Weaponizing the Peer Review Process Backfires

As we have discussed numerous times, people think that if a paper has passed the peer review process, it is a guarantee of truth (an appeal to authority). They use that idea as a weapon to promote evolution and atheism. Of course, most people do not actually read peer-reviewed scientific papers. They are often behind an expensive paywall, too.

Most of the time papers are submitted from scientists and academics working for well-heeled organizations that pay the expensive review fees. However, it gets difficult finding an actual peer to review submissions from specialists.

Reviewing, Pexels / Vanessa Garcia
There are many reasons for bad papers getting accepted, such as the large number of submissions, lackadaisical attitudes and lack of qualifications of reviewers, and more. Corruption exists because academics and scientists are just as prone to unethical behavior as everyone else. Indeed, some folks submitted computer-generated papers and outright hoaxes to show that the process has problems. A fun example is when a paper based on Star Wars and using "rogeting" was accepted for review, and I showed how that word switcheroo can be...interesting.

There is also a huge problem of shenanigans leading to retractions of papers. Many papers get retracted. However, they are still available. Because of carelessness, dishonesty, workload, and other things, papers get submitted referring to retracted papers in support of authors' views.

Misotheists and other evolutionists on social(ist) media and in other places claim that creationists and Intelligent Design supporters do not get published in peer-reviewed journals. First, that is a lie. Second, they often demand that an objector proves them wrong, but they made the claim, they have to back it up. Third, many not only refuse to back up their spurious claims, but fallaciously think they're right unless someone else proves them wrong (another fallacy). Fourth, biblical creationists have peer review as well.

Then those sidewinders move the goalposts and utilize the genetic fallacy: Creationists are not published in legitimate peer-reviewed scientific journals. Still a lie, Skippy. Finally, creationists and ID supporters are blackballed when they show flaws in evolutionary pillars and promote design and creation; those papers don't stand much of a chance.

The author of the article featured below has been published numerous times in peer-reviewed journals, both secular and creationist. He discusses how the process works and how this leads to error and fraud, and how appealing to the authority of peer review backfires.

Peer review is one of the primary means of ensuring quality in academic publishing. Until recently, the fields of biology, anatomy, and history were relatively general. But now, most all disciplines specialize in narrow aspects of biology, anatomy, and history. A biologist could specialize in mitochondrial research, or in one type of nerve cell, and publish in similar narrow areas. This has made it difficult for journal editors to find scientists with expertise in the narrow area that a paper discusses.

You can learn a great deal by reading the rest of the article over at "Peer Review Flaws Revealed by Massive Number of Retractions."