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Notification from PLOS Staff

Posted by PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 18:56 GMT

A number of readers have concerns about sentences in the article that make references to a 'Creator'. The PLOS ONE editors apologize that this language was not addressed internally or by the Academic Editor during the evaluation of the manuscript. We are looking into the concerns raised about the article with priority and will take steps to correct the published record.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

thermalecology replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 20:29 GMT

The article should be retracted and the handling editor should be dismissed. As an Editor for this journal, I am appalled.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

sathya1 replied to thermalecology on 02 Mar 2016 at 20:55 GMT

If the experimental results are solid, then the authors should be given an opportunity to remove the questionable statements and Republish with an erratum. The creationist conclusion does not appear to be critical to the interpretation of the study.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

RicardSol replied to sathya1 on 02 Mar 2016 at 21:18 GMT

I think that pretending to defend a creationist argument (non-science) in a science journal raises serious doubts about the whole enterprise. The paper should be retracted. As a PLOS ONE editor I believe accepting this situation would seriously damage our credibility.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo replied to RicardSol on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:11 GMT

on what basis can you claim that a creationist argument is not scientific ? Please explain.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

autranep replied to Otangelo on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:08 GMT

The a priori assumption of the existence of a creator is pretty boldly unscientific. More importantly, it's not relevant to the paper and the tacit acceptance of something like creationism in a peer-reviewed scientific paper gives the misleading appearance of scientific consensus or fact. Furthermore, normative phrases like "... should indicate the mystery of the Creator?s invention" are a step above proclaiming miracles and have no place in academia. The existence of this terminology in a published article should be DEEPLY embarrassing to this journal.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to autranep on 04 Mar 2016 at 01:12 GMT

The a priori assumption of the existence of a creator is pretty boldly unscientific. ///

And on what basis is the a priori assumption that evolution is true in almost all biology literature scientific ?

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

alberts replied to Otangelo1 on 04 Mar 2016 at 08:53 GMT

The issue is not whether the assumption of a divine creator is a priori. The issue is whether the conclusion that the data support the existence of a creator could ever be disproved. I don't see how one could ever marshall scientific evidence to disprove the existence of a creator. This is what makes it unscientific.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to alberts on 04 Mar 2016 at 15:47 GMT

The proposition of intelligent design is that intelligence is the best explanation as causal agent and origin of cosmological, physical,chemical, biological, and ecological systems observed in the natural world. As a scientific theory, ID predictions can and have been tested :

Confirmation of intelligent design predictions

http://reasonandscience.h...

So your objection is entirely moot.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

clausmixa replied to Otangelo on 05 Mar 2016 at 04:53 GMT

"on what basis can you claim that a creationist argument is not scientific ? Please explain."

Very easy in this case. The authors' "argument" that the architecture of the human hand indicates the "proper design by the creator" is no argument, but just a claim. The authors do neither provide evidence for the existence of any kind of creator - prerequisite to the claim that a creator is responsible for the human hand architecture - nor do they prove the actual involvement of a creator in hand design.

Therefore, it is no scientific argument, but just an unscientific claim.




No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

pcorgo replied to Otangelo on 05 Mar 2016 at 20:18 GMT

Otangelo Grasso is a Brazilian creationist. He is not a scientist but a real estate agent. His knowledge about science is the same which my dog has. Simply ignore this person.

Competing interests declared: I am a scientist and Otangelo is not.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to pcorgo on 05 Mar 2016 at 21:06 GMT

Paulo Henrique
i am not brazilian. I am Swiss/italian, living in brazil.
Secondly, what i am, and my education, is as matter of fact, irrelevant .
Third , if you wish to make a point , how about starting , answering this :

Why is there no outrageous reaction, when mainstream scientific papers about origins in their abstract take natural mechanisms, in special evolution, a priori, as a granted fact ? When however as shown in the paper in question the authors mention a Creator, and take his creative power as a fact, a outrageous crowd starts a shitstorm, and the uncommon event takes it even to be mentioned in the mainstream press, as brazilan veja, german Der Spiegel, and probably many other papers ?

Why the double standard ?

From a article i wrote recently:

http://reasonandscience.h...

Jeff Dodick writes: 7

Despite the still-regnant concept of science proceeding by a monolithic ?Scientific Method?, philosophers and historians of science are increasingly recognizing that the scientific methodologies of the historical sciences (e.g., geology, paleontology) differ fundamentally from those of the experimental sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry). This new understanding promises to aid education, where currently students are usually limited to the dominant paradigm of the experimental sciences, with little chance to experience the unique retrospective logic of the historical sciences. A clear understanding of these methodological differences and how they are expressed in the practice of the earth sciences is thus essential to developing effective educational curricula that cover the diversity of scientific methods.

And Ann Gauger uses the same line of reasoning, when she writes:

Defenders of methodological naturalism often invoke definitional or "demarcation criteria" that say that all science must be observable, testable, falsifiable, predictive, and repeatable. Most philosophers of science now dismiss these criteria because there are too many exceptions to the rules they establish in the actual practice of science. Not all science involves observable entities or repeatable phenomena, for example --you can't watch all causes at work or witness all events happen again and again, yet you can still make inferences about what caused unique or singular events based on the evidence available to you. Historical sciences such as archeology, geology, forensics, and evolutionary biology all infer causal events in the past to explain the occurrence of other events or to explain the evidence we have left behind in the present. For such inference to work, the cause invoked must now be known to produce the effect in question. It's no good proposing flying squirrels as the cause of the Grand Canyon, or a silt deposit as the cause of the Pyramids. Squirrels don't dig giant canyons or even small ones, and silt doesn't move heavy stone blocks into an ordered three-dimensional array. However, we know from our experience that erosion by running water can and does produce gullies, then arroyos, and by extension, canyons. We know that intelligent agents have the necessary design capabilities to envision and build a pyramid. No natural force does. These are inferences based on our present knowledge of cause and effect or "causes now in operation." The theory of intelligent design also qualifies as historical science. We cannot directly observe the cause of the origin of life or repeat the events we study in the history of life, but we can infer what cause is most likely to be responsible, as Stephen Meyer likes to say, "from our repeated and uniform experience." In our experience the only thing capable of causing the origin of digital code or functional information or causal circularity is intelligence and we know that the origin of life and the origin of animal life, for example, required the production of just such things in living systems. Even though other demarcation criteria for distinguishing science from non-science are no longer considered normative for all branches of science, it is worth checking to see how well intelligent design fares using criteria that are relevant for an historical science. Briefly, although the designing agent posited by the theory of intelligent design is not directly observable (as most causal entities posited by historical scientists are not), the theory is testable and makes many discriminating predictions. Steve Meyer's book Signature in the Cell, Chapters 18 and 19 and Appendix A, discusses this thoroughly. 8

We can detect and make a distinction between the patterns and effects of a mind , and compare to the effects of natural causal agencies , physical and chemical reactions and interactions, and draw conclusions upon the results. Thats where ID kicks in, detecting design patterns, and test what is observed in the natural world, to see if they have signs of a intelligent causal agency, and compare the evidence with the efficiency of natural causes, to then, at the end, infer which explanation makes most sense, and fits best the evidence. So intelligent design does not try to test or to detect or to identify the designer, nor try to detect and test the action of creation, and neither is that required to detect design and infer it as the best explanation of origins, but examine the natural effects , and upon the results, draw inferences that can provide conclusions of the best explanation model for the most probable origin and cause of the physical parts. So the mere fact that a supernatural agent and its action cannot be scrutinized and observed directly and scientifically, does not disqualify ID as a scientific theory.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

ErikThuesen replied to thermalecology on 03 Mar 2016 at 20:18 GMT

As an Editor for PLOS ONE, I agree.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Fishnet replied to thermalecology on 04 Mar 2016 at 16:13 GMT

Has Rezhi Hang been terminated?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

MenneratA replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 20:49 GMT

This is about more than adressing the language.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Fishnet replied to MenneratA on 04 Mar 2016 at 16:25 GMT

Great brings back confidences in PLOS. Is he still working for Thanks.
Has Ohio State University Medical Center where he works been notified of his termination and reasons. Approving this would jeopardize all his research. Ah no I haven't read any to find references to the 'creator'!

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

DanteChialvo replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 21:43 GMT

As a PLOS editor I am used to the relentless emails from Plos staff including all kinds or reminders. In this case I am ashamed that the journal staff, the editor responsable for the paper, the reviewers, all ignored this more than obvious red flag resulting on a creationist argument embedded on a scientific paper. I will consider resigning unless exemplary actions are taken by Plos.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo replied to DanteChialvo on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:13 GMT

what is your parameter and delimiting line to what is and should be considered a scientific inference, and what not? please explain.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

alberts replied to Otangelo on 04 Mar 2016 at 08:59 GMT

An inference is scientific if one can conceivably marshall evidence to disprove it. The goal of science is to develop a natural explanation for the natural world, without reliance on supernatural forces. I can't imagine any evidence that could disprove the existence of a creator, which is by definition a supernatural force, not investigable by scientific methods. This is what makes invoking a creator a non-scientific enterprise.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

rubenaizprua replied to alberts on 04 Mar 2016 at 13:28 GMT

The goal of science is to develop a natural explanation for the natural world, without reliance on supernatural forces//

If there are evidences that science can not explain? Exist evidences that are not investigable by scientific methods in the Evolution Theory, and so? Why tey are accepting by the scientific community?

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to alberts on 04 Mar 2016 at 15:53 GMT

Alberts, thanks for your answer. So then, ID qualifies perfectly as a scientific theory based on the fact that its claims and predictions can be scientifically tested, and HAVE been tested. I remind that Minnich testified at the Dover trial when asked by judge Jones with following:

During this testimony, Scott Minnich showed slides in the courtroom documenting his own research experiments, which performed knockout experiments upon the flagellum, and found that the flagellum is irreducibly complex. Minnich produced relevant experimental data which confirmed a prediction made by intelligent design, and he used this research to support intelligent design in the courtroom.

http://reasonandscience.h...

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

throckmorton replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 22:29 GMT

As others have noted, utilization of an intelligent design creationism framework for explaining human anatomy is not acceptable for a scientific journal. That said, there are multiple other issues with this paper.
First, it is trite. It offers no original results, and no novel insight into the anatomy and functional biomechanics of the human hand. The authors appear to have confirmed already well-understood manual function by having subjects put their hands in motion-tracking gloves.
Second, its treatment of anatomy is not professional-grade. The discussion in particular is nothing more than a summary of how the human thumb is largely decoupled from the lesser digits in function, and how the IPJs are more constrained, functionally, than the MCPJs. These observations are covered in any standard undergraduate level textbook. Referring to the human hand as ?superior? to the hands of other animals belies a fundamental misunderstanding of comparative functional anatomy. Human hands are not superior compared to dolphins? ?hands? if the primary function is as a paddle for swimming. Again this speaks to the authors? usage of an intelligent design creationism framework rather than evolutionary theory.
Third, references to non-human animals are not professional, and not accurate. ?Barbary ape? is a colloquial term for the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus). This is a monkey, and not an ape as the authors state in Figure S4?s title and summary.
This paper should be retracted from publication by PLoS ONE not only because it isn?t scientific, but also because it isn?t substantive, and its attempts at science are not up to PLoS ONE?s professional standards.
I hope PLoS ONE will also provide better training to this editor and review other publications he/she previously edited.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

TWorthy-428 replied to throckmorton on 02 Mar 2016 at 23:34 GMT

I agree with all the responses above, except that by PLOS One. There is such a thing as a version of record in publishing and this article is already that. Publishers cannot just change a paper after this has occurred. Yet PLOS ONE says 'We are looking into the concerns raised about the article with priority and will take steps to correct the published record.' This would set a wholly unacceptable precedent where instead of having a publication one would have a morphing entity - so defeating the basis of publication, which is to make a record. Plos One has only one option and that is to accept the failure of their process and retract the paper.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo replied to throckmorton on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:14 GMT

On what ground can you argue that intelligent design is not a valid scientific inference ? please explain.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

alberts replied to Otangelo on 04 Mar 2016 at 09:02 GMT

An inference is scientific if one can conceivably marshall evidence to disprove it. I can't imagine any evidence that could disprove the existence of a creator. This is what makes invoking a creator a non-scientific enterprise. The goal of science is to ask, is there a natural explanation for the natural world, without reliance on supernatural forces? A creator, which is by definition a supernatural force, not investigable by scientific methods. This is what makes invoking a creator a non-scientific enterprise.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to throckmorton on 04 Mar 2016 at 01:17 GMT

As others have noted, utilization of an intelligent design creationism framework for explaining human anatomy is not acceptable for a scientific journal.//

First of all : You mix up and use on the same line creationism and ID, as if they were the same. They are not. Secondly, why is infer intelligent design as the best explanation not acceptible in a scientific journal ? Please explain. What is unscientific to infer that intelligence explains best the origin of a natural phenomena, in our case, the design of a hand ? Specially, if even Sir Isaac Newton once said, ?In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God?s existence.? How is this possible?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

jsoberon replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 23:33 GMT

I find the use of religious language in a scietific paper totally unacceptable. I will be watching this paper closely, and distributing it to colleagues. If PLOS ONE does not do something about it, like asking the authors to retratct the paper, or at the very least publishing an explanation, I will stop reviewing papers for PLOS ONE. I do hope the editors of PLOS ONE realize what a huge mistake was to accept publication of a paper with this wording. It says a lot about the care with which a paper is edited.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo replied to jsoberon on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:16 GMT

There is no " religious language " in the paper. Rather than a non-intelligent cause, the author has inferred the second possibility, namely design. That is a perfectly fine scientific inference.

The rejection of demarcation arguments among philosophers of science has not stopped critics of intelligent design from attempting to settle debates about biological origins by the expedient of formulating such arguments against intelligent design. Some use these arguments to justify methodological naturalism (which has the same effect).

Advocates of methodological naturalism have argued that the theory of intelligent design is inherently unscientific for some, or all, of the following reasons:

(a) is not testable,
(b) is not falsifiable
(c) does not make predictions
(d) does not describe repeatable phenomena
(e) does not explain by reference to natural law
(f) does not cite a mechanism
(g) does not make tentative claims and
(h) has no problem-solving capability.

They have also claimed that it is not science because it (i) refers to an unobservable entity.28 These critics also assume, imply, or assert that materialistic evolutionary theories do meet such criteria of proper scientific method. Readers may wish to consult Signature in the Cell for a more detailed response to these specific arguments. There I show that many of these claims are simply false (e.g., contrary to the claims of its critics intelligent design is testable; it does make predictions; it does formulate its claims tentatively; and it does have scientific problem-solving capability). But I also show that when the claims of those making demarcation arguments are true?when intelligent design doesn?t meet a specific criterion? that fact does not provide good reason for excluding intelligent design from consideration as a scientific theory. Why? Because the materialistic evolutionary theories that intelligent design challenges, theories widely regarded by convention as ?scientific,? fail to meet the very same demarcation standard. In other words, there is no defensible definition of science, and no specific demarcation criterion, that justifies both excluding intelligent design from science and including competing materialistic evolutionary theories. Instead, attempts to use demarcation criteria specifically to disqualify intelligent design as a scientific theory have repeatedly failed to differentiate the scientific status of intelligent design from that of competing theories. Depending upon which criteria are used to adjudicate their scientific status, and provided metaphysically neutral criteria are selected to make such assessments, intelligent design and materialistic origins theories invariably prove equally scientific or unscientific. For example, some critics of intelligent design have argued that it fails to qualify as a scientific theory because it makes reference to an unseen or unobservable entity, namely, a designing mind in the remote past. Yet many accepted theories?theories assumed to be scientific?postulate unobservable events and entities. Physicists postulate forces, fields, and quarks; biochemists infer submicroscopic structures; psychologists discuss their patients? mental states. Evolutionary biologists themselves infer unobserved past mutations and invoke the existence of extinct organisms and transitional forms for which no fossils remain. Such things, like the actions of an intelligent designer, are inferred from observable evidence in the present, because of the explanatory power they may offer. If the demarcation criterion of observability is applied rigidly, then both intelligent design and materialistic theories of evolution fail to qualify as scientific. If the standard is applied more liberally (or realistically)?acknowledging the way in which historical scientific theories often infer unobservable past events, causes, or entities?then both theories qualify as scientific. And so it goes with other such criteria as well. There is no specific (non-question-begging) demarcation criterion that succeeds in disqualifying the theory of intelligent design from consideration as a scientific theory without also doing the same to its materialistic rivals.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

xanthoptica replied to Otangelo on 03 Mar 2016 at 21:13 GMT

As with so many ID proponents, you do not *remotely* hold design arguments to the same standards as scientific ones. You say that physicists invoke fields, and evolutionary biologists invoke mutations and transitional forms. Do you really expect us to equate a mathematically described (and constrained) field theory which makes explicit predictions with a Designer who basically can do whatever it/he/she wants? Do you really think that a hypothetical intermediate fossil form (intermediate between existing fossils or existing organisms) is equally plausible to an omnipotent, omniscient, and invisible being?

I've heard claims that natural selection is not falsifiable in similar contexts. Well, natural selection is an unavoidable property of organisms with reproduction, a genetic system, and variation (mutation is helpful in generating variation). If you'd like to show that one of those doesn't apply to living things, go ahead. Otherwise, the claim is basically "Sure, we have mass and gravity, but weight is completely unfalsifiable."

When you have a *theory* of design - i.e. one with precise, testable claims, that constrains what we could observe as much as other scientific theories - please feel free to publish it. It sure doesn't exist yet.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to xanthoptica on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:05 GMT

there is no dispute between science and ID. There is a dispute between world views. Between Naturalism, and Creationism. Thats different.

Mutations and NS explain micro adaptation, and speciation. Not macro evolution, imho.

Where Do Complex Organisms Come From? 1

http://reasonandscience.h...

When you have a *theory* of design - i.e. one with precise, testable claims, that constrains what we could observe as much as other scientific theories - please feel free to publish it. It sure doesn't exist yet.

you are not well informed.
Confirmation of intelligent design predictions

http://reasonandscience.h...

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

tomek_p replied to Otangelo on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:05 GMT

Here you have quite proper view on methodological naturalism and its role in science:
by Maarten Boudry http://sites.google.com/s...
by Greg Dawes http://ourarchive.otago.a...
(+ his book 'Theism and Explanation')
by Larry Moran http://sandwalk.blogspot....

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to tomek_p on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:09 GMT

Larrys take on methodological naturalism is irrelevant. Fact is what is nicely shown here.

And here:

If intelligent design theorists do manage to publish in a peer-reviewed science journal, Darwinists will make sure the editor suffers grievously for it.

http://reasonandscience.h...

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

autranep replied to Otangelo on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:23 GMT

You seem to have missed the point entirely. This paper does NOT argue for intelligent design, instead it TACITLY ACCEPTS it as fact. There is an enormous distinction here. You also referenced a non-academic, never peer-reviewed book (i.e. the Signature in the Cell) as a source of rebuttals, which I think is a symptom of a greater flaw in your position. Also there are perfectly legitimate Bayesian ways of discounting ID relative to other theories that make less of an attempt to cherry-pick a model against a desired extra-scientific outcome.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to autranep on 04 Mar 2016 at 01:23 GMT

This paper does NOT argue for intelligent design, instead it TACITLY ACCEPTS it as fact.j//// Indeed. In what is it distinct to the inumerous scientific papers that take in special macro evolution as fact despite the evidence pointing to epigenetic mechanisms rather than mutations and natural selection being the mechanisms for the origin of body plans and biological novelties ? Furthermore : important scientific work has not uncommonly been initially rejected by peer-reviewed journals. As a 2001 article in Science observed, "Mention 'peer review' and almost every scientist will regale you with stories about referees submitting nasty comments, sitting on a manuscript forever, or rejecting a paper only to repeat the study and steal the glory."2 Indeed, an article in the journal Science Communication by Juan Miguel Campanario notes that top journals such as "Science and Nature have also sometimes rejected significant papers," and in fact "Nature has even rejected work that eventually earned the Nobel Prize."3 In an amusing letter titled "Not in our Nature," Campanario reminds the journal of four examples where it rejected significant papers:

(1) In 1981, Nature rejected a paper by the British biochemist Robert H. Michell on signalling reaction by hormones. This paper has since been cited more than 1,800 times.

(2) In June 1937, Nature rejected Hans Krebs's letter describing the citric acid cycle. Krebs won the 953 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for this discovery.

(3) Nature initially rejected a paper on work for which Harmut Michel won the 1988 Nobel prize for chemistry; it has been identified by the Institute of Scientific Information as a core document and widely cited.

(4) A paper by Michael J. Berridge, rejected in 1983 by Nature, ranks at number 275 in a list of the most-cited papers of all time. It has been cited more than 1,900 times.4

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

rubenaizprua replied to Otangelo on 04 Mar 2016 at 13:30 GMT

Well done!

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

AdamHR replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 00:54 GMT

I have published in PLOS ONE and continue to defend the journal despite repeated claims by my colleagues that the editorial standards are inconsistent or worse. This article proves that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the journal. If the paper isn't retracted, my students, collaborators and I will have no choice but to refrain from submitting to this once respectable journal. I'm embarrassed for you and embarrassed that some of my proudest papers are in your journal.

Fix this problem immediately and get your act together. Clearly this is a turning point. Either things get better or the journal is falling down the same whole as all of the for-profit online-only journals that everyone holds in such low regard. Frankly, the absurdly short initial response is telling - perhaps you don't understand how truly serious this violation is! This requires a ballistic reaction, not a considered "looking into" the problem!

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

enrico_petretto replied to AdamHR on 03 Mar 2016 at 01:13 GMT

This is outrageous. If PLOS ONE does not do something about it, i.e., ask the authors to retract the paper, and in any case, if the paper isn't retracted, my students, collaborators and I will have no choice but to refrain from considering (i..e, reading, reviewing and citing) papers published in PLOS ONE.
Enrico Petretto, Associate Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School and Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

LuigiMaiorano replied to enrico_petretto on 03 Mar 2016 at 09:16 GMT

Quote totally!! outrageous is the minimum! I published 3 of my papers in PlosOne, but I will never do it again. I'm actually telling all my students and colleagues to boycott the journal and never consider it again!
Luigi Maiorano, Associate Researcher, University of Rome "La Sapienza"

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo1 replied to LuigiMaiorano on 04 Mar 2016 at 01:29 GMT

La vera Sapienza si trova quando si riconosce che la creazione viene dal criatore, e non dell niente. Il niente non h� intelligenza, non ha sapienza, non ha potere di creare. Se il niente non puo creare una spilla, molto meno un universo , e la complexit� trovata nei sistemi biologici.

Come bene il apostolo Paulo ha scritto nella carta ai Romani, capitolo 1: 19 poich� ci� che di Dio si pu� conoscere � loro manifesto; Dio stesso lo ha loro manifestato. 20 Infatti, dalla creazione del mondo in poi, le sue perfezioni invisibili possono essere contemplate con l'intelletto nelle opere da lui compiute, come la sua eterna potenza e divinit�; 21 essi sono dunque inescusabili, perch�, pur conoscendo Dio, non gli hanno dato gloria n� gli hanno reso grazie come a Dio, ma hanno vaneggiato nei loro ragionamenti e si � ottenebrata la loro mente ottusa. 22 Mentre si dichiaravano sapienti, sono diventati stolti

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Otangelo replied to enrico_petretto on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:20 GMT

Mr.Enrico Petretto

i am ashamed to be your connational.

PLOS ONE has made a curageous step in the right direction, namely giving to the second option of origins, namely design, a serious scientific consideration.

That should be applauded and serve as incentivation for other scientific papers to do the same, and not block the design inference covardly as unscientific, which is blatantly false !!

Intelligent design makes scientific predictions, and IS science by all means.

Confirmation of intelligent design predictions

http://reasonandscience.h...

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

burkayozturk9 replied to Otangelo on 03 Mar 2016 at 21:22 GMT

The article talks about "the proper design [of the hand] by the Creator for dexterous performance of numerous functions following the evolutionary remodeling of the ancestral hand for millions of years."

I find this extremely offensive because the implication is that Jesus descended from non-human primates. Everyone, however, knows that the Creator created humans in His own image.

I can only hope that PLoSONE editors correct the error immediately before it does further damage to the proper scientific understanding of the origin of different species.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

AdamHR replied to AdamHR on 03 Mar 2016 at 01:27 GMT

That editor probably wouldn't have caught my whole typo, either.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

stampar replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 01:41 GMT

This article is completely unacceptable, The "scientific" part is extremely weak and the discussion is based on "pseudoscience". The only alternative is the retraction.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

benpitcher replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 02:50 GMT

PLOS, please publish the text of the reviews provided by the peer-reviewers and the Academic Editor.

Publishing the reviews will allow the scientific community to decide if a proper peer-review has occurred in this instance.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

rnydam replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 03:16 GMT

'Appalled' is barely sufficient. Your publication practices are clearly negligent at best and suspect at worst. You MUST publicly confirm whether or not these authors paid a publication fee.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

mhande replied to rnydam on 03 Mar 2016 at 08:09 GMT

Yes, I did raise few issues with the handling editors earlier. I haven't been publishing or reviewing articles for PLoS ONE for a long time though i have published two papers earlier. It is sad that this has happened. I logged in for the first time in the last 5 years to comment on this. I feel sorry.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

abertran replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 08:35 GMT

Dear PLoS ONE staff,
It is not a problem of 'language' is a problem of Science. You have no other choice than to immediatly remove this article if you want genuine scientists to trust in PLOS ONE again.
Regards

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

jmheraud replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 09:05 GMT

To me as a reviewer in several scientific journals, such a mistake can be prejudicial to PloS because beside the staff that have some responsibility but not all, it is the reviewing process than could be discussed. How at least two reviewers (scientist) could let such a word "the Creator" in the manuscript? Have they really read that paper?? I have some doubt now. Thus we could then consider that the overall paper could be doubtful.
I have no knowledge to judge this article, but since we can have serious doubt now about the results presented in this article, I would recommend to retract temporarily the article and to select two new reviewers for a full revision of the paper.
Also, I would recommend to the editor of the journal to exclude definitely the two reviewers that have accepted this manuscript.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

orauhut replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 09:23 GMT

As noted by many comments below, this is not a matter of inappropriate wording! This rather seems to be a (successfull) attempt to place an intelligent design argument in a (so far) respected scientific journal. Thus, the only solution is the immediate retraction of this paper! Unless this step has been done, my workgroup and me will refrain from publishing further papers in PLoS!

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

tkesteman replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 09:50 GMT

This is more than a problem of a few words, indeed. The scientific quality of the paper is poor, and the overall message of the article could be summarized as 'because we observe that the characteristics of a human hand are remarkable, ""thus"" an intelligent design must stand behind this'... This is just unacceptable in a so called 'scientific journal'. If this paper is not retracted, I will refrain from publishing in and reviewing for PLoS One. So do think most of my colleagues, and it's more than just a few dozens of people taking time to post a comment on this website!!!
The work of the reviewers and the editor must be questioned, too.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

enrico_petretto replied to tkesteman on 03 Mar 2016 at 09:58 GMT


Science is OUR responsibility.
This is my action on Twitter

If ?#?PLOSONE? doesn't retract paper 10.1371/journal.pone.0146193, I will refrain from submitting papers ?#?retractORdiscreditPLOSONE?

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

LuigiMaiorano replied to enrico_petretto on 03 Mar 2016 at 10:40 GMT

more than this, if you will! refrain from submitting papers, acting as referee, and refrain from reading and citing

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

tkesteman replied to LuigiMaiorano on 03 Mar 2016 at 14:17 GMT

Exactly, if PLoS One doesn't retract, we should just consider it as a predatory journal. They'd deserve standing on Jeffrey Beall's blacklist: https://scholarlyoa.com/p...

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

msole replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 11:37 GMT

PloSOne states it accelerates the publication of peer-reviewed science and in fact it is a fast publishing journal if compared with several old-fashioned society-owned journals where up to two years can pass between the submission and publication of a manuscript.
Now I really advise the PLoS staff to accelerate this issue. I act as an associate editor for six scientific journals and in all six the decision would be easy: Retraction of the manuscript. I understand that when you deal with a very large amount of manuscripts errors can happen (we have largely seen this with the MIT random gibberish science paper generator SCIgen).
Recalling: https://www.reddit.com/r/...).
Also we don't know in which stage the "Creator" made it into the paper. Was it during the so called "initial in-house quality control", was it during the peer-review process? Maybe the editor is not to blame if the authors inserted the "Creator" during proof reading and a lazy layouter didn't double check that...
But PloS One has to give us the full story. I will not start boycotting the journal, it�s far too early for such an action
and it would wrong all the excellent editors the journal has acquired during the last years. I know most Brazilian editors and they are among the most capable scientists in their areas. But I really would be sad if PloS takes no rapid action. As other have commented this could be a "turning point". Depending on the action it means PloS can continue being a leading fast publishing science journal... on the other hand it can mean PloS One makes it into this infamous list during the next years: https://scholarlyoa.com/2...
I hope PloS One heads for the first option. I have published in PLoS One before and I would be glad to feel that I can continue doing so.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

david_marjanovic replied to msole on 03 Mar 2016 at 23:05 GMT

There is no proof-reading stage. PLOS journals don't make page proofs.

An error the layouters introduced into my PLOS ONE paper therefore went unnoticed until publication; but it's nothing on the scale of this!

Competing interests declared: I published in PLOS ONE because of its combination of open access with a relatively high impact factor. That impact factor is going to go down the drain.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

anxo1 replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 12:48 GMT

As I have said in a separate post, I will resign as an editor of PLOS ONE if this paper is not retracted immediately. PLOS ONE is a scientific journal and I don't want to have anything to do, not even my name related to a journal tha publishes about superstition and supernatural entities. I will stop editing and I will stop submitting, and I'll recommend everybody never to submit again to PLOS ONE. I hope we don't have to go there.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Mingjin replied to anxo1 on 03 Mar 2016 at 13:09 GMT

We are sorry for drawing the debates about creationism. Our study has no relationship with creationism. English is not our native language. Our understanding of the word Creator was not actually as a native English speaker expected. Now we realized that we had misunderstood the word Creator. What we would like to express is that the biomechanical characteristic of tendious connective architecture between muscles and articulations is a proper design by the NATURE (result of evolution) to perform a multitude of daily grasping tasks. We will change the Creator to nature in the revised manuscript. We apologize for any troubles may have caused by this misunderstanding.
We have spent seven months doing the experiments, analysis, and write up. I hope this paper will not be discriminated only because of this misunderstanding of the word. Please could you read the paper before making a decision.

Competing interests declared: I am the author of paper.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

tkesteman replied to Mingjin on 03 Mar 2016 at 14:19 GMT

It doesn't mean you have to perform the experiments. Just write the paper again.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Harry replied to Mingjin on 03 Mar 2016 at 14:52 GMT

Changing Creator to Nature will not solve the problem since it still implies a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. That is there is no design process, no outcome is foreseen. Anything that works better tends to have a selective advantage but that is not a product of design it is a product of selection working on random events. The paper clearly needs a substantive rewrite quite apart from the concerns raised about the significance of the results raised by other comments.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

CarlSchmidt replied to Mingjin on 03 Mar 2016 at 14:59 GMT

I think it is important that the writers first note comments provided above by:
throckmorton replied to PLoS_ONE_Group on 02 Mar 2016 at 22:29 GMT

The comments call into doubt the scientific contributions of the article. A more important issue is the review process that allowed such nonsense as "Creator" to appear in a journal purportedly devoted to science. The fact that it is found in the abstract suggests that editors and reviewers did not read this article before recommending publication.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

DanMadularu replied to Mingjin on 03 Mar 2016 at 15:54 GMT

Be that as it may, the rest of the paper is written in "good" English. The mere fact capital "C" is used in the word "Creator" suggests that the term was used as intended. The fault is not with you as an author per se, it is with the editorial staff, starting with Renzhi Han, the editor responsible for this paper. This publication should not only damage the reputation (what is left of it) of this journal, but that of the editor himself. In an nutshell, the publication of such a paper in this journal speaks to the laziness and incopetency of its staff.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

JohnMayall replied to Mingjin on 03 Mar 2016 at 16:32 GMT

There are some points to be considered:

1) Firstly, the misconception on the concept of evolution (causality vs intentionality). There is another sentence, in the introduction, with the same misconception about evolution: "Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator?s invention."

2) Based on what is written above and the use of uppercase to the letter "c" in the word "Creator": Was it really just a question of "English"?

3) The biggest problem: Why reviewers and the editor did not check all of these misconception?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

DanMadularu replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 15:58 GMT

As another used suggessted earlier, please publish the reviewers' comments as surely, this paper has gone through a "rigurous" revieweing process.

No competing interests declared.

Follow-Up Notification from PLOS Staff

PLOS_ONE_Group replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 19:47 GMT

PLOS Staff have posted an update on this article here: http://journals.plos.org/...

No competing interests declared.

RE: Follow-Up Notification from PLOS Staff

burkayozturk9 replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 21:21 GMT

The article talks about "the proper design [of the hand] by the Creator for dexterous performance of numerous functions following the evolutionary remodeling of the ancestral hand for millions of years."

I find this extremely offensive because the implication is that Jesus descended from non-human primates. Everyone, however, knows that the Creator created humans in His own image.

I can only hope that PLoSONE editors correct the error immediately before it does further damage to the proper scientific understanding of the origin of different species.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

daren_swanick replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 03 Mar 2016 at 21:51 GMT

Whatever credibility you had as a journal has now been lost. The fact that this has been allowed to languish on here for so long unedited is scandalous. You need to review these articles in a proper and timely manner.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

rubenaizprua replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 04 Mar 2016 at 12:18 GMT

Why? Because most readers of scientific papers believe in the Evolution Theory? That means that you are not an impartial website. Very sad to know that.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

Claire_Gachon replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 04 Mar 2016 at 15:30 GMT

What a sad day for the PLOS initiative. What have the editors done with their mission statement: "Pursue a publishing strategy that optimizes the quality and integrity of the publication process".

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

OmnesRes replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 04 Mar 2016 at 21:38 GMT

I think it is unfair to attack PLOS ONE for one mistake, but that doesn't mean there aren't problems with PLOS ONE. My thoughts on the topic here:
https://medium.com/@Omnes...

No competing interests declared.

RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

csmatyi replied to PLOS_ONE_Group on 06 Mar 2016 at 01:41 GMT

So I hope that it is evident to the evolutionists that SCIENCE DIDN'T BEGIN WITH DARWIN and that evolutionary theory cannot claim that it is monotonically the sole viable scientific theory out there. Good science is characterized by competing theories, such as competing evolutionary theories pertaining to how flight developed and how Neanderthals evolved. Since science does not study the existence of God it cannot make any statement pro or contra against God. It is the area of metaphysics which answers the ultimate question of why the whole universe came into being. Therefore the universe could have been created supernaturally or it could have came about via naturalistic processes such as evolution. Evolutionists themselves advocate this. Now, since supernatural six day creation is an option (remember no human was there to observe all of this), then we can conduct origins science in a possibly created universe. It is only a mental block of evolutionists which makes them think that if it's not part of nature, then it's not scientific. Their own argument refutes them. Keep the comment in the paper, it's only democratic. Creation science has its own statistical framework in baraminology (see understanding the ptterns of life by Wood and Murray, 2003).

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Notification from PLOS Staff

csmatyi replied to csmatyi on 06 Mar 2016 at 01:42 GMT

*monolithically

No competing interests declared.