January 30, 2005

Modernist Witch Hunts

Modernist witch hunts, that is to say witch hunts by modernists, seem to be underway at the Smithsonian. I can't believe that a peer reviewed article led to the following questions:
Was the editor who allowed publication a religious fundamentalist
Was the editor who allowed publication a member of a religious organization
Was the editor who allowed publication politically conservative

This is the sort of stuff that scientists should never allow. The Zoology department head who asked this should resign. If you challenge the science, fine. It's either right or wrong, peer review procedures were either followed properly or not. Article subject procedures were either properly followed or not. Certainly junk science published in a peer reviewed journal deserves a firing over the affair. But that's not what happened. What happened was that extraneous subjects were brought into the mix that have no place in judging scientific merit or journal policy.

Now the article itself, I find interesting but not entirely convincing. The problem of there not being enough time can, at least partially, be overcome by positing that fossils are actually much rarer than we think and that the number of mutating creatures was a few orders of magnitude larger than we currently imagine leading up to the Cambrian explosion. Those scientists who believe in evolution could and probably have come up with counters to the objection of not enough time available but they aren't entirely convincing either.

The battle rages on but, please, no witch hunts!

Posted by TMLutas at January 30, 2005 06:52 PM