Springer Press almost suckered by Intelligent Design

Springer’s editors in the field of engineering who aren’t familiar with the star figures of the intelligent design movement appeared ready to put the prestigious Springer stamp on a volume of pseudoscience:

As the National Center for Science Education reports, this one sounds like standard creationist pseudo-science-speak:

The volume in question, entitled Biological Information: New Perspectives, edited by R. J. Marks II, M. J. Behe, W. A. Dembski, B. L. Gordon, and J. C. Sanford, and slated to appear in a series of engineering books dubbed the Intelligent Systems Reference Library, was advertised by Springer as presenting “new perspectives regarding the nature and origin of biological information,” demonstrating “how our traditional ideas about biological information are collapsing under the weight of new evidence,” and written “by leading experts in the field” who had “gathered at Cornell University to discuss their research into the nature and origin of biological information.”

Unfortunately, engineers have a robust history of falling for creationism, and it’s typical for intelligent design ‘theorists’ to attempt to work their way into scientific respectability though venues outside of biology.

From Inside Higher Ed:

Score one for science this week. Evolutionary biologists were horrified by the news that a scholarly press was going to publish a work in favor of intelligent design. But a spokesman for the publishing house confirmed to Inside Higher Ed Wednesday that the book’s publication is on hold as it is subjected to further peer review…

Douglas Theobald, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Brandeis University and a Springer author, and some other colleagues who have been published with the company, are drafting a letter of protest to editors because, Theobald said, they have a vested interest in the quality of books published by Springer. “Our default take on this is that Springer has been duped and that the senior editors are unaware that this is a quack group of anti-evolution creationists,” he said.

NOTE: You should of course read the original blog post on this subject at the Panda’s Thumb. That post title is coincidentally almost identical to mine… I swear I arrived at the word ‘sucker’ independently. It’s an obvious word choice.

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

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