Peter Suber - Google+ - Creationists still hoping that OA will boost their cause …
peter.suber's bookmarks 2013-04-03
"Creationists are still hoping that the rise of OA will somehow help them make their case. The latest to express this hope is the Discovery Institute, "Will Open-Access Publishing Break the Darwinist Stranglehold?"
See my blog comment from January 2007 when William Dembski first expressed this hope: "OA welcomes support from every quarter, but I have to tell Dembski that the goal of the OA movement is to remove access barriers, not to remove quality control. The goal is OA to peer-reviewed literature, not bypassing peer review. If articles on [intelligent design] are routinely rejected by peer-reviewed journals, the reason is not the business interests of conventional publishers but the scientific judgments of editors and referees. That shouldn't change at all under OA. In fact, there are good reasons to think that OA will undermine support for intelligent design by spreading knowledge of science beyond the narrow sphere reached by high-priced subscription journals."
Today I'd only add one new point: Lax peer review could certainly boost the cause of creationism. Moreover, some OA journals, like some TA journals, are guilty of lax peer review. But OA is a kind of access, not a kind of peer review. OA to peer-reviewed science should not help creationism any more than toll access to peer-reviewed science has helped it.
OA might help creationists spread their message, but only evidence can help them validate their claims. The previous sentence would be just as true if we replaced "OA" with "the printing press" or "the photocopying machine". If there's an opening here, and a warning, it's about changing models of peer review, not changing models of access. Or it's about movements, from creationism to climate denialism, that care more about spreading their message than validating their claims."
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