No debate sobre Design Inteligente, Barbara Forrest levou chumbo dos editores do Synthese

sábado, maio 14, 2011

Debate Over Intelligent Design Ensnares a Journal


Published: May 13, 2011

According to one cynical view, academic disputes are so vicious only because the stakes are so low. Yet as the editors of Synthese, a leading philosophy journal, can tell you, what they publish matters: in debates over Christianity, the teaching of evolution, and American politics.

This story began in March 2009, when a special issue of Synthese was published online, titled “Evolution and Its Rivals.”

Barbara Forrest

It was guest-edited by Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, and James H. Fetzer, a former editor of the journal. They included an essay by Barbara Forrest, of Southeastern Louisiana University, condemning the work of the philosopher Francis J. Beckwith, who believes it is constitutionally permissible, although not advisable, to teach intelligent design in public schools.

But Dr. Beckwith says he is no ally of the intelligent design movement, whose mainly Christian proponents argue that certain features of the universe are best explained by a “designer,” perhaps a god or deity, rather than by natural selection or other scientific theories.

In her essay, Dr. Forrest, known for her opposition to intelligent design, argued that Dr. Beckwith made many of intelligent design’s conceptual mistakes, and “presents I.D. exactly as I.D. leaders do.”

In language some would later criticize as unfit for a scholarly journal, Dr. Forrest also questioned Dr. Beckwith’s qualifications, writing that he takes positions on church/state issues but has “no formal credentials as a constitutional scholar.” She suggested connections between Dr. Beckwith and intelligent design theorists and the marginal, far-right Christian Reconstructionists, who believe that a theocracy under Old Testament law is the best form of government.

In January, two years after the Synthese issue went online, the print version finally appeared — containing an addition, an unusual statement from the journal’s main editors (not the guest editors). In it, they commented on the tone of the issue, a move that appeared to undermine Dr. Forrest and the guest editors who had solicited her piece.

“We have observed,” begins the note from Johan van Benthem, Vincent F. Hendricks and John F. Symons, the journal’s editors, “that some of the papers in this issue employ a tone that may make it hard to distinguish between dispassionate intellectual discussion of other views and disqualification of a targeted author or group.”

The editors refer to “some of the papers,” but many concluded that it was Dr. Forrest’s critique of Dr. Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University, that made them uncomfortable.

So what happened, in the two years between the article’s appearance online and in print, to give the editors pause?

Dr. Forrest has said that after the online publication the editors asked if she would soften her tone, but she said no, then heard nothing more. Some wondered if, in the lag between online and print publication, the intelligent design community had pressured the editors to apologize.

Glen Branch

Last month, the philosopher Brian Leiter published on his blog a letter from Mr. Branch and Dr. Fetzer, the guest editors, who angrily wrote that they had not been consulted about the unusual statement in the print edition.

“We are both shocked and chagrined,” they write, “that a journal of Synthese’s stature should have sunk so low as to violate the canons of responsible editorial practice as the result of lobbying by a handful of ideologues.”

Dr. Leiter titled his blog post “Synthese Editors Cave in to Pressure from the Intelligent Design Lobby: Philosophers Should Boycott Synthese.” The next week he linked to a petition demanding that Synthese’s editors “disclose the nature of complaints and/or legal threats from Francis Beckwith, his supporters, and supporters of intelligent design” that they received after publishing the special issue.

In an interview Thursday, Dr. van Benthem said he and his co-editors had “received some messages that could be interpreted as legal threats,” but not from Christian philosophers. He added that another article in the issue concerned them in addition to Dr. Forrest’s and moreover that their statement was an endorsement of civility, not intelligent design.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: The New York Times



A atitude ética dos editores do Synthese não permite mais que eu afirme aqui neste blog - Quando a questão é Darwin é tutti cosa nostra, capice? Estes cientistas honestos e éticos deram um puxão de orelhas nesta turma de cientistas desonestos que agora vai pensar cum grano salis antes de escrever qualquer coisa contra a teoria do Design Inteligente, de seus proponentes e daqueles que nem defendem a teoria na sua plausibilidade científica.

Barbara Forrest et caterva foram apanhados com a mão na botija, mas editores honestos não resistiram com a falta de ética e nível primário de artigos ali publicados. Vão caçar sapos calçados de botas no lago de Down, se é que tem lago lá...

Senhores editores da Synthese, valeu a lição de ética dado nessa turma sem-vergonha, pois hoje ética em ciência parece ser artigo de luxo e pouco encontrado na Akademia.