Creationists try to sneak one by publisher Springer

Book by intelligent design proponents upsets scientists | Inside Higher Ed.

Evolutionary biologists were horrified by the news that a scholarly press was going to publish a work in favor of intelligent design. But a spokesman for the publishing house confirmed to Inside Higher Ed Wednesday that the book’s publication is on hold as it is subjected to further peer review.

Springer was unaware the role the editors of the book play in the intelligent design movement, and the publishing house does not “endorse intelligent design as a legitimate area of scientific research. Springer stands behind evolutionary theory as a fundamental component of modern science.”

Glenn Branch, deputy director at the National Center for Science Education, said publications like the one Springer originally approved pose a problem for scientific literacy in the United States. “Once published, they can claim that scientific authority is behind them,” he said. Branch lamented the slipping standards in scholarly publications and lax screening procedures.

Nick Matzke, a Ph.D. student at the Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics at the University of California at Berkeley … said he suspected that intelligent design supporters might have played down what they were actually doing in the book proposal or that Springer staff in charge of approving the book did not have enough expertise in evolutionary biology.

“This falls into a trend that has been going on for the past few years, where creationists/IDists have been exploiting engineering venues to get carefully-phrased versions of their stuff published,” Matzke said.

Tip: @NCSE on Twitter

Another way Intelligent Design proponents try to get one by! They also hold their own “academic conferences”, run field trips at scientific society meetings and cry for academic freedom. All of which are underhanded end runs around a scientific process that they can’t legitimately compete with.

I hope this sends a wake up call to the publishers. It is a real shame that outsiders had to blow the whistle on this one. Be on guard. Stay informed.