:: Running from the Thought Police ::

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:: Friday, March 18, 2005 ::

Response Research, Part II

::This post is part of the Evolution/ID Correspondence Series::

In his most recent email, Doug the creationist spouts off a list of "Distinguished leaders in their fields" who support Intelligent Design. They are: Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Duane Gish, Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, and Dr. Richard Bliss.

Distinguished scientists all have one thing in common - they are published in peer-reviewed journals, and "distinguished" scientists are usually cited many times in other academic articles. Google recently came out with a wonderful tool that searches all things academic named Google Scholar. The advanced search page allows one to plug in the name of an author and search for it, so I've done that with each of the "distinguished leaders" that Doug provided me. Each name is hyperlinked to the Google Scholar results page for that person's name as an author.

Dr. Henry Morris has a few citations to his name, but there are no peer reviewed journal articles to his name (though, since both "Henry" and "Morris" are common names, a few articles by real scientists in other disciplines pop up in the search results). The only article of his that Google finds isn't peer reviewed and is present on the Creationist site, icr.org, that Doug already directed me to. Looking at icr.org's own bio on him, Dr. Morris has no formal training in biology or chemistry, and has done no work in either field. His articles, at least those to which Doug directed me, reflect this in their nonsense and overlooking of basic facts. In fact, Dr. Morris appears to merely be a master of the Red Herring arguement.

Dr. Duane Gish fares even worse. The only article Google can find that he authored is on the icr.org site. Not only that, but Google also finds a well-written takedown of nearly everything that Gish has written (that I heavily suggest that Doug read). Returning, reluctantly, to icr.org, Dr. Gish's bio includes work on Tobacco Mosaic Virus back in the 1950s, and some other work ending in the 1970s. While more qualified by training than Dr. Morris, his documented academic dishonesty in persuing creationism/ID destroys any credibility he may have once had. The scientific community doesn't tolerate lying very well.

Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo does a bit better for himself than Gish. Nobody in recent history cites Mastropaolo, but besides the apparently obligatory mention on icr.org's webiste he also has an article in the "Creation Research Society Quarterly" (online as PDF in a California library) that suffers from the fallacy argumentum ad ignorantium, in that he fails to take into account the proteins evolved by many different bacteria to provide for antibiotic resistance. His icr.org bio lists a number of accomplishments, (and that he did some of his studies at the UofI) but he hasn't published in a peer-reviewed journal since 1992. Other than some maximum-stress stuff (which is outside my field and I don't pretend to understand), the rest of his recent, non-peer reviewed work appears to be outside his range of expertise. I am not impressed.

Dr. Richard Bliss has one citation in the year that he died and no peer-reviewed articles. The google search did turn up a website that commented on Bliss' doctorate having come from a diploma mill. Not even icr.org has him on their list of "creation scientists." Hmmm, scratch him off our list...

Well, that exhausts the list Doug supplied me; but, just for kicks, I'll plug in the author of the article Doug sent me to in his previous email.

Dr. David Rosevear doesn't even show up on google's scholar search. No citations, no articles, nothing. I'm less than impressed.
Doug asked me if I'd read or even heard of these men. I hadn't, and for good reason - their work, that of it which actually might be called science, has yet to stand up to peer review. That anyone takes these men seriously at all is very sad indeed.

:: The Squire 1:15 AM :: email this post :: ::


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