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Encyclopedia > Sternberg peer review controversy

Sternberg peer review controversy arose out of a conflict over whether an article published in a scientific journal that supported of the controversial concept of Intelligent Design was properly peer reviewed. Look up Controversy on Wiktionary, the free dictionary A controversy is a contentious dispute, a disagreement in opinions over which parties are actively arguing. ... Intelligent Design (ID) is the controversial assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection. In making this claim its proponents are taking the philosophical...

On 4 August 2004, an article by Stephen C. Meyer, Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture appeared in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington [1]. August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Stephen C. Meyer is an American philosopher of science and theologian. ...

A critical review of the article found it to contain poor scholarship, in that it failed to cite and specifically rebut the actual data supporting evolution, and [constructed] "a rhetorical edifice out of omission of relevant facts, selective quoting, bad analogies, knocking down strawmen, and tendentious interpretations." [2]

On 7 September, the publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement repudiating the article as not meeting its scientific standards and not peer reviewed [3]. The same statement vowed that proper review procedures would be followed in the future and endorsed a resolution published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting Intelligent Design [4]. The journal's reasons for disavowing the article was denied by Richard Sternberg, who was managing editor at the time the article was submitted and subsequently left the editorial board at its time of publication [5]. September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... Dr Richard M. von Sternberg is an American scientist. ...

Critics of Meyer's paper believe that Sternberg himself was biased in the matter, since he is a member of the editorial board of the Baraminology Study Group, an organization with a creationist agenda. The Baraminology Study Group's official position is that Sternberg is not a creationist and acts primarily as a skeptical reviewer [6]. As part of a subsequent labor claim, Sternberg claims that he was "targeted for retaliation and harassment" and cites a letter by the United States Office of Special Counsel as supporting his version of events [7]. Critics have called into question this claim, asserting that the Office of Special Counsel lacked jurisdiction over the matter, that the Smithsonian was never given a chance to respond, and that no official findings or conclusions were made by the Office of Special Counsel [8]. In creation biology, created kinds are believed to be the original forms of life as they were created by God. ... The United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is a permanent independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency whose basic legislative authority come from three federal statutes, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Hatch Act. ...

External links

  • Intelligent Design and Academic Freedom An overview of the Sternberg controversy by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, at NPR

  Results from FactBites:
Nat' Academies Press, Strengthening Peer Review in Federal Agencies That Support Education Research (2004) (5311 words)
Peer review in the federal government is a tool by which agency goals are accomplished and therefore can only be developed, evaluated, and understood as...
Peer review of education research proposals in federal agencies could be improved in a number of ways....
Peer review of education research proposals also ought to be designed to support the development of the field of education research.
wais:SCIENCE: The branding of a heretic January 2005 (1822 words)
Sternberg's editorship has since expired, as it was scheduled to anyway, but his future as a researcher is in jeopardy -- and that he had not planned on at all.
Sternberg was also assigned to the close oversight of a curator with whom he had professional disagreements unrelated to evolution.
Peer review and professional science exist to enforce the box and to encourage orthodoxy and purity of thought; responsibilities that were reserved for the Church in times past.
  More results at FactBites »



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