Re: Peer review [ was: Re: [asa] Atheist finds God thru Behe's books....]

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Sat Oct 17 2009 - 13:25:50 EDT

On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 12:24 PM, Iain Strachan <>wrote:

> So in conclusion, I am left wondering if many of the ideas presented
> in Richard Dawkins's much-admired books would pass muster under peer
> review.
> Perhaps folks who are more knowledgeable in this area of study can
> comment on this?
> Iain
In a word, no. Take his "meme" idea which is almost directly analogous to
ID. It's an interesting hypothesis which was used to support a agenda --
here trying to explain why so many people are religious -- that has gone
exactly nowhere. The key difference between Dawkins and ID is the general
popularity of him is shall we say, much higher, in the scientific community.
But, scientific achievement is not determined by polls or popularity. A key
step beyond getting a peer reviewed article is replication. Many will
undoubtedly remember the example I gave of Randy's lab exposing Schoen's
fraud in nanotechnology because IBM couldn't replicate Bell Lab's results
which turned out to be doctored. Same with Pond and Fleischmann's cold
fusion fiasco.

Dawkins being as popular as he is in a sense doesn't need peer review to
initiate the replication step. Surely, somebody somewhere could have tried
to replicated his idea. This makes Dawkins' failure even more pointed than
ID's since their "results" have largely been ignored. This is also a reason
why they desperately need a research program and why the failure of Doug Axe
to produce a "friendly" peer-reviewed journal was so disappointing. As an ID
advocate, nobody is going to do it for you, so you will need to prove and
replicate the results yourself.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Sat Oct 17 13:26:22 2009

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