ritual of self-congratulation by intelligent design advocates. Why, they have accomplished so much in the last year! The movement is simply overflowing with ideas! And honest, god-fearing people! And real scientists! And publishing successes! Not at all like those dogmatic, liberal, communistic, intolerant, censoring, Nazi-like evolutionists!

2014 is no different. Here we have the DI's official clown, David Klinghoffer, comparing himself to Leon Wieseltier (in part because, he says, their surnames sound similar -- I kid you not) and the Discovery Institute to The New Republic.

Actually, there are two big similarities I can think of: when TNR tried to come up with a list of 100 "thinkers" whose achievements were most in line with things that TNR cares about, science didn't even merit its own category. But theology did! And TNR's Wieseltier wrote a review of Nagel's book that demonstrated he didn't have the vaguest understanding of why Mind and Cosmos was nearly universally panned. Wieseltier even adopted intelligent design tropes like "Darwinist mob", "Darwinist dittoheads", "bargain-basement atheism", "mob of materialists", "free-thinking inquisitors", "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Secular Faith", and "scientistic tyranny". Don't let the door hit you on your way out, Leon.

Klinghoffer claims "In the evolution controversy, it's supporters of intelligent design who stand for ideas (disagree with us or not) and idealism." Well, that's something that we can actually check. Since ID is so brimming with ideas, let's look at ID's flagship journal, Bio-Complexity, and see how many papers were published this year. ID supporters are always complaining about how their groundbreaking word is censored by evil Darwinists. If true (it's not), then in Bio-Complexity they have no grounds for complaints: nearly all of the 32 people listed on the "Editorial Team" are well-known creationists and hence automatically friendly to any submission.

How many papers did Bio-Complexity manage to publish this year? A grand total of four! Why, that's 1/8th of a paper per member of the editorial team. By any measure, this is simply astounding productivity. They can be proud of how much they have added to the world's knowledge!

Looking a little deeper, we see that of these four, only one is labeled as a "research article". Two are "critical reviews" and one is a "critical focus". And of these four stellar contributions, one has 2 out of the 3 authors on the editorial team, two are written by members of the editorial team, leaving only one contribution having no one on the editorial team. And that one is written by Winston Ewert, who is a "senior researcher" at Robert J. Marks II's "evolutionary informatics lab". In other words, with all the ideas that ID supporters are brimming with, they couldn't manage to publish a single article by anyone not on the editorial team or directly associated with the editors.

What happened to the claim that ID creationists stand for ideas? One research article a year is not that impressive. Where are all those ideas Klinghoffer was raving about? Why can't their own flagship journal manage to publish any of them?

As 2015 draws near, don't expect that we will get any answers to these questions. Heck, not even the illustrious Robert J. Marks II can manage to respond to a simple question about information theory.


Gingerbaker said...

The answers to all of your trenchant questions will require copies of the tax returns of the DI and its Valiant Information Warriors.

Ever seen the reported earnings of William Donohue (of the Catholic 'League')? The man is a bloody genius.

lukebarnes said...

Got a favourite "Mind and Cosmos" review?

"A grant total of four!"


Anonymous said...

From the first link:"Of course I know that writers in journals generally don't title their own articles. Customarily that's done by the editor."
I he confusing journals with newspapers?

The Rat said...

"The movement is simply overflowing with ideas!"

Yeah, like a backed up toilet.

Diogenes said...

And as for the one article author who's not on the editorial team, Winston Ewert, of course, got into big trouble with his university because Ewert plagiarized *MOST* of his thesis from the writings of his advisor, Robert J. Marks, and from William Dembski and others. Direct copying and pasting, which apparently was done with Robert J. Marks' knowledge.

So Ewert, the one ID author out of 4 who is not an editor of BIO-Complexity, actually plagiarized most of this thesis from editors of BIO-Complexity. No original ideas there.

Piotr GÄ…siorowski said...

Inbreeding depression will do them in.