Answers in Genesis, the folks who brought us the Creation Museum, just launched a “professional, peer-reviewed technical journal,” Answers Research Journal. Because after all, peer-reviewed journals are where real scientists publish their work, right? Splendid. Let’s pop inside and take a peek at how peer review works for creationists!
Here is the publication’s own description of the review process, from their Instructions to Authors [PDF]:
VIII. Paper Review Process
The following criteria will be used in judging papers:
- Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
- Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
- Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
- If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
- If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
- Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture?
Remark: The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith.
In other words, they’ll happily publish your paper, just as long as it sticks to their script and doesn’t rock the ark with any pesky details like evidence to the contrary!
Now, it’s not exactly Earth-shattering news that a creation “science” “journal” has to do some serious cherry-picking to fill its pages. But personally, I’m pleasantly shocked to find that they’re so darn transparent about it. They’ve helpfully explained in a neatly-ordered list that they’re only interested in hearing news that confirms what they already believe. Of course this kind of tunnel vision exists, but you’d think they would do their best to cover it up in public. Instead, it’s all nicely laid out as editorial policy. Thanks, AiG!
Contrast the criteria above with the guidelines for peer review at highly-respected journals like Science (where the rules begin with “reviews should be objective evaluations of the research,”) or Nature (where the first priority for a paper is that it “provides strong evidence for its conclusions”).
The editors of Answers might benefit from a reading of the nifty booklet on “Science, Evolution and Creationism” recently published by the National Academy of Sciences, which includes a handy section on How Science Works. One of the core ideas is: “Explanations are altered or sometimes rejected when compelling contradictory evidence comes to light.” I’m not sure how to politely describe the activities of a so-called “journal” whose policy is to sweep inconvenient evidence under the rug, but it sure ain’t science.
Mouse-nod to Nature News for noting the publication launch.
And a one-day-belated Happy Darwin Day to all!