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Creationists are prevented from publishing in science journals (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Creationists are prevented from publishing in science journals (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CA325:

Creationists are prevented from publishing in science journals

Source: Morris, Henry M. Bigotry in science (#114, June of 1998)

CreationWiki response:

The wording of this claim is a straw man. Morris clearly states that creationists do publish in journals and even builds a brief case for it. A more accurate claim is "Creationists are prevented from publishing articles with open creationist conclusions."

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1: The priorities of creationism are politics and religious evangelism. Science is not very important to creationists in the first place.

There is no doubt that some creationists do have politics and religious evangelism as their highest priorities, but for the most part creationists are open minded and their goal is to search for the truth and this truth is consistent with young earth creationism.

Also, almost all the founders of modern science were creationists. Examples include Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and Louis Pasteur.

The main reason that they do not get published in reputable science journals is that they do not try to publish there.

There are several mechanisms that cut back the amount of creation science articles. Let us look at a few:

A) Papers that have open creation conclusions are often accused of pseudo-science just because of their conclusion. Creationists must remove any references to creation before they get published. Once this is taken into mind it is hard to tell what is written by a creationist and what is not.

B) Many creationists might lose their job if they publish openly, their creationistic conclusions. Dr. Jerry Bergman has documented hundreds of cases of teachers, genuine scientists, and others being abused for their belief in Scientific Creationism/Intelligent design or scepticism of evolution. Some teachers have been fired just for teaching the two model approach. Around 12 percent of those interviewed received death threats because of their views.

  • Jerry Bergman: The Criterion (Onesimus publishers, 1984)
  • Jerry Bergman: Slaughter of the Dissidents (Leafcutter Press, 2008)
In a survey of editors of sixty-eight journals, only eighteen out of an estimated 135,000 submissions were found that could be described as advocating creationism (Scott and Cole 1985).

The main problem with this survey is simply that it missed articles like the Basic Functional States in the Evolution of Light-driven Cyclic Electron Transport in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, 104 [1983]: 289-299.

Also, they did not consider articles that did not openly support creationism, so there is no real way to know for sure how many creationist articles were published during those brief few years.

  • RAE For more information.

Furthermore, from 1968 to the present, Dr. D. Russell Humphreys about 30 published articles in mainstream technical journals and Dr. Herrmann has had around 70 abstracts published by the American Mathematical Society.

This is merely two people, yet there are many more creationists publishing. The number of papers published by creationists would have to be in the thousands.

In the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education creationism trial, the creationists complained to the judge that the scientific journals refused to consider their articles, but they were unable to produce any articles that had been refused publication.

Talk.Origins leaves out that the attorney in charge of the case chose to do the case without help from ICR and others. Some think the attorney threw away the case to protect his future.

Also, one great example is that made by Robert Gentry. When he tried to get his work into Nature (which he did in his later years, after toning down the creationist conclusion) it was rejected because of "wild speculation," and it was "unworthy of publication."

One of the judges even told him that he, Gentry, would have a better chance to get his work published if he removed the “absurd” conclusions.

  • Halos For more information.
2: Creationists are free to publish in other venues, such as books and their own journals. These venues are as reputable as their authors and editors. Note that Darwin's major works were published in books.

Talk.Origin isn't getting the point. Any informed creationist will tell you that many evolutionists claim that since creationists do not publish in secular journals, creationism is a pseudo-science. This claim, that creationists are prevented from publishing in journals, is very intolerant, and shuts down needed debate and questions to which evolution assumes the answers.

Many critics argue that if a paper is published in a creationist journal, it is pseudo-science. This is completely bogus. The main objection they use, to pin creationism as being pseudo-science, is that God, or the supernatural, created life and natural laws to sustain it cannot be observed or tested, therefore it is not science. This is equally just as unobservable, and untestable (i.e., pseudo-science) an assumption as evolutionism, which assumes that completely natural mechanisms, such as abiogenesis, created life, and natural laws to sustain it.

3: Creationists do get published in reputable peer-reviewed science journals when they do real science. For example:

Steven A. Austin, Gordon W. Franz, and Eric G. Frost, "Amos's Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C." (International Geology Review 42: 657, 2000)

Leonard Brand on the Flood deposition interpretation of Coconino Sandstone (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 28: 25-38, 1979; Geology 19: 1201-1204, 1991; Journal of Paleontology 70: 1004-1011, 1996)

Harold G. Coffin on deposition environments of fossil trees (Journal of Paleontology 50: 539-543, 1976; Geology 11: 298-299, 1983)

Robert Gentry on polonium haloes (American Journal of Physics, Proceedings 33: 878A, 1965; Science 184: 62-64, 1974; Science 194: 315-318, 1976)

Grant Lambert on DNA error rates (Journal of Theoretical Biology 107: 387-403, 1984)

Jan Peckzis on mass estimates of dinosaurs (Journal of Theoretical Biology 132: 509-510, 1988; Journal of Paleontology 63: 947-950, 1989; Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 14: 520-533, 1995)

Sigfried Scherer on ducks as a single kind (Journal für Ornithologie 123: 357-380, 1982; Zeitschrift für zoologische Systematik und Evolutionsforschung 24: 1-19, 1986)

In addition, many creationists have published science articles not related to creationism.

A: All these articles have had their creationist conclusions toned down, but it is nice that TO admits that creationists do publish in journals (even if the conclusions are toned down).

B: The wording of the claim is wrong. It should be "Creationists are prevented from publishing articles with openly creationist conclusions in journals." Once this is taken into mind, the number shrinks.

4: Scientists themselves are prevented from publishing in peer-reviewed journals when their science is not up to par. The peer-review process prevents lots of substandard work from being published, even from noncreationists such as myself. (The process, of course, is imperfect and produces a substantial borderline area, so some fairly good articles get rejected and some fairly poor ones get accepted. On the whole, however, it keeps quality up.) Creationists face no obstacles that mainstream scientists do not face themselves.

Except creationists must tone down their conclusions. As cited earlier, Gentry got one of his papers rejected just because of his creationist conclusion (though later papers made it, after he altered the conclusion).

5: Creationists prevent others from publishing critical views in creationist journals. Glenn Morton, for example, has had papers rejected by the Creation Research Society Quarterly for violating their view that the Flood must be global and for criticizing Carl Froede's poor geology (Morton 1998).

This is just one example. They fail to mention the reason WHY the paper was rejected and there are many journals out there that were created for the purpose to debunk creationism.

See Also