Creationist paper gets into a Springer journal

Googling the title of the paper below so I could find it on the Internet, I see that at least one evolutionary-biology website has posted about it. I’m not going to read what it said until after I post this, as I don’t want to repeat its ideas. But if you have the stomach, have a look at the paper below, published in Springer’s International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology, which I assume is a fairly respectable journal as it’s published by the money-hungry but scientifically credible Springer firm.

The author of the paper, Sarah Umer, is listed as being in the Department of Visual Arts & Graphic Designs at the Institute of Visual Arts & Designs at the Lahore College for Women University in Lahore, Pakistan. Okay, well, that’s not a ringing endorsement of her expertise, but, as always, it’s the content that’s important.

And the content is dire: this is a straight-up creationist paper, impugning the evidence for evolution, arguing for human separatism from the rest of the planet’s species, and claiming that modern humans (yes, H. sapiens sapiens, not Neanderthals or any other species of Homo), as well as other species, appeared suddenly and fully formed about 50,000 years ago. Yep, that’s Genesis-style “instant appearance” creationism, though Umer appears to be somewhat of an old-earth creationist.

I’ll give some quotes from the paper, which show that Springer clearly didn’t vet this one, or didn’t vet it properly—even more offensive because the paper is loaded with grammatical errors and misspellings. In fact, I’m going to write to the journal and kvetch about this one.

The abstract itself shows you how bad the writing is. The last sentence, which says that many evolutionists and scientists are also sudden-appearance creationists, is of course a lie (my emphasis):

There is a consensus among evolutionists today that man first appeared in Africa approximately four million years ago. Others counter this theory saying, “… when shall we speak of man as man”? The timeline they give is approximately one million years and to fully understand one million years is still a difficult task.

However, another even better way to understand time and man is to study it in terms of generations. So, keeping in mind that primitive people married and had children early, twenty years will make an average generation. According to this there would be 50,000 generations in a million years. Keeping this in mind if we calculate generations we find that 250 generations back take us to the time when written history began. While, another 250 generations back would take us to the time (10,000 years ago), when cultivation began, and man started settled life. Now we are left with 49,500 generations of men, plus a time span of 990,000 years. Keeping these statistics in mind let us ask the question once more, when should we speak of man as man?

Therefore, this paper attempts not only to understand the timeframe “when we can really call Man? – Man” in light of the so-called history of human evolution but also to understand that if the specie roaming the earth for a million years was truly man’s ancestor, as is claimed by Charles Darwin. Then what took man’s ancestor so long to show signs of development that we only witness in the last 12000 years.

Moreover, while keeping man’s progress under consideration of the last 12000 years, it will further shed light on why there are serious reservations about Charles Darwin theory of human evolution. As many scientists, evolutionists, archeologist and different religious scriptures strongly claim that man came to the earth fully developed and did not evolve from a lesser specie.

Species? Dr. Umer—yes, she got a Ph.D for this stuff—apparently doesn’t know that “species” is a singular and a plural word. She also capitalizes species names in the Latin binomial, as in “A. Anamensis“, and sometimes doesn’t capitalize the names of genera, as in “homo“.  But let’s move on. I’ll give just a few howlers:

The question whether the Neanderthals and modern humans interbred was recently addressed by paleoanthropologists who claim, that there was no interbreeding between the two.

She apparently agrees with this, which of course is wrong: we know there was a fair amount of genetic exchange between H. sapiens sapiens and H. sapiens neanderthalensis, as many modern humans carry Neanderthal genes.  Umer apparently rejects that, probably because she wants modern human beings to have originated de novo, without any of those cootie genes from Neanderthals. Umer also uses out-of-date claims by Darwin, and quotes from someone named Derk V. Ager, to show that all living species were created separately. Using quotes as evidence is a common tactic of creationists. Umer doesn’t address the fossil evidence for intermediates between, say, fish and amphibians, amphibians and reptiles, reptiles and birds, reptiles and mammals, and the sequentially changing morphology of the hominin lineage. Here:

Another important fact that seems to refute the claim of the evolutionists today is that, there are no signs of any intermediate forms found in the fossil records. Charles Darwin, who is known as the father of the theory of evolution, as state in his book, The Origins of Species claims,

“If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking most closely all of the species of the same group together must assuredly have existed… Consequently, evidence of their former existence could be found only amongst fossil remains.”(Darwin 1964)

This is of course a prediction from Darwin, not an “important fact.” And we do have those intermediate forms. Is Umer blind? She’s at least blinkered—I suspect by religion.

She goes on with another quote from someone I’ve never heard of (she also drags in Solly Zuckerman, a favorite of creationists):

The fossil records today show few intermediate forms; on the other hand, we see fully-formed living species seem to emerge suddenly without any evolutionary transitional form between them. This lack of factual evidence is enough to back their claim that all living species are created separately, and that life appeared on earth all of a sudden and fully-formed. Derek V. Ager, a famous British evolutionist admits this fact by saying;

“The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of Orders or of Species, we find – over and over again – not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”(Ager 1976)

Umer even enlists evoutionary biologist Doug Futuyma as a supporter of creationism, showing that she completely misunderstands his book Science on Trial, an excellent anti-creationist book:

The fact that all living species were created separately, suddenly and fully-formed without any evolutionary ancestor is yet again backed by evolutionist biologist Douglas Futuyma, who claimed,

“Creation and evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence.”(Futuyma 1983)

Futuyma is just laying out alternatives here, not favoring creationism. The way Umer uses his quote to back creationism shows that she’s either completely clueless or religously tendentious. I favor the latter given that she quotes the creationist loon Harun Yahya (real name Adnan Oktar, now in prison) to support her thesis!

Keeping all the arguments and counter arguments in mind with respect to the theory of man’s evolution, I shall conclude by quoting a few sentences from Harun Yahya’s book, ‘Fascism: The Bloody Ideology of Darwinism’,

“…the theory of evolution is a claim evidently at variance with scientific findings. The theory’s claim on the origin of life is inconsistent with science, the evolutionary mechanisms it proposes have no evolutionary power, and fossils demonstrate that the intermediate forms required by the theory never existed. So, it certainly follows that the theory of evolution should be pushed aside as an unscientific idea.”(Yahya 2002abc)

Umm. . . how come the reviewers of the paper—if there were any—didn’t catch this?

The last paragraph, which I quote in part below, is another paean to human exceptionalism and manages to invoke the “divine” twice and Yahya three times. I’m not sure whether Umer’s “divine” is God or Allah (probably the latter), but why is this in a scientific journal?

Another thing which is even more important than seeing and hearing abilities is the ‘consciousness’ that man has been blessed with (Yahya 2002abc). It is this consciousness that creates the major difference between man and all other living species. It is this that takes man one step ahead of all others. It is this ability that makes us flee from a fire, but we can go back in the same fire to save someone. It is this ability that helps us to understand and comprehend, that despite of the best of qualities given to us in this world, there are certain things that are still beyond our reach, control and comprehension. Even we humans have limitations, and this concept was well taken and understood even by early man since antiquity. He also knew that he had no control over the elements and there was some “Divine Force” somewhere, which had everything under its control. Hence it would not be wrong to presume here, that it was at this point in time around approximately 50,000 to 40,000 years ago, that the modern man entered the scene, and all the other species predating him were not actually ‘man’, or his ancestors. Hence, man was born a man with the best of qualities and a consciousness to understand the ‘Divine’ which has helped him not only to conquer but also to rule the world.

Okay, here’s a link to another critique, which I’ll now go read: “Creationist paper published in journal” by Adam Benton on the site Filthy Monkey Men.

If you want to write to the journal about this paper, the contact information is below. I’m gonna ask them how it managed to get published:

General enquiries: info@springeropen.com

What I wrote (join me if you’d like!)

Dear Springer,

I am writing to call to your attention to something you probably already know: the December issue of your International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology has published a straight-out Genesis-style creationism paper by Sarah Umer, “A brief history of human evolution: challenging Darwin’s claim.” (Link is at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s41257-018-0014-2). Not only does the paper make a number of false statements about evolution, and misquotes prominent evolutionists, but also quotes the jailed Turkish creationist loon Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya) in support of its thesis that humans and all species originated instantly at the behest of the “divine”. The editing is also dreadful: there are grammatical and spelling mistakes throughout. Did anybody whose first language is English even edit the paper?

I would like to know how this paper got published and what review process you used. Are you going to let the paper stand as is? Also, why was it so poorly edited?

This paper is an affront to all evolutionary biologists who do good work, as well as a tremendous embarrassment to Springer, who should have known better.

I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply. In the meantime, I’ve posted a short critique–it would take pages to refute Umer’s misstatments and lies–on my website Why Evolution is True. That link is here: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/creationist-paper-gets-into-a-springer-journal/

Cordially,
Jerry Coyne
Professor Emeritus
Department of Ecology and Evolution
The University of Chicago

71 Comments

  1. Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I could not find either the author or her Institute on the website of Lahore College for Women University. Am I missing something? And the contact email is non-university.

    Indeed, I wondered if this might be a sub-sub-Sokal spoof. Whether it is or no, it certainly lowers my opinion of Springer

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      A Google check reveals that she had a fellowship for 2016-2017 in the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of London https://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff117296.php.That's the most recent record I could find. Didn’t they vet her application?

      There is an Institute of Visual Arts and Design at that university https://www.lcwu.edu.pk/index.php/faculties-institutes-17-new/institutes-s17-new/design-va-17-new.html. I assume that’s where she got her PhD, but she’s not listed on the faculty roster.

      In her defense: of course we didn’t evolve from “specie roaming the earth for a million years.” That would be a marvelous feat if we evolved from coins.

      • Alexander Hellemans
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Well, some of the bean counters in some of the scientific publishing houses, have an inordinate say in editorial matters, but there is enough evidence that they evolved from coins…

      • Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Well, she can’t even get the name of the institute right: It’s Institute of Design and Visual Arts, not Institute of Visual Arts and Design as cited in her byline. (Jerry erroneously added a final “s”!)

        And Graphic Designs and Visual Arts are two different departments!

        Did no-one check her affiliation, either?

        /@

        • Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          When I review an article, I don’t check the affiliations. I presume the authors are sane.

          • Nicolaas Stempels
            Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            In this case your assumption appears to be a treacherous heuristic.

          • eric
            Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Yep. The scientific peer review process is, in general, designed to catch errors, not fraud. If someone is willing to outright lie about data or their resume, they probably won’t get caught…until after the publication.

            This article, however, sounds like even the error-catching mechanisms just weren’t there.

          • Posted December 19, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            You know what happens when you assume.

      • rjdownard
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t you know, that was the “Golden Age” the philosophers wrote of … the paper is all too typical of parasitical quote mining (Zuckerman and Yahya rubbing shoulders in the same screed). I’ll definitely be adding this paper to my TIP “Troubles in Paradise: The Methodology of Creationism” data field.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        This doss look like standard-issue creationist crackpottery, leaving the main question as “how did Springer mess up so badly?
        But …

        she had a fellowship for 2016-2017 in the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of London https://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff117296.php.That's the most recent record I could find. Didn’t they vet her application?

        In reverse order :
        – evidently not
        – SOAS is well known (their team just did a turn on University Challenge under “SOAS” a couple of weeks ago) as the “School of Oriental and African Studies”, one of the component institutions of University College London. It may contain a lower level “South Asian Studies Institute”, but I parse the URL as being within SOAS.

    • Gamall
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Most I could find was her RG profile:

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Umer

  2. Peter
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I count 15 articles, 13 about Chinese concerns, 1 something Spanish, and this one.

    The editorial board is predominantly Chinese. China has many minorities, so a Chinese ethnology journal might not be amiss. But why Springer?

    • Christine Janis
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Why Springer? This appears to be an open access journal, which means that most likely she paid somewhere in the region of $1000 to publish it. Those poor hard-done-by publishers have to make a living somehow.

  3. Serendipitydawg
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Have the creationists abandoned Usher’s chronology? I don’t recall seeing any derivation of 50,000 years (I assume it is their interpretation of deep time).

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I am anticipating the Ken Ham and the ICR will claim this as a “peer-reviewed journal article” that supports their “creation science.” The Hampster will then do the usual shuffle about the time frame, claiming that the atheistic secular science world view based on faulty assumptions like the constancy of radioactive decay does not understand that deep time is fiction and that the earth is indeed only 6000 years old as clearly defined in his buy-bull.

      • Mike Cracraft
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        This was my first thought as well. Springer should be ashamed of itself and immediately issue a retraction or a statement explaining why this religious crap was published in the first place.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        In “About this Journal” (mentioning ‘not just about China and Asia’) it indeed claims to be peer-reviewed! The muddlehead reviewing the scatterbrain, I guess. Peers indeed.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:47 am | Permalink

          The muddlehead reviewing the scatterbrain, I guess. Peers indeed.

          You’ve never listened to a session of the House of Peers, have you?

          • Nicolaas Stempels
            Posted December 20, 2018 at 3:09 am | Permalink

            🙂

  4. James
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I always love the “no intermediate forms” nonsense. I’ve had a few Creationists ask me “Have you ever seen one?” When I reply “Yes, I’ve found several and named one” they have no idea how to proceed.

    Most Creationists have a “crockoduck” view of intermediate forms: they expect the intermediate to be between two modern forms. Which makes sense from their perspective–if everything arose as-is, that’s all you get to work with. Getting them to understand that from an evolutionary biology perspective “intermediate” means “between an ancestral and a more modern form” is really challenging.

    I will have to read the paper, though…The first line of argument–that we can’t call “human” the people that lived pre-agriculture–is a new one to me. I thought I’d heard all their arguments.

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      “Yes, I’ve found several and named one”

      Nice!

      /@

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Which were they? (The intermediate forms of course, not the creationists, to hell with the latter.)

      • James
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Some Cretaceous crabs. There’s a typical pattern in crustaceous, where a group of species originates on the eastern side of the Atlantic, then spreads north to Greenland/Iceland, then south along the coast of the Americas, generating new species along the way. Previous research found a lineage, Titanocarcinus, which did that–but there were, as usual, gaps, were we didn’t have specific species. We found a group of crab fossils in Austria, and were able to fill in at least one gap for Titanocarcinus.

        My brother-in-law also found an intermediate form: he worked with a researcher on conodonts, a specific group that seemed to increase “tooth” count over time (the spikes on the teeth). My in-law found several that filled the gap between ancestral and more derived forms.

        What always strikes me about these examples is just how mundane they are. I mean, I was excited–when I found the second orbital suture I was so excited I literally walked into a door, hard enough to give myself a black eye, and didn’t notice until someone pointed it out to me–but in the grand scheme of things? These were just ordinary work, done by undergrad/graduate students. It’s routine stuff. Which speaks to how many intermediate forms we have! If these were as rare as Creationists say, what we did would be considered a tremendous achievement! But as it is, there are so many intermediate forms that what was did was par for the course.

        • Phil Garnock-Jones
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          “I mean, I was excited–when I found the second orbital suture I was so excited I literally walked into a door, hard enough to give myself a black eye, and didn’t notice until someone pointed it out to me”. I love this! It so encapsulates our nerdy enthusiasms. Thank you.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I understand that dogs flee fires, and have been known to go back in to save people. I wonder that this journal chose to publish this paper, since it would seem lie outside the remit of Anthropolgy and Ethnology. I would guess that the journal does not have regular reviewers for papers on evolution. Finally, these people always go after Darwin, rather than engaging modern authorities on the state of the science. Unlike religion, Science has learned a few things in the last 175 years.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Oh, and throw in a joke about “lesser specie” and small change.

    • Joe Dickinson
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, I also noticed that she attributes directly to Darwin rather modern ideas about human evolution.

  6. Howard S Neufeld
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Jerry – I would be happy to have you add my name (if you are doing that) to your letter as a supporter.

    It also suggests that the vast Springer “empire” perhaps needs better oversight of the editors and review processes that they now employ, so they can prevent tragedies such as this one from happening again.

    Thanks for your efforts on this.
    Howie Neufeld

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Howie,

      I already emailed the letter to Springer. But there’s an address in my post, so feel free to shoot them a kvetch.

  7. Jon Gallant
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The latest issue of this journal contained a preponderance of articles from and about China, including this one: “A review on Xi Jinping’s ideas of ethnic minority work”, by Shiyuan Hao of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China. Could there be some subtle connection between creationism and President Xi Thought?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Winnie the Pooh? Is he a creationist?

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Wow. Well, possibly the journal editor and the reviewers were sympathetic to this sort of view and that is how it slipt past. Also, the field of anthropology may not be the hardest of sciences.

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I think Alice Roberts and Chris Stringer might have something to say about that suggesgtion!

    • James
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      The anthropologists I’ve worked with would beg to differ. Their field is about as hard a science as paleontology. The issue is, there’s a lot of pretenders out there. And anthropology is NOT archaeology, paleontology, or geology; we cannot assume that an anthropologist is well-versed in evolutionary theory, any more than we can assume that a paleontologist is well-versed in socioeconomic theories. Or, for that matter, any more than we can assume a physicist is well-versed in evolutionary theory. They may be, but if so it’s because of their studies outside of the field.

      • GBJames
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        This depends a lot on where and when you are talking about the field. I was trained in the 70’s in the US where Anthropology is/was comprised of four sub-disciplines: Physical, Social, Archaeology, and Linguistics. My specific sub-discipline was Archaeology but you couldn’t get a graduate degree without training in all of them. My daughter, in contrast, attended university in Canada and the UK where Archaeology (her degrees) was not part of Anthropology.

        In my day and place you got well grounded in evolutionary theory if you studied Anthro. These days, after the wreaking ball of post-modernism hit the field, the stresses between the Physical/Archaeo side vs the Cultural/Linguistic side have made it less clear. (At least that’s the impressionI get when talking with my inside friends who are still working in the field.)

        • Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          the wreaking ball of post-modernism

          Maybe the reeking ball of post-modernism?

          /@

          • GBJames
            Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            Heh. I blame autocorrect.

        • James
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          A fair point. Local variations do tend to be significant!

          I don’t know much about post-modernism in anthropology; not my field (either of them). I can see where cultural and linguistic anthro would be softer, though…There’s less physical data to work with (ie, artifacts), and you’re dealing with cultures, which are always tricky because humans have a habit of just doing random crap. I think that famous untranslatable manuscript was made by someone just to mess with people, for example.

          • GBJames
            Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            And it is a fair point that “we cannot assume that an anthropologist is well-versed in evolutionary theory”. 😉

            We can assume that there is no good reason for an Anthropologist not to be well versed in evolutionary theory. Or at least “well enough” to reject stupid creationism. Then again, from my point of view, any high school graduate should be able to do that.

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Physical anthropology is pretty hardnosed. (Of course, it is more or less “just” a branch of human biology.)

  9. GBJames
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    sub

  10. Tim Anderson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    The paper quotes no reference more recent than 2002. Also, there are many places where she quotes a person without providing any reference (and she gets Stephen Gould’s name wrong!). In what appears to be a review paper, this seems to me to be rather sloppy.

    Derek V. Ager was most definitely not a creationist:

    “For a century and a half the geological world has been dominated, one might even say brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell. Any suggestion of ‘catastrophic’ events has been rejected as old-fashioned, unscientific and even laughable. This is partly due to the extremism of some of Cuvier’s followers, though not of Cuvier himself.

    On that side too were the obviously untenable views of bible-oriented fanatics, obsessed with myths such as Noah’s flood, and of classicists thinking of Nemesis. That is why I think it necessary to include the following ‘disclaimer’: in view of the misuse that my words have been put to in the past, I wish to say that nothing in this book should be taken out of context and thought in any way to support the views of the ‘creationists’ (who I refuse to call ‘scientific’).”

    Ager, Derek, 1993, 1995 (paperback edition), The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Great Britain.

    • Posted December 19, 2018 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      You beat me to that quote, which I found in No Answers in Genesis!, in an article by Dr. Kevin R. Henke.

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      She probably never read anything about evolution written by a competent scientist. Creationists are fond of saying “I looked at the two sides of the question” but, more than often, what they mean by that is “I read texts about evolution written by [creationist’s of IDer’s name]”.

  11. Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Bad grammar. Bad spelling. False claims.
    We need to be vigilant. Thank you to our host for calling this out.

    • prinzler
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      The style of the writing is, at times, not even at the level of some of my undergraduate students’ writing.

  12. Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Polls show the majority of US citizens under thirty accept evolution. Public option is slowly starting to change. I saw a chart that listed developed countries in their views. Of the twenty or so countries listed only in the US and Turkey did less that fifty per cent of the population think evolution theory was true.

  13. Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Peer review. I suppose Ms. Umer’s paper was reviewed by somebody just like her.

  14. grasshopper
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    After receiving comments about “A brief history of human evolution: challenging Darwin’s claim”, Springer has seen reviewed the paper, and republished it as “The Origin Of The Specious”.

    • Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      😆

    • DrBrydon
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      That would be a great title for a book reviewing the history of post-Darwin creationism.

  15. Francisco
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I use to give “opinions” for evolution and against creationism in main papers of Spain.”El Pais” used to be leftist, “El mundo” more centrist. “ABC” the typical Franco´s right and or center right. All and every comment touching religion and creationism is erased by censorship. Other small papers publish without problems. Papers are all in crisis because internet. I think they depend on advertising and other economic help as “live or death”. And religion-creationism seems to control much more than you think is possible, at least to silence and despise evolution and other proofs against religion.
    This Muslim creationist seems the same “pay and publish if it is for religion, despite the errors”

  16. Peter
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Is evolution taught in Pakistan?

    • GBJames
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Not to cultural anthropologists, apparently.

  17. Christine Janis
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This is a priceless snippet from the paper (and shows that her ‘information’ has come entirely from creationist sites). About Australopithecus:

    ” Extensive research was carried out by anatomists from both England and America, namely, Lord Solly Zuckerman and Prof. Charles Oxnard, have showed that they belonged to an ordinary ape species that became extinct and bore no resemblance to humans (Zuckerman 1970a, b; Oxnard 1970).’

    Remember that Johanson did not discover Lucy until 1974.

  18. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Until the last parts of the ‘conclusion’ it did not even strike me as particularly creationist.
    There is so much wrong with this ‘paper’. One doesn’t know where to begin. Even if one gives her a pass for the execrable English (clearly not even her second language).
    Say “The ability to think and reason is still missing [in archaic homo sapiens, mind you] (Ingold* 1994a, b, c). Therefore, whether they were really our ancestor, might be questioned.” My Ceiling Cat, even chimpanzees have the ability to think and reason, what am I saying? Even monkeys, cats, d*gs, Raccoons, crows, parrots and some fish have. And possibly even octopuses too. She has a clear hang-up about human exceptionalism (maybe she should read some Frans de Waal? He writes on a level that she might understand**).
    And that is but one of the three dozen idiocies she’s spouting.
    The Dutch have a nice expression: “she heard the chime strike, but does not know where the clapper is”. A bit like: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” (Pope?) She should drink a lot.
    And yes, Springer should be deeply ashamed for publishing this superficial drivel.

    *Tim Ingold is an anthropologist who wants to replace “traditional models of genetic and cultural transmission, founded upon the alliance of neo-Darwinian biology and cognitive science, with a relational approach focusing on the growth of embodied skills of perception and action within social and environmental contexts of human development” (wikipedia). Sounds suspiciously POMO to me.
    ** I do not mean that negatively, he maybe a persona non grata here, because of his incomprehensible swipes at atheism (he is an atheist himself), his popular books are exquisitely readable and show that all cases to separate humans from their animal evolutionary roots in cognition, communication, intention, empathy, cooperation, etc. are basically bogus.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:58 am | Permalink

      “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” (Pope?)

      I think you’re right.
      So does Wikipedia.

  19. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Email sent.

  20. SRM
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    People may have a lot of fun dissecting the content of this article, but this is quite beside the point. There is nothing new about these ideas, in one form or another. They are neither shocking nor amusing.

    The real issue is how such an article gets published in a journal ostensibly under the control of a legitimate science publishing house. And indeed, how does one prevent the bleeding together of nonsense journals (predatory or otherwise)and legitimate journals in this age of insta-publishing?

    Will it even be possible going forward? What a world.

    • eric
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      how does one prevent the bleeding together of nonsense journals (predatory or otherwise)and legitimate journals in this age of insta-publishing?

      Exactly like this; academics reviewing it, sharing what they found with each other, and thus causing the journal in question to either shape up or lose credible submitters. The community has to police its own since it will always be legal to publish junk.

      But also, if Christine Janis (response to comment #2) is correct, the extremely high charge – even for an open access journal – should ring alarm bells.

  21. Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Just a small correction: Springer is money-hungry. That part is correct. But not as “respectable” (scientifically)as people think.

  22. Barbara Piper
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn’t Beall’s list caution that many of these “International Journal of…” were predatory? It appears that the Springer version is only 2 years old, but it seems devoted almost exclusively to China, so I am unclear about what the “international” means.

    I was recently on a Dean’s promotion committee where a tenure case included a volume edited by the candidate, published by Springer. There was a vigorous debate among the committee members about whether Springer was now a vanity press, and journals such as this certainly provide evidence for one answer.

  23. Posted December 19, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I’ve published in an edited volume by one of Springer’s series’. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell they provided *no* editorial services – all was done by the *subject* editor from the conference session in question.

    Someone I know in book publishing pointed out that the big European academic publishers are big businesses. So maybe Springer has finally gone mercenary?

  24. Zetopan
    Posted December 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “how come the reviewers of the paper—if there were any—didn’t catch this?”

    Why should anyone even imagine that there were any competent reviewers? For some, publishing is an overwhelmingly for profit business. It is obviously much cheaper and much quicker to avoid the peer review process altogether. Especially if the only peers available don’t wear aluminum foil hats (foil hats would be Sarah Umer’s actual peer group).

    Any idiot can get any nonsense published, as is commonly shown daily, if not hourly or faster. Check out YouTube for free energy machines and other worthless claims. There are still people publishing total nonsense about Tesla (death ray, free energy), Velikovsky (the solar system is just like a pool table), Atlantis (found yet again), Rife (optical microscopes can magnify 50K+ times and audio vibrations destroy viruses), etc. in both book and video form. This nonsense pervades society in all kinds of bizarre manners. It is often very profitable; even “Worlds in Collision” was a best seller despite being absolutely 100% scientific illiterate crap throughout.

    Since Springer owns such a large amount of the scientific publishing business and make so much money from it, they get to call the shots and such downward trends seem almost inevitable.

  25. Posted December 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Maybe science can explan this. How can you dig in one place , say 10 or 15 feet down and find a city and say five thousand tears old. Than dig in another area say 10 or 15 feet down and find dinosaur bones and claim millions of even billions of years old . I know that organic growth differs from one place to another but not buy millions of years. There’s more evolution , the ghost no one has seen .

    • Posted December 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. You know nothing about dating, either carbon dating or radiometric dating of ancient fossils. Go do some reading, but don’t haunt this site any more. This kind of ignorance just pollutes it.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      I recommend a basic geology class.

    • Christine Janis
      Posted December 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      ‘Maybe science can explan this.’

      Yes.


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