email - December 2008

The Conspiracy

Aaron wonders how such an evolutionary conspiracy could exist.

Ben Stein’s movie and Jerry Bergman’s book both imply a massive global conspiracy to keep the public in the dark about the fallacies of the theory of evolution. Aaron is skeptical.

Subject: Evolution and peer review
From: Aaron
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008

Hello Mr. Pogge,

I am constantly thinking about the evolution debate, and although it may not be solved in my lifetime, I just can’t stop thinking about it. Granted I am no biologist, but my current belief (based on an evaluation of all the facts) is that everything you say is correct. Lately, I have been bothered by the apparent lack of peer-reviewed articles in favor of intelligent design, or ones that cast doubt on the idea of life forming unguided, or cast doubt on macroevolution.

From reading your pages it would seem like a huge conspiracy exists that prevents any peer-reviewed literature against evolution to be published. But, I wonder how this can be so difficult, unless either (a) a worldwide conspiracy actually does exist, or (b) science is actually in favor of evolution. Maybe I don’t understand the peer-review process. What if somebody kept them short, and included some of the facts that you list on your pages, ones that nobody could possibly refute. Start small, with brief snippets of facts. Then, peer-reviewed articles will exist, and then maybe more scientists will be free to “come out of the closet” against evolution.

How hard could it be to make a couple peer reviewed articles that say stuff like:

“Life has never been witnessed to appear spontaneously, therefore it is a perfectly within the reasonable realm of science to doubt that life arose by natural causes.” And leave it at that; send it out for peer review. Again, I am sure I am showing my ignorance in the peer review process.

Or what about another one liner:

“Some mathematicians calculated the odds of the human brain forming by natural causes over time to be 100 trillion to 1.” I don’t have the exact numbers or anything, just an example, can’t a mathematician/biologist out there come up with something like this?

Can’t something be done to get a few “peer-reviewed” articles out there so that people who doubt evolution can at least cite some “peer reviewed” articles during debates?

Thanks again, love your site!

Aaron

Herd Mentality

It isn’t really a conspiracy. It is simply herd mentality. The longer an individual remains in an academic environment, the less capable that individual is of independent thought. The only way to succeed in academia is to be part of the Good Old Boy Network.

Engineers who work in the real world have a different view of truth than professors who live in the ivory tower of academia.

Suppose ten engineers say that a bridge design is sound, but one engineer disagrees. They build the bridge, and it falls down. The one engineer who recognized the design flaw was right. If the bridge stands, then the lone engineer who said it wouldn’t work was wrong. Truth is based on experimental reality.

In the academic world, truth is determined by consensus. If ten professors say one thing, and one professor disagrees, the one who disagrees is wrong by definition. That’s why nobody wants to hold the minority opinion.

Peer-Reviewed Journals

There is also a difference between peer-reviewed journals and independently published magazines. Anybody with enough money can publish a magazine devoted to any topic. If you are Oprah Winfrey, you can even put your own picture on the cover of every issue. But peer-reviewed journals have to be published by some sort of recognized academic group, so there aren’t many of them. The big three peer-reviewed journals are Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), and Nature. There are also some very narrowly focused journals, too. For example, the same people who publish Nature also publish Nature Biotechnology, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Chemistry, and other similar specific journals.

There are also some lesser journals. One of those is the one published by the Smithsonian Institute, which nobody heard of until Richard Sternberg published an article on Intelligent Design in it, and got fired for doing so. We documented his troubles in previous newsletters, 1 and Ben Stein featured him in his movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) publishes the journal, Science. As a member of the AAAS, every year I get to vote to determine which one of the three nominated evolutionists will be president of the AAAS. Every time I vote I hum, “Back in the U.S.S.R.”. The Good Old Boy Network decides who will be on the ballot. I really have no choice.

The point is, there aren’t that many peer-reviewed journals, and their editorial boards are controlled by an elite inner circle of people. We aren’t talking about a great number of people. It isn’t a vast conspiracy. It is just a few people who have spent so much time in an academic environment isolated from reality that they have all acquired the same ideas.

The Evil Internet

Prior to the invention of the Internet, these people had a monopoly on information distribution. What has driven these people into a panic the last few years is the fact that people they can’t control now have access to an information distribution system. They can’t censor opposing opinions. If the opposing opinion becomes the majority opinion, then it becomes consensus. That makes it true by definition, making them wrong.

The rejection of evolution eventually (after a long fight) is going to become the majority opinion because it is more consistent with scientific fact. To stall off the inevitable, they have to keep denying the facts. That’s why any criticism of evolution has to be kept out of biology textbooks. That’s why court decisions have to be obtained to prevent any discussion of evolution in the biology classrooms. That’s why teachers who permit open discussion of the theory of evolution have to be punished. Evolutionists are afraid of the truth.

Other Scientific Journals

There are other excellent scientific journals that evolutionists pretend don’t exist. The Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 2 has been published continuously since 1964. Answers in Genesis publishes the on-line Answers Research Journal (ARJ). 3 Both are professional, peer-reviewed technical journals for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent creation and the global flood within a Biblical framework.

From an evolutionist’s perspective, however, these aren’t “real” peer-reviewed journals published by “real” scientists. “Real” scientists don’t doubt evolution, and since these people reject evolution, they cannot (by definition) be “real” scientists.

The Purpose of Journals

There are two main reasons why people write education articles. One is that there is a satisfaction that comes from helping other people. Writing an article about a technical subject that helps other people make a technical advancement for the good of humanity is very satisfying. That’s a very powerful motivation, especially for teachers, because people certainly don’t become teachers for the money!

The second reason is for the money. Despite what we just said about teachers not being motivated by money, teachers do need money to survive.

The magazines that you buy on the newsstands pay by the page, but not very much. The prestigious journals don’t pay anything at all. Despite that, professors must, as the saying goes, “Publish or perish!” Professors have to publish articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals in order to prove their intelligence and the value of their research in order to get funding for further research. So, despite the fact that publishing an article may not result in any immediate financial reward, publishing indirectly results in income. You can be a great teacher, loved by all your students, but if you don’t publish any papers that result in research grants to your university, you will probably get fired.

An article that directly attacks the theory of evolution isn’t going to get published in one of the accepted peer-reviewed journals, regardless of its technical merits. Such an article would directly contradict the credibility of the elite group of editors who believe in the theory of evolution. If the editors lose their credibility, they lose their research grants.

How to Publish The Truth

You may wonder why we are able to find so much information in the approved scientific journals that refutes the theory of evolution. The answer is that the authors always present the information very tactfully. The articles are always presented as possible solutions to a well-known problems with the theory of evolution.

For example, unselfish, altruistic behavior is totally incompatible with the theory of evolution. But people do, from time to time, perform unselfish acts. This needs to be explained. So, authors write papers attempting to suggest that one can really be selfish by being unselfish. Usually the article admits that their answer doesn’t really work; but they claim they are on the right track, and with just a little bit more funding, they will solve the problem!

This has been a long, drawn-out explanation to Aaron’s question why peer-reviewed journals never publish anything like, “Life has never been witnessed to appear spontaneously, therefore it is perfectly within the reasonable realm of science to doubt that life arose by natural causes.” Articles like that don’t lead to research grants, so they will never be published.

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Footnotes:

1 Disclosure, October 2004, “Driving a Stake into the Heart of Evolution”,
Disclosure, February 2005, “Retaliation”,
Disclosure, November 2005, “Conspiracy Proof
2 http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq.html
3 http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj