Re: [asa] taking a hiatus

From: Dennis Venema <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 15:03:10 EST

Judging from the table of statistics in the recent issue (see page 13), PSCF rejects plenty of articles. Too bad the rejection count wasn't higher by one.

No journal should feel obliged to publish merely to bulk up its page count - nor do I think PSCF does this, generally.

If being a part of ASA means supporting baseless, unscholarly pro-ID pieces such as Groothuis's, then I will seriously reconsider my membership when it comes due. There are other memberships that I forgo in order to be a part of the ASA. I would be happy to see thoughtful, well-supported scholarly articles on ID in PSCF. For example, I haven't yet read Snoke's paper in the same issue, but based on a cursory scan it seems that he is playing in bounds and might have something interesting to add to the discussion. Bald assertion that ID is science and should be taught in a secular university setting (by a professor of philosophy, no less) doesn't cut it, sorry. It makes the ASA look foolish.


On 05/01/09 11:51 AM, "David Opderbeck" <> wrote:

I think the problem you guys are highlighting is perhaps both a problem with PSCF and a "problem" with the way the ASA is constituted.

PSCF, I gather, is understaffed with volunteers and receives fewer top-quality submissions than is ideal. If you want to remedy this, it seems to me, one productive path would be to submit your own articles and to volunteer as a reviewer. Maybe the journal should only be published twice a year with a blog supplement to increase quality until submissions improve? Maybe it should be made open access without a fixed publication schedule? But there was going to be a sort of post-peer review online discussion forum for published articles which doesn't seem to be materializing.

Still, the ASA is a hybrid TE / ID organization, essentially, I think. You'll probably have to swallow some tripe with your pudding no matter what side you come from.

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 2:39 PM, Nucacids <> wrote:
Hi dennis,

You are right. I was just stepping back to look at the bigger picture.

Of course, peer review is not perfect. It is not uncommon for an author to receive completely different evaluations of the same article from different peer reviewers. I always think of the real peer review happening after publication, not before publication. But maybe that's just me.


Hi Mike,

The issue I have is that Groothius's main points are made by bare assertion, without any supporting documentation from the literature (even pro-ID literature). He carries on his discussion as if there were no wider discussion of his ideas, even though the points he asserts are highly contentious.

The assertion that ID "gives science another tool for empirical investigation" is flawed without supporting examples. The best that can be said is that ID might provide such means in the future, although then it would behoove Groothius to discuss why it has not to date, and rebut why critics say it never will. Bare assertion of a main point essential to the thesis of an article is sloppy scholarship and should not appear in a peer-reviewed journal.


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Received on Mon Jan 5 15:07:00 2009

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