GSA and AGU

From: Douglas Wiens <doug@mantle.wustl.edu>
Date: Wed Jan 21 2004 - 10:41:58 EST

Burgy and Karl,

The abstracts for the Geological Society of America (GSA)
   national meeting are reviewed and some are rejected
for poor quality, etc. I remember discussing YEC abstracts with a
secular
colleague several years ago when he was on the program committee. He
decided
(commendably I think) to accept the abstracts, partly to avoid the
charge
of censorship. However, he knew that this might result in the
creationists
touting their "presentations" as somehow conferring legitimacy on the
methods
or results. Indeed, I've seen creationists make this very claim.

On the other hand, I don't think the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
abstracts
are really reviewed, unless this policy has changed in the last couple
of years.
Posters on subjects widely understood to be "crackpot" routinely
appear, and
and sometimes worth a chuckle. For example, I've seen posters from
Velikovsky fans. At one meeting I remember a number of the strange
posters were grouped
together in their own session entitled "Bode's Law and other wonders".
So
its hard to claim that having a poster at AGU confers any sort of
acceptance or
legitimacy.

One possible factor in the generally tolerant approach of the AGU
meetings is that their journals rejected several of the early
plate tectonics papers. This is sometimes cited as a reason to make
scientific
meetings a "marketplace of ideas" .

Doug Wiens
Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis
doug@seismo.wustl.edu

*******************************

Burgy-

I assume you are referring to the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
meeting;
this along with the Geological Society of America (GSA) are the two
major
professional organizations for the earth sciences in the U.S. The
posters at these
meetings are "peer reviewed" or at least reviewed as much as can be
expected
when there are several thousand abstracts for oral and poster
presentations.
As I recall, those abstracts were mostly descriptive of there
"experiment" and
ended with some vague statement that the theory they were supposedly
testing
may need another look.

This seems to be the modus operandi for YEC contributors at GSA and AGU
meetings. Steve Austin and Kurt Wise regularly give talks and posters
at GSA but
they are strictly "scientific" in nature. When Austin describes a
sedimentary
bed covered by ammonite fossils, he makes no mention of the "Flood" as
the
presumed cause of the "mass kill". Nevertheless, YEC's can then say
that they
are publishing with respected organizations. Whether they say that or
not I
can't say; I refuse to waste my time slogging through the drivel they
produce.

Note as well that both AGU and GSA at least have the integrity to
publish
legitimate scientific abstracts by YEC's. The ICR address is routinely
used by
these guys and it would be very easy for reviewers to merely look at the
address at the head of the abstract and reject it.

Karl
***************************
Karl V. Evans
cmekve@aol.com
Received on Thu Jan 29 23:12:12 2004

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