Fake Spider Fossil News and Peer Review

Many times over the years, we have seen that the vaunted secular peer review process is not as helpful as people think. While the process was made with good intentions, there is a large amount of fraud, bad research, favoritism, honest mistakes, and more. A fake spider fossil passed peer review.

Many people think peer review is a guarantee of good science. That is not the case, and a faked spider fossils should never have passed the review process.
Credit: Flickr / Magnus Hagdorn (CC BY-SA 2.0)
If it had been real, this would have been an interesting find because fossils of fragile creatures are much rarer than all those billions of marine creatures and such. It was "found" in the wretched hive of villainy known as the Liaoning Province in China. Many fake fossils have been procured there by people wanting to have a few yuan in their pockets. Or it could be the result of global warming. Apparently some people are good at faking fossils, mayhaps they could market unique crafts instead of being dishonest? While this fugazi fossil may have been purchased, it may have been faked from the get-go.
At a first glance it looks like a very cool, exceptionally preserved fossilised spider, and that’s what you are meant to think. Unfortunately, despite being published in a peer reviewed secular journal as a fossil spider, it most definitely is not.

Published in Acta Geologica Sinica the research team examined it under a microscope, described it in detail, photographed it and drew a diagram of what they thought was a large netted spider. Due to a number of features, including longer legs than other spiders in its supposed genus, the researchers named the new species Mongolarachne chaoyangensis.
To read the rest of this first article, click on "Fake spider fossil passes peer review! — What lessons should be learnt?" I hope you'll come back for the second eye-opening article, below.

It is not uncommon to come across atheists and other evolutionists who refuse to read creationist material "because it hasn't been peer reviewed". In my experience, using that genetic fallacy (and subtle ad hominem) is cowardly. I lack belief that Darwin's Flying Monkeys™ would understand peer-reviewed papers in the first place. (Creationists are usually excluded from secular science considerations because they don't saddle up and ride for the naturalism brand, but they contribute in their fields if they stay on topic. Biblical creationists have their own peer-reviewing processes for theology and origins.) We have seen that the secular peer-review system is saturated with serious problems.

This next article has a bit of overlap with the first one, but it has some first-hand insights into peer review and some additional information related to the false fossil discussed. Sure is a great deal of effort in which to engage because of a commitment to naturalism and to deny the Creator, old son.
The first lesson is, although the common claim, at least by laypersons, is that peer review firmly proves the value and validity of a scientific article, such is not always the case. Since I now have close to 1,500 publications, the vast majority of which were peer-reviewed, I have some experience in the procedure, both its merits and shortcomings. I also have published a peer-reviewed monograph on the subject of scientific peer review.

A major problem is that often the author knows more about the subject than the peer reviewers do. Thus, journal editors try to find peer reviewers that are at least as knowledgeable as the author. Then, when they are located, they often have little incentive to spend the time and energy necessary to carefully review the article, unless the university gives them credit for their work. Another concern is time constraints may not allow the required time to do the review properly. This is probably the most common problem.

Finally, the quality of peer review varies enormously. In my experience it is common to send an article to three reviewers to reduce this problem. . . . In short, peer review is no guarantee of a perfect article, or even a valid study, as clearly illustrated in the case considered below.
You can review this article in its entirety at "Fake Spider Scares Experts". Also, you may want save the link to this post or the two articles featured for use when someone demands peer-reviewed material, expecting that such a thing means that the subject is scientifically established and beyond question.